Your Brand Can Learn from Instagram’s World Record Egg

Posted on January 14, 2019

Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, the internet can surprise you in ways you never thought were possible. On January 4th, 2019, an instagram account called @world_record_egg posted a picture of an egg. On Sunday evening, the little egg went the distance.

This is the post, in all its glory.

This is the most liked picture on Instagram. That’s right. It’s more liked than any picture in the history of the platform which boasts over a billion followers, beating celebrities, meme accounts, and brand accounts. This came without paid spend, and without influencer marketing. No products were given away, and nothing was profound about the photo. Why did it work then? Because word of mouth is still the most valuable marketing strategy you can employ.

The record-breaking egg is a great example of viral word of mouth. People shared the post on stories and by reposting it, and quickly it went spread. The record was previously held by Kylie Jenner’s birth announcement post (which speaks volumes about her abilities as an influencer, by the way), and yet within a couple of weeks, the record has been broken by an egg.

There are a few things that can be learned from this egg. First, humor is a great way to sell people on a brand. The absurdity of an account politely asking for an egg to become the most liked post in platform history resonated with people. I personally liked the picture because I thought the concept was hilarious. People want to be in on a joke, and by creating an accessible one, you’re priming your content for virality. With that said, it doesn’t have to be all jokes. Just a consistent message will do.

Second, hitting in the right place at the right time matters. This definitely depends on at least a little luck, but there is a skill in choosing the right time to unveil a product or movement. It’s been a slow start to the new year in terms of pop-culture, and there hasn’t really been a request like this. The egg people found a gap in the market, and exploited it for massive returns.

Last, the post was genuine. There’s no hidden agenda to the post. It’s just somebody who wanted an egg to go viral. The account isn’t used for any other purpose, and hasn’t hocked any products (yet)*. The fact that it’s just someone genuinely making a joke makes the post much more likable. Being genuine made all the difference.

This post has left big brands scrambling for answers to how virality works, but essentially it all boils down to this: to crack open the market, you need to have a consistent message, you need to find the right time to debut, and you need to be genuine. By following these steps, you’ll be able to poach some new followers, and you’ll find your marketing reach looking at sunny side up.

*Update: The egg is now selling egg merchandise. What a time to be alive (Yes, I need to charge my phone).