3 Unexpected Downsides of Going Viral on Social Media

Oct 27, 2021

Going viral on social media is the goal, right?

Everyone’s striving for that - to see those followers and view metrics shoot right up like crazy?

Well, I hate to break it to ya, but going viral isn’t always a good thing. 

#SorryNotSorry ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

It feels good in the moment, and can bring around some business and new followers.

It’s not always all that it’s cracked up to be though. 

If you’re looking to create some social media goals, there are FAR better ways to track your success than whether or not you go viral with your content.

Today on the blog I’m taking you behind-the-scenes and getting honest about what it REALLY looks like to go viral. Here are three downsides to going viral on social media you may not have considered. ๐Ÿ‘‡

1. A negative impact on your mental health

Perhaps the most insidious side effect, a negative impact on your mental health can be very common when creating content that takes off on social media.

In my experience, when content goes viral, you get that initial hit of dopamine and you feel AMAZING. You feel like people are resonating with your message, you’re getting lots of visibility and you know that your audience likes what they are seeing. ๐Ÿ‘

But then that feeling drops off almost as quickly as it came on.

The next piece of content that you post most likely won’t do as well, and you may find yourself feeling disappointed.

You may even feel anxious about continuing to create content that is “good enough” to go viral. Suddenly, you find yourself stressed out that the content you post isn’t getting the same amount of views, followers, or engagement as the other post did.

This creates a roller coaster of anxiety and negative feelings around posting and even being on social media in general. ๐ŸŽข

Personally, I would rather just not go viral at all if the price to pay is a negative impact on my mental health. Because self-care, baby! ๐Ÿงก

2. Trolls

You may get used to them, but it doesn’t make them any more fun.

You know exactly what I am talking about...Trolls.


Especially on viral content. They will be there to nitpick your content and your personal character, your appearance, and basically anything that they can latch themselves onto.

The important thing to remember about trolls is that they’re acting out of their own insecurities.

I KNOW how tough it is not to take things seriously, and their words can irk more than just a little. But it’s so important for both yourself and your business to just let them do their thing, ignore them as much as possible, and keep moving forward. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

There is nothing that you can say or do that will please every single person, and coming to terms with that will help you immensely as you show your face more and more in your content.

I will always stand up for people and groups that I really care about, and I will absolutely shut down a comment that is particularly rude, but for the most part, moving on and living your life will be your best strategy.

Remember, you are putting yourself out there to educate or entertain - both are POSITIVE gifts for your audience. Focus on that, and you will be able to create a community that rallies around you and shows trolls what’s what. ๐Ÿงก

3. The plummet in growth and engagement

This is probably THE BIGGEST reason I don’t want my clients to go viral...or even myself, for that matter.

As a social media manager, I am dialed in on the analytics.

When you go viral, nearly all of your metrics will spike. That means followers, reach, etc.

But what a lot of people don’t realize, is that with such a large follower boost, your engagement is going to go down, dramatically. ๐Ÿ“‰

You’ll have a lot of people that start following you for that one specific piece of content that went viral, but they probably won’t resonate or engage with most of your other content. The disparity between follower count and engagement will make that engagement statistic plummet. 

After that, you will almost always see a big dip in followers. Those that followed just for your viral content will see that you don’t always post things like that, or they just may not be interested anymore. And then, they hit that unfollow button. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

But trust me, this is actually a positive in the long run - you don’t want an audience around that doesn’t truly care about what you post!

You want them to be commenting, engaging, and sharing all of your things.

But the initial growth and then almost immediate spike downwards can be discouraging and a bit of a shock to the system!

There you have it - three things that you may not have thought of when thinking of going viral.

Want more social media tips content strategy tips and hacks? My YouTube channel is chock-full of social media education - subscribe HERE.





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