What do you think of when I say viral?
The visualthesarus.com is kinda cool
To me, “Viral” mostly conjures up bad feelings right? Computer virus, swine flu, bird flu, epidemic, pandemic.
So what is So good about a ‘viral’ social media marketing campaign? Are you trying to infect healthy people? or just sell them crap?
Let’s look at some campaigns that worked:
Target Bullseye Gives
Choose your own charity.
Ford gave 100 people a car for a while and let them tell everyone about their experience!
Free stuff - sustenance, prizes and notoriety!
You have to think ‘What is the intention of you marketing campaign?’ Is it just to sell stuff or is there some ‘good’ in it? Your campaigns will actually be successful if you’re:
- Helping out
- Target’s campaign is for charity
- Dunkin donuts’ campaign worked as they have away stuff.
- Providing a voice
- Ford certainly gave their customers a voice by letting them sprout off about their cars!
- Connecting people
- Improving businesses
I was interested to see that Laurel Papworth’s Jan 09 list of cool social media campaigns from Australian organisations. They all ticked the boxes from my list above. It includes The Power House Museum, Aussie Defence Force, non-profits and retailers, plus they also
- provided stimulation for people’s minds
- raised people’s level of consciousness by making them think - educating them
If you are not aware of any useful things in your campaign, then it is probably wasting people’s time and not particularly successful or indeed sustainable. In fact under viral marketing on Wikipedia is actually states that ‘The basic form of viral marketing is not infinitely sustainable!’
What a waste!
When I was at the recent iMedia Brand Summit in the Hunter Valley (loved it!) much of the conference covered social media and the ability to access huge numbers of people relatively easily BUT
The reality is that if you are doing it purely for sales or personal gain then you have missed the point. In essence a good campaign needs to add value to people’s lives by offering them something they need, or didn’t know they need, online. In this context it is about helping your customers. Make sure you are honest, well actually authentic is a better word.
Think about the ‘core’ message for your customers. What will give them an ah ha moment. Make them realise something that they had never thought of before, never knew.
Truth is, we all know that if we help someone the rewards come back in many many ways. It’s called Karma.