Doing a silly little dance - does that make you an Internet VIP? No?
Maybe if you add a catchy tune and a tasteless costume then?
What makes people want to watch a video like Gangnam Style no matter what their cultural or educational background is? When do videos go viral?
Obviously even the clever marketing strategists haven't yet found out how exactly content of social media goes viral, or rather: how to produce content that does. But we can take a closer look to see which things might indicate that a video, picture or meme could go viral.
Some first hints provides this article on Wikihow about going viral. Next to talking about how to promote content so that it gets spread, they also mention certain characteristics of that content: awe-inspiring, triggering emotions, positiveness, quirkiness and interesting topics or cute cast like babies and cats.
YouTube's Trendmanager Allocca in this interesting video talks about videos going viral and identifies some of the successes ingredients: tastemakers who make a video popular, creative participation by the community (that takes on the video and changes it or builds something new with it) and unexpectedness.
This site even monitors which videos go viral in real time. The categories under which the films are stored include animals, crazy, cute, funny, music, sports and nerds. It seems to proof what the other articles describe as relevant, as it shows a lot of human interaction provoking emotions, cute or funny clips of animals and babies or crazy, unusual sports.
Gangnam Style's success, considering this ingredients, then is not so surprising. It is crazy, funny and unexpected, it has a catchy tune (so includes the music aspect as well) and it provides the opportunity for multiple alterations and parodies by a creative community.
Still, the success of videos can't be planned and having a video going viral remains a bit of a mystique rather than a coordinated effort with a clear outcome.