What the Strange Popularity of Cats on the Web Can Tell You About Social Media

Cats. The Internet collectively adores them. From LOLcats to Grumpy Cat to videos of cats falling over, getting dressed up, or sitting funny, it’s hard to go anywhere without running into a handful of them. At first the cat phenomenon was a bit of a joke, but now it seems that cats are here to stay in the web’s collective heart. 

cat_tongueSo how did this get started? Who knows. Whether it was the popularity of LOLcats so many years ago or some other random thing has likely been lost to time. What’s interesting to me more than history is what you can learn from this strange universal acceptance of felines.

Yes, it sounds strange, but there are some things you can take away from a group of people who think adorable kittens are the bee’s knees. Here are a few examples.

People are Random and Cannot Be Predicted 

This has to be the #1 thing to learn from this ongoing love affair of cats the Internet has. Just when you think you can predict how people will act and what they like, they switch it up on you. Suddenly you’re left with a bunch of product you just KNEW were going to sell but for whatever reason were a total dud.

Once in a while you see a meme like LOLcats or whatever pop up and take the web by storm. Sometimes it’s even a different animal like the Dramatic Gopher. Was there a huge rash of gopher copycats after that video? No. Everyone went back to cats after getting tired of the gopher.

But Sometimes You Can Predict Them 

There is something to be said about customer loyalty – those same millions upon millions of people on the web go back to their funny cats time and time again. There are funny diversions like the Gopher, but once they’re done, they search on YouTube for silly cat videos just like before.

Once people latch onto something with both hands, try to do everything in your power to keep them there. If the kitty popularity on the web proves anything, it’s that sometimes people really will hold onto something no matter what. If they love it, it’s in their heart for good.

People Like Silly Things 

One reason the cat videos, pictures, and other media are so popular is because they’re silly, light-hearted, and often adorable. When you’re watching a cat video, you don’t feel the weight of the world or think about all the bills you have due or the work assignments that just came across your desk. You’re thinking how great life is because this kitten meowed funny.

Want to bring customers into your inner circle? Then make them feel this way. Try to think of a campaign that centers around making people feel good – to help them forget their problems for a little while. If you can do that, and make them feel happy like the meowing kitten, then they will be back for more, guaranteed.

What is your favorite cat meme?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here:

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