Viral-Я-Us

If you are interested in making some serious money or garner some followers to your YouTube or other video platforms watch this video.

Being Rickrolled is not always the funniest thing, but this video is completely viral, so, “What makes a video viral?” After some research, I have found that not all viral videos are created equal, but can be broken down into categories. These categories can fluctuate, except for one, Music videos! Just by looking at the sheer number of views on YouTube, it is clear that music videos are king of viral. You may be asking, “I do not know how to sing or how to play an instrument!” Do not fear my musically inept friends, for there are other categories that can make you go viral! I will refer to, “The 7 Most Viral YouTube Video Topics Of All Time” that has ranked a list of categories that people have found to go viral. The list ranks as such:

  1. Music Videos
  2. Kids and Babies
  3. Surprising Talent
  4. WFT?!
  5. Offensive Comedy
  6. Sex (talking about)
  7. Pets and Animals

Let me rewind just a little here. Having a category is a good starting point but it does not represent anything other than that you have begun your quest of online fame. What you really need to ask yourself is, “What is my intention?” or “What is my goal?” Jonah Berger and Katherine L. Milkman, have tackled the question, “What makes content go viral?”  and “What are their characteristics?” They can explain to you more in detail about what other have accomplished and the steps they have taken.  Here is a sample of some of their research:

  1. Positive content is more viral than negative content.
  2. The arousal factor—positive or negative—is more viral than content without emotion
  3. Practically useful content may be more viral because it provides information.

They also give a unique way of coding your video (content) in order to determine how effective it will be. They are listed as:

  1. Anger (People can be angry at certain things where others do not)
  2. Anxiety (Same effect as above but with anxiety)
  3. Awe (“It involves the opening or broadening of the mind and an experience of wow that makes you stop and think.”)
  4. Sadness (Mixed effect with people)
  5. Surprise (Mixed effect)
  6. Practical Utility (Useful material that can be beneficial to the person)
  7. Interest (How much interest it invokes in the person)

As you look over these, you can start to fine-tune your content as to achieve the desired effects to your target audience.  Try some of these techniques out and play around to see what you feel is the most effective way to go viral.

Side note: I miss the old day when viral videos were innocent and genuine. Now, when you see viral videos, you cannot but help to question if this is staged or a viral ad. The true viral videos are the ones where Charlie get his finger bitten, Leeroy Jenkins does it the LEEEEroy way, and Charlie the Unicorn finds the candy mountain, among many others. I would like to consider a different word for true viral and that would be Pure Viral.

The 7 Most Viral YouTube Video Topics Of All Time: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/youtube-video-topics/11125

What Makes online Content Viral?

http://ldi.upenn.edu/uploads/media_items/virality.original.pdf

Charlie’s finger:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM

Leeroy Jenkins:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkCNJRfSZBU

Charlie the Unicorn:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5im0Ssyyus

The Social Spring

After humiliation and despair, what took Mohamed Bouazizi years to establish was taken in minutes. The corrupt police took everything and left him with no way to pay his creditors or to support his family. In order to combat this Mohamed took his battle to the provincial headquarters were he was denied access. He felt dejected and the only way to be heard was by self-immolation. Even though he was not the first to take this route, he was the one that was loved by the community, Hajlaoui Jaafer a close friend of Mohamed said, “”What really gave fire to the revolution was that Mohamed was a very well-known and popular man. He would give free fruit and vegetables to very poor families.”‘ After hearing about what happened the people took ‘”a rock in one hand, a cell phone in the other,” according to Rochdi Horchani – a relative of Mohamed Bouazizi.”
The people of Tunisia took to social media to try to organize and create a movement, but the hurdle they came across was the strict censorship the government had in place. Luckily, the people were smart and started to use web proxies to bypass the censorship, but the fight was just starting, as the government and its loyalists reactivated their Facebook and started to track down those that threatened the political power. Even through the fear and censorship, the people were able to prevail and the protesters flexed their muscles and were able to over-throw the 23-year President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in just 10 days, after Mohamed had passed away. Rather poetic, don’t you think?
In terms of public relations and use of social media, President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, was notified of the immolation of Mohamed but did not visit him until two weeks after. Not only was that too long, but the picture taken had the complete opposite effect that President Zine el was going for. This is a prime example of public relation wreckage, they were not earnest in helping Mohamed and only when things really started to get bad is when they decided to try and derail the movement. Timing is everything in social media and public relations, something the Tunisian government had no comprehension about.
This started on December 17, 2010 and the Arab Spring is still having a significant influence into today. Aljazeera has a great timeline of the effects that this had and is continually tracking the movement that this single movement has had throughout the mid-east. Social media is continually adding fire to the movement and the people of the Mid-East are seeing this as a very productive tool to help organize and mobilize their cause. I believe that social media can hit its target a lot more precise than any rock, gun, or grenade can ever do. Even though, Mohamed did not realize what he was starting, he did, however, wake up the majority of the Mid-East to the full potential that social media can have. “The potential of social media lies mainly in their support of civil society and the public sphere.”
On the other side, not everything is productive in the use of social media. As I mentioned before, the Tunisian government and their loyalists could also use social media to monitor, track, and organize those that defied the order. Another point is that social media companies are not always as transparent and open as people would hope, in an article about the Arab Springs, Thomas Sander mentioned, “Disappointingly, Twitter and Google have also agreed to help the Syrian government and other oppressive regimes by enforcing rules that censor tweets or blog posts in Syria by blocking them out within-country.” This also is telling that if governments have the ability to regulate certain aspects of social media and the ability to regulate internet speeds, it is also making it so the information being spread can be easily manipulated or stopped. What then will happen if the people lose their voice? What other outlets are there to network and share meaningful information? With the government having this much potential over the internet, who’s to say that they aren’t secretively starting a ‘misinformation campaign’ against other governments or against their own people?
My feeling are as social media continues to evolve and integrate with our lives, I can see a future that even with some level of government control, we will still have the power to disseminate the truth and network with people that we know and trust. Thanks to Mohamed Bouazizi and many others, they have opened the people’s eyes and we are now able to see the limitless potential of social media and the impact it can have both locally and internationally.

Links:
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/1/25/egypt-protesters-killed.html
http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2044723,00.html
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2013/12/timeline-arab-spring-20131217114018534352.html
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/01/201111684242518839.html
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/01/2011126121815985483.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/13/us-syria-social-media-idUSTRE76C3DB20110713
https://socialcapital.wordpress.com/category/mohamed-bouazizi/
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67038/clay-shirky/the-political-power-of-social-media
Twitter: #arabspring, #bouazizi, #sidibouzid, #tunisia.

Hasta Luego SEO

About 5 years ago, I had a business and like all businesses, you want to get your name out there on the internet. After establishing my website, I decided to try to be as creative as possible in getting my business name on the first page of Google search. Well, I succeeded and surpassed many other competitors that had been around a lot longer than I had. I felt like I cracked the Holy Grail of internal search engine optimization (SEO). I could not be touched. The other companies called me asking how I passed them, and, of course, I kept my mouth shut and just let them scratch their heads. Now, if I start a new business and tried the same tactics as before, I would be met with opposition and my business would most likely never make it to the top 10 in a google search. Why? Well, in an article by Ken Krogue, titled, “The Death Of SEO: The Rise Of Social, PR, And Real Content”, he wrote about how search engine optimization is actually changing and it is changing drastically –or maybe even “dead.”
What is changing? You can thank your nearest Penguin, that is to say, Google’s new “Penguin” algorithm. What Google did is, “….change the weight of their emphasis from just “backlinks” more and more towards social media likes, shares, tweets, reddits, and 1+ (Google’s obvious favorite.)” This is turning search engine optimization from an internal search to more of an external or social linking, to determine the relevance of the website. Check the article for more great info.
The second article titled, “The Death Of SEO (Part 2): Generating Real Content” helps you to re-establish or start your web presence in the correct way. His approach to establishing valid and “real” content is extremely useful and can increase the traffic to your business. The idea of creating “core content” and using multiple facets of social media to track, entice different readers, and different audiences is genius and will be able to meet the needs of your audience. Read more here.

D.J.

Links

The Death Of SEO: The Rise Of Social, PR, And Real Content

The Death Of SEO (Part 2): Generating Real Content

How does your business manage its online presence?

A while back, I owned a business that needed to use social media to acquire more business. For the most part, I received my business by word of mouth, however, all of the clients always called me and asked if I had an example of some of my work online. In order for my business to be successful, I needed an online presence but, not only that, I also needed a way to track how productive and how often my website was being accessed and from where. In addition, I owed all of my success thanks to Google Analytics.
If you have not already played around with Google Analytics give it a try! Here is a link to all of the benefits that this great tool can provide – here-. As I started to use this wonderful tool, I was always targeting clients that were in my city, but after a couple of months of using Google Analytics, I discovered that my website was being accessed more outside of my city and even in different states. After I noticed this, I added to my homepage that I traveled and I displayed videos that showed our experience with working in different location. Next thing I know, I am getting email and phone calls about traveling to work on location in different cities and states. My business had increased drastically and I had even considered moving to a different city to better facilitate my clients.
In an article about Google Analytics, Gemma Holloway, provided a great overview about the multiple benefits for a business. Now, she can give you far more clear-cut information about the benefits and how-to’s about getting your business up and running. There is a little of work to get Google Analytics into your website and it will take some time to see all of the benefits that this tool can offer your business, but you should see benefits within a couple of weeks after you have it embedded into your website. Try it! I used the free version and the only time I paid was when I paid for advertising to see how many leads it provided to my website– truthfully, it did not help, but knowing how to word your homepage with key words will provide the best leads and it is free.

D.J.

Google Analytics: Link
The Business Benefits of Google Analytics: Link

Organization Use of Social Media

Nowadays, word of mouth has far surpassed the face-to-face communication – though still relevant – and has jumped on to the World Wide Web, allowing one to spread their feeling and judgements with others about a product or a company. You can jump on to virtually any company’s Facebook page or other form of social media and find people complaining or applauding companies in how they are conducting business. You can also search for the company with the word “review” to research the company through various forums or other third-party review web pages to get an (hopefully) unbiased review.

In my research in how organizations are adapting social media and customer service, I found that some companies have succeeded extremely well and others have completely dropped the proverbial ball. In the online article, 9 Companies Doing Social Media Right and Why Amy Poterfield did an extremely thorough research on companies and how they have adapted to the use of social media. The first successful example she gives is of Martell Home Builders. She explains that the company used to rely heavily on real estate agents for leads. That was until they started their own blog, the use of the widget “like” button on their webpage (that linked directly to their Facebook page), geolocation, and shareable pictures to update and give progress reports to current customers. With these measures, “Martell was able to grab the attention of homebuyers. Today, about 86% of all their leads come directly from consumers.”  There was a common theme between all of the companies and it was how they engaged, made it pertinent, and interesting for the customers.

In another online article, Is Your Company’s Current Organizational Structure Well Suited For Social Media? By Marcus Ho, he talks about the use of social media and the hurdles organizations face in their pursuit of online customer services. In the article, he mentions that by having a team of professionals in various departments in the company, all trained in the use of social media, can drastically improve customer service. He also gives an example of how ‘inefficient social media team’ can really have an impact on a customer. Read the example and see for yourself how the company did nothing but create more problems for Marcus. He also has another example of a successful way he was treated by another company.

In addition, Marcus broke down the way to have a successful team. The first would to be to form a social media committee by having a senior staff member that oversees their departments. This way, they are able to relay information gathered from social media platforms and convey that back to their perspective departments. He states that, “a multi-specialized team would provide the efficiency required, a cohesive and centralized approach is crucial.”

The next step would be to have a social media task force that consists of two duties: “information gatherers and frontline responders.” Click here to learn more. There would also be a community manager that is from the marketing department and gives the final say in all things social media.

There is a lot more that he talks about and I would highly suggest jumping over to his page to help improve your company.

My final thoughts about the organizational use of social media is that, even though this is relatively new, it is ongoing and is a driving major factor in determining if a business is going to be successful in the future. I believe that your main priority should always be your customer and by having a professional social media group will guarantee a company’s longevity and repeat business.

D.J.

Links to sources:

9 Companies Doing Social Media Right and Why

Is Your Company’s Current Organizational Structure Well Suited For Social Media?

Tweeter-Twotter

I guess it is safe to say that I am no longer a Twitirgin after spending an hour and fifteen minutes straight, tweeting, retweeting, and favoritizing on Twitter. It is true that I have sent some tweets before, but nothing to this level of magnitude. Actually, I did not even have a Twitter account until about 2 months ago, so yeah, I guess I am starting to get a hang of this tweeter thing. From what I was able to pick up by following the #SocMedDiscuss is that it is clear there are those that are Twitter masters and there are those that are twitirgins –like me. For those that have this down, I found that they usually broke off into sub-groups and started a chat with those that they knew. For those twitirgins, we tried our hardest to fully grasp how to respond  – for me at least – and tried my hardest to find out the difference between retweet and reply. I know it seems rather juvenile to those experts that I would struggle but seriously this was very hard for me.
One thing that helped me out after my second post was combining my words with hashtags. Here look at the difference:

Hashtags at the end || Hashtags in the sentence

I thought that this was a brilliant idea as most of the other tweets that I posted had the hashtags at the end. There still was a part of me that did not really like combining them, though. I thought it is rather beneficial if you have something longer to say that will exceed Twitters 140-character limit.
For me, this was all a learning experience and the world of twittering is definitely something of an art. The level of creativity and originality that goes into making a tweet can come naturally to some and to others will be a new way of thinking. Let me break down some of the big things that I learned and it is okay to laugh at some of these because I cannot see you, therefore I am ignorant of your criticism. The first thing I learned was that a hashtag can be seen by anyone and you can follow that hashtag; the way I see hashtagging is that you can pretty much create a group just by establishing a hashtag. The second thing, when posting a tweet, is @ and little did I know how complicated this guy is. Apparently, when you start with an @ (ex: @MilliVanilli are great singers #pfftright) it is only visible to those that follow you and those that follow the person/thing your are tweeting about. Though, if you put something in front of the @ (ex: I cannot believe @Snowwhite kissed me #TengoBuenosSueños) now all of your followers can see how crazy you really are; some people even put a period (.) at the beginning of the @ (ex: .@SnoopDog is pure talent #snoopsgottalent).

#likeaboss tweet.

D.J.

Online Reputation

Meet Jordan Nielsen, a student at Utah State University and an SEO specialist, account representative for Web Marketing Services (HRI‘s Internal Internet Marketing Department for Chem-Dry franchises). I was given a task to find out as much as I can about Jordan just by looking at the World Wide Web to see what I can find out about him. Side note: I am not friends with Jordan on Facebook or any other social media platform and most of the information that I have may not be completely accurate as I am solely going off what I found (all information herein is public knowledge).

After my initial surveillance of the habits Jordan has, it is quite clear that he is a religious young adult. Some of the trends I noticed on Facebook show that he follows and likes many of the same things that members of The Church of Jesus Christ like and follow; he is also a member of the group: Young Single Adult 9th ward and 50th ward. Some more examples of what I noticed is that he likes Thomas S. Monson, the Prophet/President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Book of Mormon, and a he a part of the LDS Entrepreneurs on Linkedin.  With this and other pieces of information, it shows me that he is most likely a member of the aforementioned church; if not then he should probably look more into becoming a member.

Health is another theme that constantly popped up after searching for information about Jordan. Many of the Facebook page likes, again, show that he follows and likes different types of health professionals, and he is a member of Logan City Recreation Group – Sports. The trend that I see is that for Jordan, being healthy is extremely important to him, but also following and liking certain figures and companies helps make it easier for him to relate and find easy resources for future reference.

Work and school was a little more interesting as it let me expand further than just searching through Facebook. As I mentioned before, Jordan is a student at Utah State University and will be graduating in 2016 with a degree in Management Information Systems.  He is currently taking USU CMST 5000: Social Media class that has networked the student together through Facebook (genius!). As for work, he is currently working for Web Marketing Services, a division of Harris Research, and his main job is to work on search engine optimization and account management. He has been working for the company since May 2013. Before that, he worked at Aggies Design studios as a web developer and he did that for roughly a year.   This is impressive for a college student to have this level of experience before graduating and based on what I know, he should not have a hard time landing a successful career. Based on his experience in school and work, it is extremely clear that Jordan has a strong desire to work in e-commerce and other computer related ventures.

In conclusion, Jordan has a solid online reputation and though his presence is just emerging online, he should continue to find success on his current path. One thing I could not figure out is if he really has that many brothers……..I guess some sleuthing may need to be had.

D.J.

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jordanielsen

Work: http://hriwms.com/meet-the-team/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jordanielsen

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jordan-nielsen/79/904/958/en