So You Want To Go Viral?

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This is a presentation given Sept.15, 2010 for BrightTalk. The subject is a basic primer for viral marketing using social media to create brand 'buzz'. The presented is Michael Crosson, a recognized expert in social media, publisher of, and the founder of the largest social media marketing group on LinkedIn, with over 95,000 members.

Text of So You Want To Go Viral?

  • 1. The Fundamentals ofUsing Social Media &Word of Mouth to Create Brand Buzz

2. Heres how the conversation usually starts: Viral? Thats good.A lot of people could potentially see it. No, thats bad. Its impossible to control. But if its done right, it can be unbelievably valuable. And if we screw it up, it will bite us in the a**. Then lets do it right.Ok, you go first. Ill watch. Fine, start by following me on Twitter. Twitter? Whats that? 3. Why bother with this viral stuff? Because media has changed.YOU 4. And because the Conversationhas evolved 5. So, what exactly is viral marketing? Any communication that is spread socially.

  • Word of Mouth (WOM)
  • Chatter/buzz
  • Street/guerilla/intercept(Mall promotions, etc.)
  • Referrals/pass-along(Sharing, Tell-a-Friend)
  • Influencer marketing(key bloggers, authors, etc.)
  • Social community activity(Facebook, Meetup, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Incentivized sweeps/contests/promotions
  • Group action(Groupon, LivingSocial, etc.)
  • Product seeding
  • Flashmob, ambush or interrupt marketing(spontaneous break dance at Apple store)

6. Viral means interconnected

  • Everything connects to everything now, makingcross-pollination nearly instantaneous.

YOU 7. Social media has become 4D, intersecting online and offline

  • 4D is Community, Interest, Time and Location your social graph is mobile and moves with you
  • Effect of FourSquarification individuals & groups self-identifyingthrough common interests and geo-location instantly
  • Cross-over between web & mobile no longer just WAP or text/SMS
  • Google Earth integration
  • Augmented reality
  • Interactive outdoor media becoming more prevalent

8. What makes a campaign go viral?Hitting the rightMOTIVATION .

  • Encourages social interaction sharing an experience within a defined community
  • Offers rewards orincentives- getting something for performing an action
  • Improves social status people love to be recognized, be the first to know, be hip and cool
  • Leverages brand loyalty people want to share thus validating their personal preferences
  • Provides a creative and personal experience

9. Some examples 10. Some examples 11. Some examples Coke Machine Happiness:1 million views in one week! 12. Some examples The Old Spice Man Twitter campaign pushed over 100 million views on YouTube In 30 days! 13. Some examples Bill Gerth @ ComcastCares customer service rep with 45,000 followers generating a potential90,000,000 impressionsfor every message he sends! That kind of exposure in paid media would be worthhundreds of thousands of dollars! 14. What are the most effectiveviral drivers?

  • Social timeliness whats Lilo done today?
  • Humor- the fat Star Wars kid
  • Rewards or incentives
  • Praise & Recognition
  • Surprise/outrage- burned a Quran today?
  • Professional motivation
  • Philanthropic- desire to do good
  • Fear- H1N1 virus, global warming
  • An effective call to action

15. More examples The original Numa Numa guy drove over10,000,000 views on YouTubeBut some brilliant mind at an agency inserted the Geico lizard doing a dance behind him and did it all over again 16. More examples 17. More examples 18. What are the most effectiveviral tools?

  • Email
  • Blogs
  • Instant messaging
  • Social communities(Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Book-marking sites(Digg, Delicious, Yelp, etc.)
  • Sharing Tools( SocialTwists Tell-a-Friend)
  • Video sites(YouTube, Flickr, Revver, etc.)
  • Bulletin boards
  • Mouths

19. What clicks in viral campaigns?

  • Humor or cute factor(babies, kittens, bloopers, etc.)
  • Relevance to the user
  • Engagement(interactivity, ease of use, sharing)
  • Personalization(name, location, content)
  • Remix/mashup configurability
  • WOW factor(trick shots, extreme danger or skill, etc.)
  • Emotional appeal sad, joyous, outrage, shock
  • David vs. Goliath syndrome victory of the little guy

20. Extenders & Enhancers forviral campaigns

  • Make it a series (BMW, Old Spice)
  • Make it a challenge
  • Turn it into a game
  • Add ratings and/or comments keep the conversation going!
  • Add non-profit engagement
  • Add political engagement Obama is a great example
  • Allow consumer customization
  • Provide value-adds for participation (music downloads, free video, unique content, etc.)
  • Tweet about it regularly

21. Extenders, enhancers, cont.

  • Create desktop widgets(Staples, Southwest, etc.)
  • Develop mobile applications
  • Real world events tied to online promotions
  • Throw in something FREE doesnt matter what, so long as its free!

22. 10 critical steps to a successful viral marketing action plan

  • BUILDYOURUSERBASEFIRST!!Its hard to go viral with twelve users
  • Define your overall objectives - quantitative & qualitative
  • Set benchmarks, metrics and goals
  • Define your digital identity and brand positioning
  • Developspecific strategies for each channel remember, one size doesnotfit all!
  • Choose best of breed tool sets
  • Develop multiple sets of creative with variations of each
  • Evangelize your team, partners and brand ambassadors
  • Test & monitor results
  • Adjust your strategy to focus on most promising channels, andkeeptesting, testing, testing

23. Presented by Michael Crosson

  • Publisher,
  • Founder and Moderator, Social Media Marketing, with over 95,000 members on LinkedIn
  • Vice-President of Sales,
  • Email:[email_address]
  • Ph. 415.299.0637