Monday, February 22, 2010

The Science of Social Media Marketing: What do people share?

I don't usually upload videos directly, but this one from O'reillyMedia on the The Science of Social Media Marketing is a must watch for all interested in using Social Media to reach out, influence, spread ideas, create memes. The webcast draws parallels with natural biological development and the growth and spread of an idea using concepts like longevity, fecundity, and reproduction to drive home the points.

I have listed some of the key points the video covers that are of special interest to me (interspersed with some of my takes as well in italics and blue font):

  1. How ideas become viral/contagious, become a meme (a term coined by Richard Dawkins in his The Selfish Gene--a must read by the way; good ideas don't necessarily become memes and sometimes silly ideas stick--anyone who has read Made to Stick knows that, e.g., Urban Legends...)
  2. How will you test which marketing efforts are working--through iteration 
  3. What is "selection pressure"--how will you create something that can withstand today's selection pressures
  4. Proverbs stick; to make Tweets stand out from the stream, is this a good standard to follow
  5. Spread of ideas by imitation; what kind of ideas are people likely to imitate (read retweet here in the world of Twitter; imitation can raise the "perceived value of an idea" and this leads to it eventually becoming a meme if passed along enough)
  6. Don't let a void develop around your brand; lack of information can lead to rumours (Tiger Woods is probably a case in point from recent times)
  7. An idea changes a little bit as it moves along (remember the game of Chinese Whispers)--generate ideas that will become better and better as it moves along virally... 
  8. The marketing funnel beginning with exposure to the idea, awareness about it and motivation to spread it can be tapped using SoMe platforms
  9. Key steps: seeding, identifying influencers, cutting through the clutter (take advantage of human's selective attention by being more relevant and personalized)
  10. Avoid link fatigue--don't post too many links at a time
  11. Identify time of week when a social media platform like Twitter is likely to be less active (like a Friday evening) to post links and Tweets; likely to get the most attention
  12. What sort of psychological or linguistic traits are people likely to RT and thus move along--use of words like I, us, and so on
  13. People will pass along links and ideas when it is of personal relevance to them (know the audience well; just as when designing a learning course)
  14. Re-tweets tend to be more NOUN HEAVY, novel, where the original tweet had words like Pls RT
  15. Be RT worthy by creating RT worthy content
  16. Self references work the least...!!! 
A related article you may like to read: Rethinking Online Course Marketing: Build a Tribe in Six Steps

Do see the webcast below...The Science of Social Media Marketing...


  1. Interesting and informative article.One must watch video of this post. Good work by Sahana.


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