You can’t MAKE something go viral

viralHave you ever tried to MAKE a child eat something they didn’t want to? Pushing it up hill, aren’t you? Same thing with goes with social media and viral campaigns—you can’t MAKE it happen…you can however, do a few things to encourage the process along.

I caught up for a beer with a close friend of mine last night. We were talking about work stuff and ended up chatting about managing clients’ expectations around social media.

The cold truth is posting something on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc doesn’t automagically mean your campaign will go viral. Successful viral campaigns are all based on the same solid principles of traditional marketing–right message, right people, right time. What it comes down to is:

  1. creating a killer offer which is appealing to your audience
  2. telling them clearly what you would like them to do. For example: invite your friends to receive FREE entry into this awesome competition blah, blah
  3. making it easy for them to share it with people. There are a tonne of fabulous free website plug-ins to that make connecting and sharing on social media a no brainer for your audience.

Then test, measure and refine.

So many people forget to test, measure and refine.

Another thing with viral campaigns is they often contain multiple elements and communication methods. Bigger brands like Breaka use offline marketing with online marketing to encourage campaigns to go viral. You don’t have to spend big bucks to get results.

Social media is about making a connection with people. In your planning process think about how you want to interact with your audience, what you want to achieve and find interesting ways (and offers) to keep them engaged and sharing with their friends. Remember it’s a two way conversation.

It can also be useful to start small and build in new components and media channels. If you try to do too much at once, it can be confusing for your audience. Test, measure, refine.

Give it a go—don’t forget to let me know how you go!

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