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Let's Go Viral!

Adrian Bredeson
by Adrian Bredeson on Dec 18, 2009 2:26:00 PM

Recently, I attended a Webinar put on by Dan Zarrella entitled The Science of Social Media. Overall, I was impressed by his research and findings. With a background in psychology, I'm always interested in what drives people to do things. What compels people to become active on Social Media Marketing channels, and why do people share information via the Web?

Dan's presentation broke it down into three steps: exposure, awareness and motivation. When you want something to go viral, those are the three things you need. So how do you go about doing that? Let's take a closer look at the three important steps:

Exposure:
The more people you can expose your idea to, the better off you are. Having a Twitter account is great, but the more followers you have, the more people you are exposing your ideas to. While quantity is an important factor, quality is even more important. Having a few people who are very influential in your industry following you will be much more beneficial than having a bunch of people who have nothing to do with your industry.

Awareness:
Once you have people to expose your ideas or information to, you need to make them aware of it. Social Media is an excellent way to make people aware of your content and announcements. You have to cut through the clutter to make sure your content reaches the eyes or ears of your intended audience. Create content that is both original and familiar. Come up with a new way to present your information. Or utilize an old format with sensational new information. You want to attract your audiences' attention without confusing them.

Motivation:
Once you've cut through the noise and you've exposed your message to your intended public and made them aware of your content, you have to motivate them to spread the word. The last step may in fact be the toughest. Daniel's research shows that using the phrase "Please ReTweet" in your Tweets does in fact work. Also, it's important to avoid Link Fatigue, so don't send out too many links at once. When you're announcing something, make sure you haven't been overloading your audience with too much information. Time your announcement correctly. Include a call to action, so that those that receive your announcement have something to do with it. Whether you're hoping to bring people to your Web site, to buy something, or simply to pass the information on, make sure you let them know what you want them to do.

Going viral is important to many marketers today. While there's no secret formula or trick to make sure you go viral, there are definitely ways to increase the likelihood. You need fresh, informative, interesting content to start with. After that, you need the three ingredients discussed in this post: Exposure, Awareness and Motivation. Mix it all up and you'll be on your way to viral success!

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Adrian Bredeson
Written by Adrian Bredeson
As Director, SEO and Social Media at E-Power Marketing, Adrian is primarily focused on the organic success of client programs through SEO, social media and content marketing. Adrian also heads up the agency's marketing initiatives. With a background in psychology and PR, her passion for telling a brand's story by understanding and engaging with their target audiences has been put to good use at E-Power!

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