Archive for reddit

Digg Digg Helps Me Go Viral

[tweetmeme]My regular readers may notice a difference in my site. I’ve cleared out my left column (in WordPress parlance this is called the left skinny side bar) except for my photo. It’s not ego but the web is a personal medium so I’ve left it there.

But what’s also new is the floating icons in my blog’s background. It’s a WordPress plugin called Digg Digg.  It appears when you are reading the complete article in my Blog section. (See it on the red background to the left?). What’s cool is that you can’t make it go away. If you scroll down this blog post the icons follow you. YES!

The purpose is to entice my readers to click on one of the links so that my blogs get posted to social media sites which helps to boost my search rankings. I hope you don’t mind my sharing this little secret with you.

You know the usual suspects like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Click on the button and a blog  (or newspaper article) gets retweeted or posted to a reader’s account. But you may not be as familiar with the social bookmarking sites Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon. They go a step further and let you vote for your favorites. It’s sort of a popularity contest. To briefly describe them:

Digg. This site describes itself as carrying the “best news, videos and pictures on the web as voted on by the Digg community.” If you like a blog, or news story you are reading you Digg it by clicking on the icon.

StumbleUpon. According to the site, “StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences.”

Reddit. On this site, users submit content including new stories, blogs, and commentary and then readers vote it up or down. The posts with the most “up” votes reach the coveted first page.

In this humorous TED video, you’ll discover the power of these communities. Reddit founder Alexis Ohnian describes how Reddit voters helped the Greenpeace organization save humpback whales by voting to name Greenpeace’s symbolic whale “Mr. Splashy Pants.” At first Greenpeace didn’t like the name, for obvious reasons. But because the name was wildly successful with Reddit voters, and garnered a huge amount of publicity, “Mr. Splashy Pants” ultimately became the backbone of Greenpeace’s marketing campaign.

Is Viral Marketing Being Oversold When a Tweet is Only Retweeted 1.4 Times?

"Please retweet me, please!"

Please retweet me, please!

[tweetmeme]I must say I was shocked when I learned  that of all the billions of tweets out there, most are only retweeted 1.4 times.  Of course, this isn’t counting Ashton Kutcher and other Influentials.  I’m talking about the tweets of mere mortals like you and me.

I learned this at the Viral Marketing Meetup held in New York last evening.  The impressive roster of speakers included Duncan Watts, principal research scientist a Yahoo! Research; Tim Schigel, CEO of sharethis.com; and Erik Martin, community manager at reddit.com.   It was a heady session because all the speakers focused on the metrics – is the frenzy around viral marketing actually producing business and building brands?

Is word of mouth (WOM) being oversold?

The jury is still out, of course, because social media as a marketing tool is still in its infancy.

But Duncan Watts, a professor at Columbia University before moving over to Yahoo, is skeptical.  He discounts the notion that highly popular Influentials are any more successful in starting a trend than the rank-and-file.  In a Fast Company article from two years ago, he is quoted as saying, “If society is ready to embrace a trend, almost anyone can start one–and if it isn’t, then almost no one can,” Watts concludes.  This article is a good read and just as timely today.  (Not everyone embraces Watts’ points of view).

Watts backs his assertions with research involving thousands of subjects, conducted while he was at Columbia, which is how he learned that most of our tweets land with a thud.  No zipping around the world for our 140 characters.

Is Intel Building its Brand on Facebook?

Coincidentally, I also attended a webinar yesterday entitled “9 Companies Doing Facebook Right and What You Need to Know.”  The presenters were Facebook expert Mari Smith, and Michael Stelzner, white paper guru and founder of the Social Media Examiner.  Intel was one of the case studies.  It was all very interesting, but I had to ask myself, what is Intel’s Facebook presence doing to build its brand?   Is this viral marketing at its best?

Currently, the company is running two contests:  one in which Intel is giving away PCs to build its database of fans, and in the other aspiring Latin, Urban and Singer/Songwriter artists are invited to upload their best original song in the Intel “Superstars” Competition.  Fans vote for their favorites with cash prizes for the top 20 winners.

I’m not being grumpy.  I think it’s great that ordinary folks can win new computers and that the company is supporting emerging artists.  But I’m trying to see how these contests are helping a company that makes core processors.  I’m sure great minds thought up these promotions, so who am I to question them.

What I learned makes me wonder if we should retrieve old-fashioned mass advertising from the graveyard.  When big companies, as well as small ones, are huffing and puffing to attract customers one at a time through WOM, reaching a few million customers with a 30-second ad sure sound appealing.

If you need assistance with improving your viral marketing, contact me today.