Viral Marketing in Social Media Pt. 3

by Thomas Denegre
Posted on February 22, 2010

[Continued from Pt. 2]


Today, FaceBook is the fastest growing social media platform and a great starting point to launch a viral marketing campaign. In 2010, Pepsi announced they will not advertise in the Super Bowl. Rather, they will invest their advertising using Social Media platforms. Unlike the one-way push of TV advertising communications, FaceBook and other forms of social media allows you to capture your audience, engage them in a conversation, nurture the relationship, convert them into sales, retain their loyalty, monitor and shepherd their word-of-mouth recommendations, and scale peer approval ratings without restraint.

FaceBook Statistics for early 2010
? There are now 350+ Million users
? 50% perform daily updates
? Less than 1/3 are college students
? 30% of users are just in the U.S.A.
? The fasting growing segment is greater than 35 years old

The first place to start on FaceBook is to build your own profile and company FaceBook page. Naturally, you want to cross link all of your portals to one another; website, LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter. FaceBook has excellent tools to identify and target you audience down to the granular and local level. Use it. Similar to tribes, FaceBook users with like minded interests will gravitate to stories and events. Always make your content with good quality. You want to be authentic and interactive.

FaceBook requires dedication, creativity, and interactivity. To compete for attention you must constantly provide a steady stream of content, promotions, events, and communications.

As a company you?ll have to define who you are to the market. What?s your brand and personality? Your purpose is not to sell but to inform and share knowledge. Through tacit approval FaceBook users will accept you and be your fan.

Engaging FaceBook users requires a two way conversation or being interactive. Feed them a good story or video to determine if they will click the ?LIKE? button. Encourage them to comment. As your level of trust increases with the users, seek to convert their actions using promotions and discounts into joining a website or making a purchase.

Get your FaceBook fans involved in contests and promotions. Make them do things to share photographs or videos. Let them all share in the fun and discovery.


There?s a scarce commodity called the consumer?s attention. Some call it the ?Attention Economy,? whereby a marketplace has developed such that consumers agree to receive services in exchange for their attention. If you want the attention of a consumer, just think of ?what?s in it for me?? News feeds are a primary example where they provide a steady stream of current news in exchange that you look at their advertisements. The end game is to prompt a ?call-to-action? from the consumer. Since you can never ask directly for a sale, you must provide a steady stream of relevant news, entertainment, knowledge, or tools. By using behavioral targeting tools you?ll be able to steer quality prospects to a call-to-action.
Gaining the attention of the consumer requires three important attributes:

? RELEVANCY - Your information is relevant to your target audience
? CHANNEL DISTRIBUTION - Channel the information through the appropriate social media channels where your target audience is available
? ENDORSEMENTS - Engage your consumers to be your trusted references through sneak preview webinars, product reviews, endorsements, and recommendations.

Once you gained the attention you need to manage, measure, and respond. Today there are many solutions to manage and measure your interactive marketing. These solutions will manage the entire lifecycle of a customer engagement to determine both your campaign?s Return of Investment, and the life time value of your customer. You?re also looking to manage the Consideration Factor. Before a consumer makes a purchase they?ll seek peer reviews and product recommendations. After the consumer makes a purchase they will experience the product and form their own opinions upon which they will cycle back comments for new consumers to review. Some of these companies include Aprimo, Eloqua, HubSpot, Omniture, Based on the 80-20 rule your goal is to seek your most profitable customers and understand the process to achieve these results.


According to the 2009 Cone Consumer New Media Study, consumers are most interested in information that will inform their purchasing decisions. Respondents said they want companies to tell them what is in products and how they are made (85%) and provide additional details about information, labels and claims shared offline (e.g., in the store, on the package, in an advertisement) (83%). MediaPost January 22, 2010

The life cycle of acquiring and retaining customer has a predictable flow. Phase 1 starts with generating Awareness of the product/service through the use of various marketing channels and campaigns. Phase-2 is consideration of the product based on peer evaluations, recommendations, and other social media tools. After the purchase of the product the real heavy lifting begins to ensure the customer?s expectations are met and they have a satisfactory experience. Phase-3 is the formation and sharing the consumer?s experience with the product. Typically there will be three types of customers. (1) Immensely satisfied and willing to share their experience, (2) Satisfied and complacent customers with no passion to share, and (3) the Dissatisfied customer who will tell the world of their terrible experience as they seek to restore their balance in life through retaliation.

As we can see from the illustration, word-of-mouth recommendations are cycled back to the consideration phase for the next customer. It therefore becomes important to manage these word-of-mouth recommendations by ensuring a good experience, observing the results, and responding immediately to damage control.

If we can measure it, then we can manage it. As your campaign reaches your audience you?re looking to measure some key variables to ensure your message is reaching the right target audience, you captured, their attention, engaged them in an interactive process for purchase consideration, convert them into a sale, and finally offer the experience to steer and share their positive opinion. As such you are looking to measure variables such as; Traffic Visits, Click through behavior patterns, Conversion rates, and Source of visitors.


As a general rule, we are fearful of things we do not understand. As marketing and advertising professionals, once we embrace the idea of democracy and participation in sharing content to our target audience, we can enjoy the immense surge of collective wisdom and the loyalty of our fans. In building a business it?s expensive to acquire new customers and pointless to have a hole in your bucket when they constantly drain out. Embracing the power of Web 2.0, deploying viral marketing, and using traditional media platforms can give you a full complement of tools to reach a vast audience who are most interested in having a relationship with your organization. By increasing the ease of customer access and participation you?ll be able to build a loyal fan base that can deliver a steady stream of profitable revenue. As many business leaders have discovered, by taking care of your customers first, your profits can be realized.

After graduating from Bates College (Maine) I became a U.S. Navy pilot flying the P3-C Orion. Our mission was to hunt and track down Soviet submarines. While doing recruiting work I earned my MBA from Southern New Hampshire University

I entered the advertising industry launching and managing multiple city magazines. I was highly successful and awarded numerous times for building a magazine division and acknowledged for strategic marketing, increasing revenues, leading and motivating employees, retaining customers, and managing cash flow. My strong skills in strategic planning, creative marketing, promotion, value added selling, and communications became invaluable.

Later I leveraged my business building experiences and entered the software industry where my talents excelled at selling and marketing intangible solutions. I worked and consulted for a variety of companies, such as Wolters Kluwer Financial, Quest Software, Cincom Systems, Emerson Network Power, Greif Packaging, Ohio Indemnity Corp, Haas Publishing Company, Homes & Land Publishing, Harmon Homes Publishing, Ohio Savings Bank, Preferred Mortgage Company, and PEO Associates.

As a proven business builder you can be confident in knowing that I understand the process of why the customer buys and how we can tap into your core competency to communicate with effectiveness your unique competitive advantage matched to your most profitable target audience.

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