6 Songs That Went Viral Because of Social Media

Remember the “Rasode mei kaun tha” remix that went viral recently? 

The dialog, the beat, the subject matter (cooker minus chana, rasode mei kaun?) – everything, including the autotuned dialog, made it a catchy piece for people to play with.

Social media influencers jumped on the fun and it instantly took over every social media channel.

Yashraj Mukhate’s remix of a dialog from the hindi serial “Saath Nibhana Saathiya” had become an earworm for all of us and we would have it constantly playing in our ears, either through social media posts or our own minds.

I still can’t get it out…

The virality of this piece is an example of how social media has become a huge factor for a song’s success. Many artistes and music producers put in some serious effort into their social media game. Some go as far as coming up with strategies with the goal to launch a song into success with viral marketing campaigns. 

Here are 6 songs that witnessed massive success as a result of going viral on social media.

1. In My Feelings by Drake

I can bet that you have seen at least one of the “Keke do you love me…” videos on any of your social media accounts. Shiggy, a popular social media personality posted a dance video to the song when it released with the #DoTheShiggy hashtag. It took over, from celebrities to teens, everyone hopped on the trend. 

Watch the original Shiggy video here

While Shiggy rolled out a stationary clip, the trend that followed was with people getting out of the passenger side of the car, dancing on-the-move next to a slowly-rolling-car.

It even got the NTSB’s (National Transportation Safety Board) attention, they tweeted out the following:

2. Old Town Road by Lil Nas X

I talked about how Old Town Road by Lil Nas X topped the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for weeks on end in my last article. Lil Nas X put in the effort for it to actually go viral on social media. He made comedy videos on Facebook, then he moved on to Twitter.

The song still didn’t get much radio play initially, so Lil Nas X started boosting #YeeHaw memes on TikTok, where the teens dressed up as cowboys and cowgirls to sing along with the soundtrack. This is when the song truly went viral, earning its spot on Billboard, and also was re-released with Billy Ray Cyrus.

In Lil Nas X’s words, “I promoted the song as a meme for months until it caught on to TikTok, and it became way bigger.”

3. Isme Tera Ghata by Gajendra Verma

Isme Tera Ghata was released by Gajendra Verma but didn’t get any hype initially. Four girls on musical.ly made a spoof of the song, and that clip ended up breaking the internet. 

The girls were majorly criticized for the raunchy actions in the clip, many argued that it was vulgar, while others, especially young guys, found it to be ironically funny. This resulted in more guys and even girls making duets with the girls’ video and doing their version of raunchy actions to the lyrics.

The song then went viral with many people making covers. Neha Kakkar released her version of the song post her breakup, which led to even more buzz being generated online.

4. Bad and Boujee by Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert

Have you seen the “Rain drop, drop top” meme? This song is where that came from. In late December 2016, this song took off on the internet and gave rise to one of the biggest meme trends.

This viral trend made the song go viral, after receiving a shoutout at the 2017 Golden Globes by Donald Glover, it reached top 10 on the US Billboard Top 100 and later topped the chart for a week in January 2017. It currently sits at 1 Billion views on YouTube.

5. Why This Kolaveri Di by Dhanush

“Why this Kolaveri Di” is a song that we can still recall. The tune, the words, the Tanglish – everything. No wonder it was played everywhere, and even after a decade, people will still start singing it if it is played.

A quickly scrambled video recording of the song was put together and released in 2010 after a disgruntled employee leaked the song on YouTube. All this was done to control the narrative but soon became the reason for the song’s success.

Business Today, in their case study of the song’s viral campaign, talked about how the madness unfolded. Sony Music launched a viral marketing campaign. They put out links everywhere, each tweet they posted had a link to the music video. The song started getting attention from big names who tweeted out about the song, adding to the success.

It has a slow-beat but quirky Tanglish (Tamil + English) lyrics that got the attention of the audience all over India. It soon became a global success by standing third in the global list and competing with Lady Gaga. It was voted the Top Song by CNN in 2012. It became the first Indian song to reach more than 125 Million views.

6. Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) by Silentó

I remember “Watch me whip, watch me nae nae,” become an earworm for me. I had heard it enough times to have to finally google it. After being released, the song sat at Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed there for 6 non-consecutive weeks.

The music distribution company, TuneCore, reached out to the dance entertainment brand DanceOn to create a buzz around the music after the song was already making waves on Vine and Instagram.

The dance caught on when dance superstars were enlisted to share the moves with the lyrics. The official music video on YouTube has been viewed more than 1.7 Billion times. 

Final Thoughts

What makes a song go viral?

Does making a song solely for the purpose of going viral work?

Danny Gonzales, a youtuber, made a song with the sole intention of getting it viral on TikTok. He studied the songs that went viral and tried to replicate them. Long story short, it didn’t work out exactly as planned, but did reach a good number.

Danny’s experiment shows that you cannot just make a song based on what goes viral, there is always going to be something that resonates with the audience that no one thought of. Every song has the potential to go viral – when, where, or how is a mystery. 

Going viral once is a chance, but replicating the virality for the same artiste needs some serious talent. 

What other songs or artistes can you remember that rode the wave of virality?

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