The Reddit post that went viral

By Scott Mosteller

Reddit is considered the front page of the internet. It has that reputation because it seems that this is the place where news is started and then spread around the world. OC (original content) comes from its fantastic user base, posting stories, events, news and more trying to get the post to go “viral”.

Being that I am a fairly large Reddit fan, I have been what we call a ‘lurker’ for years, never really contributing to the network, just coming back for news and updates occasionally. Well one day, Imgur, the sister site of Reddit used for image distribution, was having this funny post battle of things that people were claiming they had, and were going to convert into something. Example: “I bought a 747 and turning it into an apartment”… “I just bought the old space shuttle and converting it into a coffee shop”… “I found this huge refrigerator box and going to fix it up and rent it in New York for $750/mo”… just a lot of funny things, so I thought it was time to take advantage of the situation, and join in on the fun.

The build of the Hello Penny Bar was quickly coming to an end. I had just spent 9 hard and very long weeks working on the bar after work until the wee hours of the morning. I had hundreds of photos on my phone that I had been sharing our on Instagram page. I pulled a few together, made a quick album, added some funny captions to the mix, and post it in Imgur. I named the album “But… I really DID turn a 1946 trailer into a kick ass mobile bar. And yes, it is amazing! I then commented on all these other funny Imgur posts that were out there with my link, made a few more comments for the night, and went to bed.

I didn’t think much about it, and had no idea what was about to happen. I woke up to my phone BLOWING up from friends, family, old co-workers, high school friends, all claiming they had just seen me on Reddit, and that the Hello Penny Bar has gone mega-viral!? I jumped out of bed, running around to find my computer to see what had happened. I open the page, and sure enough, 8-hours after I made the post, I was #12 most popular post on Reddit, #1 on DIY sub-reddit, and it had surpassed 350,000 unique views with over 800 comments! I was in shock, I never thought it was going to be seen yet alone go viral! I quickly began responding to the hundreds of questions from fellow Redditors. I spent the first 2 hours getting back to everyone as quickly as possible. During that day, we gained 600 followers on our Instagram, got featured on Pop-Sugar blog, Little things blog, Adventure Syndrom and a few other major blogs and publications.

It was just about the coolest thing that could have ever happened to the Hello Penny Bar. Here we were, 2 days after we just finished the build, and we got almost 1-million people to see her in the first attempt at a free PR stunt. We were beyond thrilled at the feedback from the community around the world, and couldn’t believe how much people loved her.

We have since calmed down and floated back down to earth as we continue to ramp up the Hello Penny Bar with upgrades, attend some amazing events around town, and dialed in on our marketing efforts. We have a lot of fantastic events coming up in the near future, and now with our new fancy website, we’ll be able to keep you all posted throughout the process. If you have any comments or questions, please be sure to leave them in the section below. CHEERS!