Entries with tag social media .

Generate Buzz: 6 Tips for Making Content Go Viral

Why is it that some videos go viral while others don't get shared at all?  To answer that, we turn to the book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On.  In Contagious, marketing professor Jonah Berger identifies a framework, STEPPS, which explains why certain things gain immediate popularity.  Berger recommends that to create viral content, organizations use as many of the key ideas depicted in STEPPS as possible:

  1. Social Currency.  We care what our peers think. As such, we share things that make us look good.  For instance, Berger mentions how people like to feel like insiders and so information about discreet bars, secret dining clubs, etc. is more likely to be passed on to others.

  2. Triggers.  We typically don't plan our conversations in advance.  So, if you're trying to promote a product, it's helpful if it can be linked to a common trigger—something that people are reminded of frequently so that a conversation about your product occurs organically.  By way of example, Berger says that the Mars company experienced unexpected higher sales of its Mars candy bar when NASA Pathfinder landed on Mars.  Why?  Because people remembered Mars Bar based on something that was happening in their external environment.

  3. Emotion.  Content that generates strong emotion—even if that emotion is anger—is more likely to go viral.  This explains the plethora of animal videos and outraged petitions in your Facebook feed.

  4. Public.  Want content to cause people to take a specific action?  People are a lot more likely to take action if it's something they see others doing.  For instance, the Movember Foundation encourages men to grow a mustache during the month of November to raise funds for men's health.  This idea caught on rapidly, because it's something that takes place in public—people actually see more men walking around with mustaches which naturally, generates curiosity.

  5. Practical Value.  We like to help others.  If we have knowledge that will make someone's life easier, we're more likely to share it.  That's one reason you'll see so many how-to's and helpful hacks online.

  6. Stories.  While people may not remember the specific features of your product, they are likely to recall a memorable story about it.  If you can tell an interesting story about how someone used your product, people are more apt to pass the information along. 

5 Social Media Trends to Expect in 2017

What's the future of social media?  Learn what the experts are forecasting for 2017:

  1. Growth of Chatbots.  Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise, and anyone who's spoken to Apple's Siri knows that chatbots do a decent job of answering common questions.  In 2017, expect more companies to use bots for basic customer service queries, freeing humans up for more complex interactions.

  2. Video Domination.  Snapchat's video content receives over 10 billion daily views.  With more and more companies discovering how popular video can be, this type of content will become increasingly popular in business marketing strategies.

  3. Expiring Content.  Snapchat has led the way here as well.  With Snapchat Stories—which only last for 24 hours—people are feeling a greater sense of urgency about the content they consume.  Instagram has followed in Snapchat's footsteps by offering its own version of stories called Instagram Stories.  There is so much noise in the social media space that in the future, experts are predicting that more companies will create expiring content to get people's attention.

  4. More Vicarious Experiences.  It used to be that you could just post a photo of an event you visited, and that was enough.  Nowadays, people want more.  They're looking for vicarious experiences—for example, discovering what attending the event is like through live video or 360 images.  Expect to see a growth in live video as businesses create content that makes you feel like you're actually in attendance at various events.

  5. Growing Importance of Influencers.  Influencers are people with large fan bases who endorse specific products—Kim Kardashian, for example.  As businesses look for new, effective ways to reach their target audience, expect more and more companies to turn to influencers to promote their brands.


More of the Biggest Social Media Fails from 2016

In a previous post, we listed some of the biggest social media fails of 2016.  However, there were so many of them that we have more for you!  Here are the rest of 2016’s most noteworthy social media fails:

  1. Society Creates a Jerk.  Microsoft made an “AI” Twitter bot that was designed to learn from its users through conversation.  Sounds great, right?  Maybe it would have been if the experiment had gone as planned.  In less than a day, Twitter trolls turned the bot, Tay, into a racist jerk.  Microsoft ended up having to delete Tay’s tweets and put the project on hold.

  2. It’s Good to Be a Girl” Campaign Is Bad, Bad, Bad.  Fashion brand Vera Bradley attempted to modernize its brand by launching the campaign, “It’s Good to be a Girl.”  The company created subway posters with the hashtag, “itsgoodtobeagirl,” that included messages like, “We’ll take a handbag over a briefcase any day,” “That moment when a gentleman offers you his seat,” and “Ordering a soy-milk half-caf vanilla latte without judgment.”  The campaign was derided as a sexist fail by many in its target audience with one tweeter stating that the campaign reduces women to “lipsticks, purses, and subservience.”   

The Biggest Social Media Fails of 2016

At the end of the year, we always enjoy taking a look back at some of the biggest social media mistakes we’ve seen.  Behold our roundup of some of the biggest fails in 2016:

  1. Coca-Cola’s Russian Blunder…International corporations have to be especially careful with their posts and tweets.  Take, for example, Coca-Cola’s recent experience.  The company posted a Christmas card that displayed a map of Russia.  However, many Russians found the map highly offensive, because it excluded the Kaliningrad region, Crimea, and the Kuril Islands.  When Coke attempted to correct the error—by sending out an updated map—the Ukrainians were offended because Crimea was now represented as Russian territory.  The outcry was so large that within hours, the Twitter hashtag #BanCocaCola was trending.  Ultimately, Coca-Cola apologized and removed the map.

  2. A Texas Mattress Company Makes Light of 9/11.  On 9/11, Miracle Mattress posted a Facebook video advertising a “Twin Towers” sale.  In the video, store employees are shown screaming and falling backward onto mattresses, representing the fallen North and South Towers.  Why the store manager thought this would be a successful marketing tool is anyone’s guess.  Later, the owner of Miracle Mattress apologized and said that going forward, any new marketing promotions would be subjected to a stringent approval process.    

Just Don’t: 6 Social Media No-Nos

Unfortunately, mismanaging your social media accounts can cost you a job, a relationship, or even your safety.  To make sure you’re protected, here are 6 things that you should never do on social media:

  1. Share Vacation Plans.  Don’t return from your trip abroad to a house that’s been ransacked.  While it’s tempting to share your vacation plans with your friends and family, do it privately.  You don’t want to announce to criminals the best dates to rob your home.

  2. Write A Confessional.  Hate your job?  Have a drug problem?  Can’t stand your clients?  Keep it to yourself.  Research shows that 15% of companies have disciplined employees for oversharing on social media and 8% of companies have gone so far as to fire someone.

  3. Post Inappropriate Photos/Videos.  What’s inappropriate?  Anything that may come back to haunt you in the future: nude photos, videos of you wearing a lampshade on your head or using drugs and alcohol, etc.

  4. Divulge Controversial Opinions.  Some things are better left unsaid.  Or in the case of social media, unwritten.  Rather than jumping into the fray when controversial topics are debated—like politics or religion—keep in mind that this behavior could cost you friendships or job opportunities.

  5. Detail Relationship Problems.  If you’re having a dispute with your spouse, keep it to yourself.  Posting these types of issues online are not only detrimental to your relationship, but will also cause others to question your judgment.

  6. Post Anything You Don’t Want Shared.  Before posting anything, ask yourself how you would react if your post suddenly went viral.  PR executive Justine Sacco sent a tweet meant as a joke—“Going to Africa.  Hope I don’t get AIDS.  Just kidding. I’m white!”`—right before boarding a plane for South Africa.  Because she only had 170 Twitter followers, she didn’t expect much of a reaction.  However, the tweet went viral and by the time she landed, she had received tens of thousands of angry tweets in response.  Ultimately, she was fired as a result.  Social media lives on forever so think twice before you post anything that could be misinterpreted.