If you are correct in your usage, it will imply that what is said AFTER the word "literally" happened literally and figuratively. So, when coffee spread throughout Africa via the civet cat, I can say: "The civet cat carried coffee cherries in its digestive tract from Central Africa to Ethiopia where the plant quite literally took root and to this day still thrives." You see how the "literally" works with this example? It is reinforcing the fact that the coffee seeds took root both figuratively and literally. Figuratively because when something "takes root", it establishes origins, and literally because the seeds become trees after growing roots that supply nutrients.
So let's be better at our language, or forever speak like you haven't finished school. —Literally