I did a similar post on another blog I co-author about a year ago titled how to think like a social media marketer (thus part 2 here), and decided to revisit the topic of “thinking like a social media marketer” and bring it up to date a little more, and give some fresh ideas.
Last night I was out playing with my kids, and the kids in the neighborhood when my son thought it would be a good idea to get his Tonka truck out and ride it down the hill (see picture). It made me think of so many viral markering ideas all over again.
Pretty soon, all of the kids went and got their own Tonka trucks and it turned into a big ordeal of racing and having fun zooming down the little hill we have by our house. They probably spent a good hour just zooming up and down this hill (yes they slept good).
If you remember from the original post, the reason I included the picture is because I was sharing a viral marketing idea to a toy website owner. If you could find 10 funny videos, or 10 funny pictures related to kids and Tonka Trucks and title it “10 Ways To Play With Tonka Trucks That Hasbro Never Intended” or something like that it would probably do pretty well on social media sharing websites. Plus, I was trying to share with you the concept of finding related ideas and topics, even if you are not selling Tonka trucks specifically, but you are selling kids toys. (see the relationship?)
My reason for re-visiting the topic is to give you some fresh ideas, and also remind you that you need to be thinking like a marketer in general, and not just a social media marketer. You need to realize opportunities in front of you and take advantage of them, but you also need to make sure they are going to be opportunities that have lasting effect. There are many viral marketing ideas that generate buzz but have no lasting effect, and this was re-emphasized to me by a post I read last night on promoting a new blog by Sugarrae. Sugarrae talked about how amazing and long lasting viral pieces are if they are done correctly, but how worthless they are if done wrong.
My focus when I posted this about a year ago was to just to help give people ideas that would generate buzz that drove insaine amounts of traffic in a short period of time (for sites like Digg), as well as building a lot of links in the process. I have since learned if the campaign is more thought out then just a viral “buzz generating” peice that could do well once, it has a much longer lasting effect that will drive more traffic and build links for longer then just a couple of days. When done right, I have seen traffic from social media sites years after the campagin was launched, more traffic from search engines because the story ran, and links that continue to pile up because it was just that good and people keep finding it (and talking about).
Things change, Digg changes, other social media websites change, rules change, but there is one thing that stays consistant – and that is if you create a good viral marketing campaign it will do well no matter what the rules are, or who the power social site, or major search engine is at the time.