Cracking Open the Instagram Egg Phenomenon

If you’re a frequent user of Instagram, you may have noticed the seemingly overnight virality of an account known as “@world_record_egg” a few weeks back. The account posted a picture on Jan. 4 of a plain egg – no frills, no background – and asked for Instagrammers to help break the record Kylie Jenner held for the most-liked photograph on Instagram. Now, a little over a month later, the egg’s initial picture has over 52 million likes, and the account itself has 10 million followers.

Not bad for an egg.

Although the account’s origins once remained unknown, its creator has been identified as Chris Godfrey. He recently spoke in The New York Timeswith his friends, who helped in the creation of the account, to share the story behind “Eugene” the egg.

The most recent post during the Big Game last week shows Eugene “cracking” from the pressures of social media. The post features a linkthat provides mental health information tailored for regions around the globe. This seems like a fitting cause for an account that saw firsthand what it feels like to have “all eyes watching.”

What can we, as public relations practitioners, take away from a picture of an egg that broke an Instagram record, besides hoping we get lucky enough to do the same? Although we may not (and likely will not) replicate such virality, this Instagram success can definitely teach us a few lessons.

We should use our media attention for good and to define who we want to be. It says a lot about a brand that stays focused on a cause that truly matters to them, even when they’re in the spotlight. Don’t lose sight of what you stand for, and use your attention as a platform to define yourself in a positive way.

We should be aware of the impact our messaging has on our audiences. Though the concept itself is silly, the cracking of the egg is an idea we can take seriously. What we share on social and beyond has the ability to impact audiences in a significant way. Remember that eyes are watching – and we never want to give them the wrong impression.

 The best way to gain an audience is to unite them. One of the great things about Eugene the egg is that it’s meant to be “universal,” according to Godfrey. It lacks race, religion, gender, and other specific characteristics; it was intended to be something everyone could have the potential to support and share. We should try uniting our audiences under a common purpose – even if that means something as simple as liking a picture of an egg.

Those who were involved with the creation of the egg used their internet hit for good, promoting mental health awareness and providing appropriate resources in response to the pressures of social media. Moreover, they were strategic in their messaging and in the way they sought to gain an audience. This is certainly a positive moment that will follow their reputations throughout their careers.

Want to see more of what we have to say here at Commonwealth PR? Be sure to check out some of our other blogs.


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