Can we make a story go viral? Annalee Newitz reckons we can try. Are you an introvert terrified of networking? Susan Cain shows you how to do it without hospitalisation. JP Morgan show us how arrogance and social media don’t mix while TWO tweeters called John Lewis show us how to do it right.
Virality is the social media manager’s Holy Grail. We want content to be talked about and get shared quickly. Annalee Newitz has a theory about virality online that boils down to this: “We measure success by what people aren’t afraid to share with their neighbors, rather than what people will read on their own.” She also has a charmingly shonky diagram illustrating how ambiguity results in fewer shares. So, read it because you will learn things for sure.
While we’re here, agencies often talk about “making a viral”. I understand that they mean a short video with striking characteristics that they hope will go viral, but the term feels a little presumptuous. We could just stop using ‘viral’ as a noun and that would solve the problem, but I digress.
The most patient man on Twitter. Who is amazing, great at Christmas, reliable, professional, quite trustworthy and always delivers when he says he’s going to? Yes, John Lewis, professor of computer science at Virginia Tech is all of these things. How do we know this? Well, he shares his name with one of the UK’s major department stores and, with the launch of John Lewis’ (@JohnLewisRetail) £7 million Christmas advert, our man in Virginia has been responding to a stream of misdirected compliments. He’s a good sport though. As is seven-year-old US schoolboy Grayson Perry…
Can introverts network? Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, reckons we can. In this 20-minute interview with Marie Forleo (shall we mention Marie’s amazing hair again? Yes), Cain gives some very practical advice on how the less gregarious among us can deal with terrible, awful things like networking (reframe it as a chance to find a kindred spirit to have an enjoyable chat with) or feeling drained (“When you’re ready to fly, don’t deny!”). Well worth twenty minutes of your time the next time you’re hiding from the telephone.
JP Morgan – ur doin it wrong. Again. The fallout from the global financial crisis continues apace. In a week where Occupy Wall Street recaptured attention with their audacious Robin Hood purchase and cancellation of $15 million of debt, JP Morgan’s attempt to ‘leverage the powerful potentialities of social media to enhance brand value etc etc’ by hosting a Twitter Q&A spectacularly exploded in their clueless faces. The folk on Twitter told JPMorgan very quickly that they were not welcome round these parts.
While I’m not one to advocate a Twitterstorm, organisations such as JP Morgan deserve all the flak they get – both for their part in the crisis and for the misplaced arrogance of believing their marketing muscle has currency in a medium that rewards authenticity and transparency.
Daddy or Chips? visits Mayflower. If you will indulge me a little and allow me to present my latest chilled house mix by my DJ alter ego Daddy or Chips? You can stream the mix on Mixcloud and, if you like it, sign up to the mailing list for future releases and the like.
Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media and content creation for individuals and small businesses. Get in touch to see how you can make the best use of your time and energy as you put together your social media plans.