That Time My Post Went Viral

Going viral… is something that many business owners hope to do when they post content to their social media channels. While many so called “experts” claim to have the secret to having a post take off, I tend to think it is just dumb luck.

In my case, I posted a short video clip of my recent trip to Croatia on my personal Instagram account. We went to the Blue Cave near the island of Vis which was amazing. The video I posted was short and sweet. It showed our boat going through a tiny opening and then entering an amazing blue grotto. In looking back, I wasn’t really expecting much when I posted it. My personal Instagram account had 750 followers and typically my views range from the 500-1200 range. But this post went crazy on the IG platform. Before I knew it I had 14,000 views and within hours it was over 100K. I was super excited (even though I know these are just vanity metrics)… it was fun to see this post take off.

As the week went on, I kept getting more views, likes and follows. By the end of the week it had over 1 million and it didn’t stop there. This video was shared and reposted by some huge travel accounts with millions of followers. Over the month of June this post reached 20.9 Million views, 1,490,000 likes, 1373 comments and 151,396 saves. It was a content creator’s dream. And my personal IG account grew from 750 followers to over 17,000 followers. Crazy, huh?!

At first I was kicking myself, regretting the fact that I didn’t post this video on my business account @Kristina_Rust_Photograpahy. I mean, did I just miss an opportunity to grow my biz account? I did decide to try and recreate it on my business account to see if I could replicate the numbers. I created a different version and posted anticipating another viral post. But it didn’t do as well, it only received 28.7K views (which I would have considered viral before my other post).

Anyway, the point of this post is to share a few of my takeaways from this experience:

  1. While I initially regretted not posting this video originally to my business account, I realized it didn’t really matter. The majority of these new followers are not my target market for branding photography here in the Bay Area.
  2. It inspired me to post more of my travel videos. I tend to take a lot of video snippets on vacations which end up sitting on my phone.
  3. The key to getting more engagement on your content is to post consistently because you never know what is going to take off.
  4. If you are trying to get more engagement the first few seconds should hook the viewer. I think this post was so interesting because you saw us headed straight towards a tiny opening of the cave. It could make a claustrophobic person wince.
  5. In the end, create and share content just because you want to. You don’t need to over think it. I literally threw this video together in 2 minutes.

If you are at all curious to see my viral post, feel free to pop over to my @KristinaRust account on Instagram. And if you want to see my second attempt you can view it here at @Kristina_Rust_Photography (it’s a little longer version).

Again, while having this post go viral was exciting for a few weeks, I know it was probably a fluke and most likely I’ll be a one hit wonder. What is important to me, is on my business account to create content that connects with my target market. So you’ll find me sharing recent photo sessions, behind the scenes videos and tips on my biz account and maybe every once in awhile a travel video too (you know, just in case ????).


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I’m a branding photographer and storyteller capturing images that convey who you are and as well as

what you do.


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