Baauer’s Harlem Shake: How viral triggers help amplify content and distribution

Harlem Shake TWKS Case Stud

Harlem Shake was the most popular ‘meme’ of 2013. But how did it start? Often brands want a ‘viral video’. There is no magic formula; we believe it is more a ‘lucky art’. However, when creating content there are some viral triggers and amplifying factors that spark people to share. Below is a breakdown of how the Harlem Shake started, why it took off and what helped push this ‘meme’.

Harlem shake social media campaign

The history of the 2013 Harlem Shake

30th January 2013: George Miller originally featured the track on his show, while performing as Pink Guy.


2nd February 2013: The Sunny Coast Skate group created the first ‘split’ version of the Harlem Shake.


6th February 2013: Makers Studio got in on the act and used it’s power to help tip this meme over the edge.

Written By Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis is a leading social media authority and one of the most experienced social media trainers in the UK. He works with small businesses through to global brands and shows them how to effectively use social media to meet their business needs and save time. His career spans 12 years in digital and he has spent much of his recent career focused on the impact of social media. You can find him on LinkedIn and Google+

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