All posts tagged riding the viral wave

There is no doubt that social media lends itself to negative behaviour. The inadvertent anonymity it offers makes it ripe for abuse from spineless, cowardly bullies.  Its advent represented a revolution for stalkers. Imagine how they must have rejoiced when they realised they could now invade their prey’s personal space from the comfort of their own (smelly, dark, closed-curtained?) bedrooms.

Social media doesn’t just aid people with existing behavioural problems.  It unleashed a whole new wave of disciples. I mean, it’s fairly normal these days to keep tabs on your ex via Facebook, but the news is full of cases where dumpees have taken revenge on dumpers via social media, whether it be posting illicit photos or other, equally cringe-worthy actions of public shaming.

Social media represents the evolution of bullying – providing a platform for constant psychological torture and creating a cyber-hell that transcends into real life. From the vicious trolling on Twitter, to the teens coerced into suicide via Facebook and Ask.FM, to ‘catfishing’ (? fodder for another blog methinks!), we are relentlessly bombarded by accounts of hideous (in)human behaviour facilitated by social media.

There is no doubt that, in the wrong hands, social media is a powerful force of evil, BUT(and you’ll be delighted to hear it’s a great big, shiny, BUT) it has also shown itself to be an equally powerful force for good.

For a recent example of this, just google ‘Dancing Man’. In a nutshell, hideous fat-shaming bullies posted photos of a man dancing on his own to 4chan (an anonymous bulletin board) with the caption: “Spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing.”

DANCING-MAN

As you can see, in the first photo, the man is dancing happily, while in the second he looks downtrodden and embarrassed. So far, so despicable, and an example of social media at its worst. BUT (it’s another shiny one!), rather than join the bullies in their persecution of an innocent man, most people have felt sorry for him.  A group of female dancers, lead by Cassandra Fairbanks, started an online campaign to find him. Their aim? To fly him out to LA to dance with them, thereby sticking two fingers up to bullies everywhere.

The online search, spearheaded by the hashtag #FindDancingMan quickly went viral and after just 12 hours, the man got in touch with the following tweet:

dancing_man_found

Now, he has been sent a VIP invite to dance party in LA with 2000 women and Moby and Pharrell DJing.

A similarly heart-warming tale is that of disabled pensioner, Alan Barnes.  The partially-sighted 67 year old was left with a broken collar bone after being mugged outside his home in Low Fell, Gateshead. The distressed pensioner was scared about staying in his home because he no longer felt safe there.

After reading about his story, kind-hearted local beautician Katie Cutler set up a fundraising page to help Alan with the cost of moving to a new home. Katie had hoped to raise a few hundred pounds, but by the power of social media, her appeal went viral and thousands of pounds poured in from around the world. She ended up handing over a whopping £324k to the pensioner, whilst simultaneously restoring his faith in human kindness.

katie_cutler_alan_barnes_hug

On a smaller scale, a Brighton blogger and newly-single mum who tweeted about not being able to afford any toys for her 3 young daughters last Xmas, was staggered by the results. In her own words:

‘…strangers who had their own children and family to buy for, yet took the time, and budget to pick presents for my daughters (and me!), wrapped and sent in time for Christmas. I don’t think a more generous thing will ever happen to me in my life and I am humbled by the milk of their kindness.’

Click here to read more of her story.

So, how’s that for some heart-warming examples of the kindness of strangers, expedited by social media? Sadly, there will always be wrong uns who choose to go over to the dark side, but let’s take heart in the fact that it’s not their stories that the global social media community chooses to celebrate  and share.

 

Content-Marketing-Image-Credit-ADMA-Blog

Step 1

Write your content (or get someone to write it for you if you’re short on time or writing just isn’t your thing).  Make sure it’s written well, as poor copy can seriously damage your prospective customer’s perception of your brand. Which leads me seamlessly into a little plug.  If writing isn’t your forte, do think about outsourcing it.  Our team of experienced marketers can write killer copy for your brand for a lot less than you imagine.

 

Step 2

Make it great – your content that is.  By this I mean take care to ensure it is well written, engaging, informative and up-to-the-minute. The internet is awash with mediocre content and in order to win the attention and engagement of your target audience you need to do better. When it comes to content marketing, you need to bear in mind that you’re competing not just with brands with a similar offering to  yours but with everyone who is creating content that appeals to your target market.  I realise this can be make it  extremely daunting. Your content needs to be first rate….which leads me back to that plug!

 

Step 3

Vary the format of your content. A picture speaks a thousand words.  As does an infographic or a video. A well-chosen visual can enrich your content offering no-end. The key to success is to offer a well-rounded mix of different content themes and formats. Test these different content types and themes to see which work best for you.

 

Step 4

Create something new.  Or if that feels a bit too impossible in your field, at least make sure that your spin on the topic is fresh and adds value.

 

Step 5

Create a likeable and engaging voice for your brand. To be honest, getting this step right can often help you simultaneously conquer Step 4. It’s often not what you say, but how you say it that attracts followers, fans and other types of loyalty.

 

Step 6

Be consistent in providing frequent updates.  Once you commit to content marketing there’s no looking back.

 

Step 7

Create a content calendar.  No successful content marketing strategy is complete without an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar formalises your plan to regularly output quality content. This consistency is the key to SEO-friendly, effective content marketing. You want Google and your readers to anticipate your content – creating an editorial calendar, and adhering to it, means you never disappoint.

 

Step 8

Create viral-friendly content. Although I’m not convinced there is a bona-fide formula for creating viral content, there are definitely ways to improve your chances.

 

Step 9

Last but not least…Promote your content.  There is absolutely no point whatsoever in following all the previous steps to creating great content, if you don’t tell anyone about it. Social media is a great forum for this.  Social media and high quality content work hand in hand to increase engagement and drive traffic to your website, where you can then start to convert it into customers.

 

Step 10

Marvel at the increased engagement levels and sales that are the natural result of a successful content marketing strategy.  Not technically a step this one, but a ten-step guide feels much more aesthetically pleasing than a nine-step version…don’t you think?!

 

If you haven’t seen the Gangnam Style mania that has gripped the world you very likely don’t spend much time online.

Psy, the Korean rapper who created Gangnam style has created what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon describes as a “force for world peace”.  Yes really.

The people who have created “Eton Style” are not alone in riding the Gangnam Style ship, but are a really great example of piggybacking on something that has gone viral and still creating really high quality compelling content that is very shareable…

Enjoy.

Eton Style