Our design guy, Doug, recently had a brush with internet stardom when he made himself in to a St Patrick’s Day meme. The story begins with the fact that Doug plays bass drum in a Scottish Tribal drums and bagpipes group called Clan Celtica. Having been in other bands before, with a fair amount of experience with social media and online band promotion, he took it upon himself to head up social media for the band.
He used a self-taken picture of his own face post-gig in warpaint, and simply wrote a line he uses every year on St Patrick’s Day – “Everyone is a little Irish on St Patrick’s Day. Except the Scottish, we’re still Scottish”. He then posted it on the Clan Celtica Facebook page… Doug had no idea what he had unleashed.
The first post did its job ridiculously well, as you can see by the amount of likes and shares on the image above. The page had 1,100 page follows the morning before the meme was posted and within two days (America is a day behind so their St Patrick’s Day came the day after ours) the page follows had jumped up to a whopping 2,890. Part of the reason the post did so well was due to the fact it was a divisive meme, and caused somewhat heated discussion among people with Scottish and Irish ancestry in the image’s comment thread.
Then the meme started moving away from the original post and wound up on other Scot-related groups and pages on Facebook.
Then it managed to leave Facebook and started showing up on viral image lists like Imgur,
The meme had run its course once St Patrick’s Day was over, but the likes and comments continued to trickle in for days after due to people realising that a friend had tagged them in the comment section of one of the posts. The original post achieved a completely organic 3,708,416 people reached (organic because Facebook rules forbid the boosting of an image with this much text on the image).
Now many questions remain: how many of these new page likes will actually continue to stay active and come out to shows? How many are even in New Zealand..? How does one follow up this kind of viral anomaly? No one can really know, but one thing is certain – social media is a strange beast indeed.