In the social media world, there are a handful of celebrities that seem to own the internet.
Kylie Jenner is probably the best-known icon of Instagram, with more than 137 million followers to her name. So, how could someone this famous have her claim for the most-liked Instagram picture stolen? More importantly – how on earth did that title get snatched up by an egg?
The Egg Gang decided to shake up the social status quo by dethroning Jenner and taking over the World Record top spot. The egg acquired 18.2 million likes in 12 days, surpassing the photo that Kylie shared of her newly hatched daughter, Stormi.
Today, the egg has a life of its own, as a champion for Mental Health awareness in America.
So, where exactly did this cracking Instagram profile come from, and what can we learn from it?
Where did the Instagram Egg Come From?
Initially, the Instagram egg appeared to be nothing more than a prank.
An anonymous account posted a picture of a (rather beautiful) golden-brown egg on Instagram on the 4th of January 2019. Delivered by the account @World_Record_Egg, the image aimed to beat Kylie Jenner’s picture of her new-born daughter Stormi Webster, which had earned a record 18 million likes.
Under the account, lovingly called “Egg Gang,” the publisher asked people to join them in making an egg the most-liked image on Instagram.
According to Chris Godfrey, the entrepreneur that was eventually revealed to be behind the Egg Gang, there was nothing malicious about his intentions. He just wanted to experiment to find out whether it was possible to beat the social media record with something simple. When asked why he chose an egg, Godfrey said that eggs were “universal,” with no gender, religion, or race.
After the Instagram egg earned 18.2 million likes in a matter of days, winning the top spot from Jenner, Godfrey also noted that it was interesting to see how easily “cracked” celebrity culture can be.
The Heartwarming Purpose Behind the Egg Gang
Crucially, the world-famous egg was more than just a way to mess with Kylie Jenner on Instagram.
Chris Godfrey teamed up with Hulu to appear in the 2019 Super Bowl too, promoting mental health awareness, and the pressure that people can feel on social media. The video encouraged people to visit the Mental Health website for America if they needed someone to talk to.
Additionally, the egg repeated the “We Got This” phrase, which brought people together in the original quest for the World Record title.
Today, the Instagram Egg (now called Eugene), has earned the love and respect of countless people around the world. As a result, the profile has continued, sharing positive messages as often as possible through Instagram.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that a social media user has attempted to amass a considerable number of followers with a viral strategy. The account for Half an Onion on Twitter gathered 635,000 followers in its attempt to overtake Donald Trump’s account. Additionally, in 2017, the #NuggsForCarter campaign attempted to support a user’s request for a year’s supply of chicken nuggets.
So, what can we learn from this incredible accomplishment?
Here are some of the lessons you can take away from the Instagram egg.
1. Pay Attention to Instagram Analytics
In an interview with the New York Times, Godfrey claimed that no single account helped the egg to rise to popularity. The egg gang was a diverse crew of people, all dedicated to supporting the same goal. However, Chris wasn’t oblivious to the basics of social media marketing. He knew how important it was to keep an eye on his demographics.
Eventually, the Instagram egg team started to notice that younger people generally spend more time interacting with the egg, often at 3 or 4 pm when school was over. Understanding this trend helped Chris to leverage a posting and promotional strategy that would help the egg to make its final sprint towards the World Record finish line.
2. Have Fun on Instagram
These days, companies are so concerned with finding ways to get the most out of their social media campaigns, that they’ve forgotten to have fun with their strategies. Ultimately, Instagram is a place to connect with people – and one of the easiest ways to do that is to show your personality and implement a little bit of humor.
Obviously, it’s pretty difficult for an egg to have much personality, but somehow Chris managed to give an inanimate object a character that caused people to fall in love. The relatable captions he posted with his egg photos helped to bring people on board. Additionally, there was humor in the very idea of using an egg to beat Kyle Jenner on Instagram.
The Instagram egg continues to use humor to reach out and connect with its target audience today. Take a leaf out ofits book and scramble your campaigns with a dash of personality.
3. Show your Followers that they Matter
Another thing you need to know about social media?
When people follow someone on Instagram, they do it because they want to be a part of a community. They want to feel as though they’re connecting with someone or something – even if it’s a big-name brand or an egg.
When Godfrey delivered the Instagram egg, he made it all about community. The initial caption for his first photo included wording like “let’s set a world record together,” and “We got this.” It was about bringing people together towards a unified purpose. The language in the posts was genius (despite a few grammatical issues), as it helped to spark a sense of teamwork.
Godfrey also regularly posted user-generated content from the Egg gang on his Instagram Stories, which helped to make the group feel more seen and appreciated. The result was a momentum that continued to build the egg’s presence until it achieved social media glory.
The egg is still popular today.
When you’re designing your own social media campaigns, remember that appealing to the sense of community, your audience feels will help your strategies to thrive. You could even improve your chances of going viral just by speaking to and engaging your audience.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Take a Risk
There’s a good chance that the Instagram egg would never have become as popular as it is today if it hadn’t had a lofty goal in mind.
Chris didn’t just design a profile around an egg and leave it to grow organically. He made the experience competitive by aiming to outshine Kylie Jenner on Instagram. Remember, Kylie has more than 137 million followers and earns millions of likes every day.
Not only is Jenner extremely popular, but she has a fierce fan base that would instantly call-out any cheap gimmick or stunt that tried to knock her off her top spot.
Jenner even posted a video after the world record egg surpassed her images with likes. Her playful response highlighted the absurdity of the competition, and kept her audience on-side, ensuring that in the future, the egg would once again fade away into obscurity.
While it’s safe to say that the Instagram egg is unlikely to outshine Kylie Jenner forever, it improved its chances of reaching the top spot by taking a risk. Sometimes, you need to be willing to go big or go home when it comes to Instagram success.
If you want your Instagram profile to go viral, don’t be afraid to be bold.
5. Build a Bigger Narrative Around Yourself
If the Instagram egg hadn’t had a broader story behind it, then it probably would have lost its fans soon after it achieved the world record. However, to keep the momentum going, the Egg Gang’s creators ensured that the post could be more than just a viral sensation.
Lending the voice of Eugene the egg to Hulu and the Mental Health awareness group for America meant that the Egg could become something far more critical in the social media landscape. With the video aired at the Superbowl for 2019, the Instagram Egg revealed that there was more to the campaign hiding beneath the surface, and this made followers fall in love with it even more.
Not only did the Egg Gang stand up for mental health awareness, but Chris Godfrey and the team also revealed that this was just the first of the many causes that they would be looking to support.
A funny viral campaign is great, but if you want your brand to grow and evolve, then you need to go a lot deeper. Giving your company a story or putting a narrative behind your marketing campaign is an excellent way to ensure that you earn the hearts and minds of your audience.
Make sure that you don’t just end up being another cheap gimmick.
6. Work with Influencers and Investors
While it’s possible to carve the way to your success solo, you’ll often find that it’s much easier to accomplish great things when you have people to work alongside you.
Within a matter of days, the Instagram Egg had created the Egg Gang, which gave them a strong network they could tap into for shout-outs and shares. The more the community grew, the easier it was to get the egg recognized by millions of followers around the world.
By engaging with their audience, the Instagram egg team was able to build their influence very quickly and attract the attention of big brands perfect for helping the profile to grow. Additionally, over time, the rapid evolution of the egg meant that it was able to earn the attention of bigger companies and investors.
The president of culture and brand marketing for Hulu, Nick Tran, discovered the egg and sought them out for a collaboration on a new Super Bowl commercial. After all, the group already know that the egg had access to millions of viewers. Because Godfrey and his team were open to working with others, they were able to accelerate the impact of the egg by making sure that they built the right partnerships.
When you’re building your own campaigns, make sure that you always keep your eyes open for new opportunities to collaborate and grow with the right people.
7. Make the Most of Social Trends
Finally, throughout the social media world today, it’s safe to say that we’re seeing a change in the kind of content that’s being shared. Memes seem to continually go viral, thanks to their ability to resonate with huge social groups. The chances are that you’re familiar with a lot of memes in your community already.
We mentioned above that a boy called Carter Wilkerson asked Wendy to find out how many retweets he needed to get free nuggets for a year. With 3.5 million tweets, #NuggsforCarter earned the boy his free meals, shocking the community, and getting everyone excited about the power of sharing.
Paying attention to social trends is the best way to ensure that you’re creating the right kind of content to delight and engage your audience.
Before you start to build any new content for your profile, make sure that you check out what your community is sharing, what kind of material they respond best to, and what your competitors are doing.
The Tale of the Instagram Egg
The Instagram Egg is an incredible example of what social media can do.
With the right post, the correct purpose, and a focus on your target audience, it’s possible to organically find millions of followers, faster than you can imagine.
Although the Egg Gang might have started as more of a prank than a lesson in social media marketing – it’s fair to say that every business could stand to learn from Chris Godfrey and his world-famous egg.
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