With this being viral marketing Monday, and especially with it being Thanksgiving week, I wanted to say thanks to all the people who follow me on all of the places I blog/micro-blog/share at, and give back a little to my readers, even on this very new blog of mine. I really do appreciate the people who read my posts, ask questions, and share all of my stuff with their friends and other people in their networks. I am hoping to be able to answer some of your viral marketing questions. I have already received several questions related to viral marketing and I will address them here, but it got me thinking about this being the perfect opportunity to answer more. So go ahead and feel free to ask away, I am open for viral marketing questions!!!
Here are the questions that I received this week: (the ones related to viral marketing or social media)
1. What exactly is Twitter, and do you use it for viral marketing? Twitter is a micro-blogging service that connects people in a way I have never seen online. You are limited to 140 characters of space per post, but you can post as much as you like and share pretty much anything you like. When I was explaining Twitter to a neighbor of mine the other day I desribed it as LinkedIn without all the fat (because he is familiar with LinkedIn). I say that because I have been able to meet some of the most amazing professionals in my area and in my field (like LinkedIn), and Twitter made it super easy. Just click on the follow – I don’t have to confirm anything, I don’t have to write a recommendation, all I have to do is just connect with them an start to check out their posts. (Check out how easy it is to follow someone by following me on Twitter). If I don’t like what they have to say I can simply not follow them anymore, and only follow the individuals I want. Now don’t get me wrong, I love LinkedIn and fully recommend it for professionals (and I still use it a lot), but that was just my way of describing what Twitter was (to a neighbor who had never heard ot it – or micro-blogging). Those of you who like to argue for arguing sake, I know Twitter is nothing like LinkedIn, but I was using it for helping give someone the vision who had never heard of it.
2. How do you come up with so many viral marketing ideas? It is either a blessing or a curse thinking like a social media marketer. I can’t do anything, go anywhere, take a picture of anything or do anything like that without thinking of how I could turn this into a viral marketing post? It has gotten so bad that I even got a neighbor doing it, and we will be out somewhere and something will happen and he will say; “Now that would be a great viral post”, even if it wouldn’t be, he still is catching on. The best answer for this is that I feel I have a pretty good understanding of what each social media site is looking for, and I have been using them long enough to see the kind of content that goes hot, and the kind that goes away. It goes way beyond that though, I feel I have a pretty good idea of how the site has to be set up in order for it to do well. Quick example: if there is any (even little) hint of prices (or pushing/marketing) on a story you want to do well on Digg (even if its worthy) it will probably get buried quicker then I can finish this sentence. You need to do your research and see what kind of content is going hot, and really understand what the users of the specific networks are looking for. I see some stories that have made the front page of Digg and think to myself – that’s a great idea and I have a story/idea that are along those same lines (but different enough) and I start to create content!
3. Which social media sites do you like the best for viral marketing? It depends on what the post/article/story is about, but in general I really like Digg, Stumble Upon, Reddit, Propeller and Twitter (in the order) – all of which contribute either traffic, links back, SERPs, or are useful for just getting the word out. Yahoo Buzz had potential, but like with anything Yahoo touches, they break it. This question alone deserves at least 5 or 6 posts by itself, but this is my quick answer for now, and I will get to the longer answered posts at a later day!
4. Do you use Facebook for viral marketing? While I think Facebook is a great place for sharing your content, and getting more of the word out to your friends and people you have connected with, I do not think its a great “viral marketing” tool – a great marketing tool, but not a great viral marketing tool. You have other amazing options to pushing massive amounts of traffic to your site via Facebook, like the Facebook Ads where you can geo-target and gender target the specific folks you want. That is the route I would suggest for anyone wanting to get massive amounts of really good (targeted) traffic from Facebook. Feel free to friend me on Facebook.
Those are 4 of (what I felt were) the best questions that were asked to me last week regarding viral marketing. I want to answer as many questions as you guys may have, so please feel free to ask away. Submit your questions via comments here, via Twitter, or by emailing me mat (at) dreamsystemsmedia (dot) com.