How to Make Your Content Go Viral

I am sure this is the question which many social media marketers have been thinking about for a long time : How to make the content go viral.

 We have an internal joke when a client or prospect asks us to help them create something viral.

We say, “Sure! Have two guys kick one another in the privates and it’s sure to go viral!”

The fact of the matter is, you can’t MAKE anything go viral. It’s not about how many shares you can get from your friends and family.

It’s about great creative, great content, and some fairy magic dust.

And, just because two guys kicking one another or cute puppies might work this week doesn’t mean they won’t be overshadowed the following week by a celebrity crying over a sloth.

According to an article in The Atlantic this month, companies are installing every imaginable share button on their content, writing articles, and then praying to the viral Gods that they would become overnight success because of all of the shares.

But then, surprise! An entrepreneur named Uzi Shmilovic examined eight ways Internet giants, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, have used virality as a vehicle for success.

Shmilovic emphasizes using a “Virality Coefficient” — “how many new users on average does one user of your product ‘infect’” — to measure to virality of a piece of information. A coefficient greater than one indicates exponential growth, the type that describes wildly successful Internet campaigns like the Old Spice Guy:

So now everyone is rushing to figure out what their Virality Coefficient is in order to make their videos, podcasts, blog posts, white papers, and more go viral.

The problem, of course, is “making” something go viral isn’t possible. It’s not a mathematic equation. There are human beings with emotions involved. There is nothing mathematical or scientific about that.

And, as much as we like to think everyone uses the social web, it turns out there are plenty of people who don’t. In fact, more people use email than social media, despite the growing number of users at Facebook. Most people create their accounts, spend a few days discovering what everyone is talking about, accumulate some friends, and never return.

I have a better idea. Determine your visionInvest some time (as in years). Work really hard. Build a community. Empower your brand ambassadors. Listen to your critics and detractors. Make changes. And someday, somewhere, you will have something that goes viral.

Everyone will think it was an overnight success because it’s the first time they have heard of you. But you’ll know the real secret.

Hard work, patience, and perseverance trump all.

Find & Make Your Own Infographics With Visual.ly

 

I like infographics, they look so cool and If you like clever data visualizations, you’ll love Visual.ly, a startup that lets you find and make infographics with all kinds of web-based data.

The site aims to be a repository for graphically organized information on the web, as well as a marketplace and community for publishers, designers, researchers and everyday web users.

Visual.ly contains three main components. First, it’s a search engine for web-based infographics. Second, it’s a silo of data from government agencies, non-profits and other research- and data-focused entities.

 

 

Digital Divide: If You’re Reading This, You’re One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC]

In this infographic by OnlineITdegree.net, an ad-free website describing itself as “an online informational resource for individuals looking to pursue IT degree of related education and careers,” you’ll find surprising information about the differences in Internet access in the United States.

What really drives value in corporate responsibility?

Few companies are clear about how investing in social initiatives will change stakeholder behavior or the harm a bad strategy can cause.

 

Now that stakeholders—including consumers, investors, and employees—pay increasing attention to the social and environmental footprints of business, corporate-responsibility efforts have moved into uncharted management territory.

What I see companies reengineering supply chains to make them “greener,” supporting social causes through volunteer programs for employees, or lobbying for human rights in far-flung corners of the globe. I cant stop myself thinking what if consumers, investors,stakeholders do not push companies to change their strategy. Will they become such a ‘ green’ responsible profit makers, or really care about suistanable development for their future ! According to McKinsey research :

As this tide swells, many executives are left with the nagging sense that such investments rest on a shaky understanding of how corporate responsibility creates value, both for their companies and for society. Some investments, of course, produce immediate and quantifiable gains, such as those from recycling or from manufacturing processes that save energy. But often, social investments are expected to yield longer-term benefits as engaged consumers step up their purchases, a broader investor base develops, or new talent flocks to a company’s recruiters.

Coca-Cola drives campaign donations via branded Super Bowl mobile site

The Coca-Cola microsite

Coca-Cola is extending its current Arctic Home campaign with a mobile Web site that ties in with the beverage giant’s Super Bowl ad campaign to drive charity donations.

Coca-Cola’s Superbowl advertising runs across three screens – television, mobile and social media. The campaign is slated to use real-time information from the game that will change how the brand’s advertising displays across the screens.

Real-time ads
Coca-Cola is betting on its famous polar bear characters as the face of the multichannel campaign. During the Super Bowl game, users can type cokepolarbear.com into their mobile browser to be taken to a game-themed optimized mobile site. On the mobile site, users can watch videos that will be updated based on what is happening during the game.

For each video that a consumer shares to friends and family via social media on Facebook and Twitter, Coca-Cola will donate $1 to its Arctic Home campaign. Coca-Cola will also donate $1 for each user who RSVPs to interact with the game beforehand.

To spread the word about the advertisements, Coca-Cola will run mobile advertisements inside apps and mobile Web sites during the game.

 

A screen shot from the upcoming Coca-Cola Super Bowl campaign

Social media is also a main draw with Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl campaign with a Facebook app, and by using real-time events the beverage company is clamoring to grab a large piece of social media buzz during the Super Bowl by getting people to talk about the ads.

Users can also tweet using the hashtag #GameDayPolarBears during the game.

During the game, two TV commercials will run that will be created on the fly based on who is winning.

Mobile bears
Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl ads are part of the company’s bigger multichannel Arctic Home multichannel campaign (see story).

The beverage giant teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund on a massive campaign that reaches across multiple channels to help save polar bears.

The Arctic Home campaign incorporates mobile advertising, apps, Web and SMS and is planned to run through March.

By including the Arctic Home campaign into Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl efforts, it gives consumers an incentive to plug into digital channels during the TV broadcast.

Topshop’s iPhone app lets customers keep up with new product introductions

The Topshop iPhone app

British fashion apparel retailer Topshop recently launched a fully transactional iPhone app to engage customers when they are in a store or on the go.

With a significant percentage of Topshop’s online sales already coming from mobile devices, Topshop created the app to make its entire product catalog easily accessible to mobile customers. In the first four weeks that it has been available, the app has seen more than 280,000 downloads.

 
 
Sharing items is popular


Topshop’s digital team worked with digital strategy agency Red Ant to identify the best and most appropriate features for the app. The app was designed to keep the Topshop brand identity at heart while making it easy for customers to stay up-to-date on what is new at Topshop, as the retailer changes several hundred items a week.

The first screen of the app is a dynamically updated home screen that links to key collections, a blog, Tumblr and campaign content. The main thrust of the app is the shop tab, which drills down through categories into product details via different list views.

Other features include a store locator, the ability to scan bar codes and QR codes or share products as well as daily product updates. Customers can use the app’s scanner to check stock at other stores if something is out of stock or share an item they like to their Facebook page.

IKEA Launch Social Experiment – Paris “Apartments” In Metro Station

IKEA have just launched a smart campaign in Paris that aims to show just how effective their furniture is in small cramped spaces. They created five small “apartments” right in the middle of a busy subway station, and opened them up to volunteers to live in them in the full view of the public for a week. The campaign is aimed at passers by to help show them just how effective IKEA furniture can be in small city center cramped living spaces.

The campaign would have been expensive to assemble and cost a fortune to maintain but there is little doubt that it would have got everybody talking on their daily commute each morning. Having used IKEA myself plenty of times, what this brilliant campaign doesn’t show is the pain of assembling all the furniture when you bring it home. It’s no surprise that there was a professional IKEA team on hand to kit out the five apartments. Still we love this type of engaging real world social advertising and it shows once again how well IKEA know its target market and where to find them all. Smart.

Coke’s social media success makes a lot out of a little

An article in USA Today lauds Coca-Cola for its success in social media. But let’s face it, Coke’s social media success is a microcosm of its global success.

With over 2 billion people drinking Coke worldwide, 36 million fans on Facebook is a drop in the ocean. If Coke was not a global powerhouse brand, it would not attract anything like that number of people to like it on Facebook, follow it on Twitter, or view its videos on YouTube.

Coke has done a great job of leveraging social media to engage fans and followers. Key to its success on Facebook was its decision to embrace an independent fan page, rather than try to shut it down or start an official one in competition. And its decision to allow fans to moderate posts themselves is equally wise.

And Coke recognizes this, that social media is about community not advertising, engagement more than acquisition, and loyalty more than sales. But would it be the biggest brand on Facebook if it was not already one of the biggest brands in the world? The answer is no. To suggest that other brands can emulate Coke’s success without first building a following is just deluded. The brands that succeed in social media are the ones that already have scale and stand for something meaningfully different. That is why Oreo, Red Bull, and Converse All Star rank in the social media top 10.

People respond best to brands that empower, enthuse or inspire them. Little known or bland brands get little love in social media. The solution lies in figuring out what the brand stands for and then promoting it across a variety of media, not just setting up a fan page and hoping people will stumble across it. For brands seeking to leverage the power of social media, the first question to ask is, “What can my brand do for its customers?” rather than fixating on what social media can do for the brand.