Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve likely heard of Felix Baumgartner, the 43-year-old Austrian skydiver, daredevil and BASE jumper. His most recent mission, setting a world record by jumping 39 kilometers above the earth’s surface. The moment, sponsored by Red Bull, captured the world’s attention and created a buzz on social channels. (If you haven’t yet seen the jump check out Redbull‘s Youtube channel.)
Like many others on Twitter, I tweeted my thoughts about the moment, mentioning other scientific achievements we’ve seen in 2012. What happened next was pretty remarkable.
Within an hour of the tweet (it was posted at 2:10pm EST on Sunday October 14th 2012), it had been retweeted 4,494 times. To date, this status update has been retweeted more than 5,500 times. When something this cool happens, news travels quickly. Cision picked up my tweet and offered to analyze the situation using their social media dashboard. Their research showed that the phrase “edge of space” would play an important role in the virality of my status update over the next 12 hours.
Cision found that influential accounts had retweeted the update and shared it with their audience early on. I was surprised and flattered to learn that both Wired UK and British GQ Magazine retweeted my update to their combined audience of nearly 140,000 Twitter followers!
Because of the geographic spread of the accounts that retweeted me, By 4:10pm EST, my Twitter handle became a trending topic in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. At its height, I was trending in at least 20 countries spread over 6 continents.
I learned that my tweet also resonated with men and women almost equally. Cision’s found that 57.4%, identified as male and 42.6%, female.
Although it’s difficult to say why the tweet went viral, the prominent media attention and amplification by notable online outlets and influencers played an important role. I’d like to think that crafting a catchy update had something to do with it too 😉
Guest post by Justin Kozuch
Connect with Justin Kozuch- @jkozuch