astronauts in a digital universe

Recipe for Virality

canstockphoto9065496

Everyone wants create something that goes viral. It’s the new American Dream. While Internet users strive for millions of clicks and instant fame, it doesn’t always turn out that way. But when it does, it may come as a surprise as to how certain videos go viral and others do not.

For instance, who would have guessed that a young boy would become an Internet sensation just by acting crazy after getting hit in the head with a basketball? The boy, now dubbed “Crack Kid” by the the World Wide Web, has inspired many spin-off Vines after his was posted a week ago. (To see what in the world we’re talking about, check this out.)

Making viral videos is sort of like baking cookies. You need quality ingredients, a repeatable recipe and a tad bit of skill, all of which should eventually result in the best darn cookies you’ve ever tasted.

Want to get started on your own viral video? Here’s our recipe for success:

1. Mix together a sprinkle of Short and a dash of Simple.

Long, complex videos typically do not go viral. Why? The modern human being has an attention span shorter than 8 seconds, and scientists say this average is decreasing every year. If  you don’t grab someone’s attention quickly with a simple idea, you can bet your video will never see viral status. Platforms like Vine, Instagram and Snapchat are great for viral content because of their fast-paced nature.

2. Add in one part Randomness and one part Timeliness.

It’s a fact: some videos go viral due to perfect timing. (Anyone remember the massive explosion of “Let it Go” parodies and lip-syncs after the movie Frozen was released?) If you create a video based on something that is currently popular or trending, you have higher chances of getting your own work seen by millions of people searching for that specific term or topic.

Additionally, randomness could be the key to your viral success. Think of the last viral video you saw. Was it scripted? Was the outcome an expected event? Probably not. Random antics usually fare the best when trying for viral status.

3. Fold in a heaping tablespoon of Emotion

Playing on people’s emotions is what ultimately gets them to share content with others. Typically, the content is either cute, shocking, comedic or useful. These variations stimulate the urge to pass on whatever it the content may be (article, video, photo) to friends and family. Is your content share-worthy? If not, take another look at it before releasing it.

4. Bake on high in a Social oven 

Make sure to upload your content on a platform with wide audiences that allows easy sharing. Sites like Facebook, YouTube, Vine, Instagram and other social networks are perfect, since they automatically include a share button or an option to send an email with a link to the content.  Also, sites like Upworthy, BuzzFeed, Digg and Reddit thrive on viral content, so contributing your video to these sites may be a smart move on your part.

 

Have you had success in the viral video department? Have any extra tips to add? Leave your thoughts in the comments. 

YouTube to Debut New Features for Content Creators

YouTube-Optimization

With Yahoo actively trying to lure content creators away from YouTube, Google’s video streaming platform is doing its best to outperform the competition. Now, YouTube content creators have a few more newfangled features to help them make the most of their channel.

Here’s what YouTube has up its sleeve:

  • Greater transparency: the team at YouTube says it wants to announce updated features ahead of time so they can get feedback from site users and see if they’re on the right track.
  • Creator App: this new app will give content creators a way to manage their channel from their mobile phone
  • Crowdfunding: YouTube wants its hand in the popular way to fund raise online. Instead of going through third-party sites like Subbable and Patreon, YouTube wants to make its own virtual tip jar so content creators can have access to funds directly from them.
  • Improved site functions: YouTube says it is streamlining contents, closed captioning capabilities, adding to the audio library and giving creators the ability to monetize cover song videos.

Watch the video that explains the new features here.

What do you think of the new features? Which one are you looking forward to the most? Leave a comment below to continue the conversation. 

To Manage Social Media or Not to Manage…

 

Image Courtesy IdeaSedge.com

Image Courtesy IdeaSedge.com

That is the question.

There’s a raging debate in the world of business right now and it has to do with social media. No, it doesn’t involve getting reprimanded for using Facebook during office hours and it has nothing to do with accidentally tweeting scandalous content under the company account (though, this seems to be quite the issue lately– US Airways, anyone?). This debate has to do with whether or not to implement social media management within company boundaries or hire an outside company to do it for them.

While many business leaders believe updating social media is as simple as posting and responding to comments, the truth is that it is not enough to generate the level of success they expect.

It comes down to two major factors: money and skill. If a business has the resources to hire a talented, full-time social media specialist in-house, that’s great! But randomly assigning the task of social management to another employee when they have plenty of other tasks to get done is not the way to go.

Why? Here are five reasons it pays to have a social media company manage your platforms for you:

1. You can focus on running your business

Image Courtesy MichiganWorksKalamazoo.org

Image Courtesy MichiganWorksKalamazoo.org

Social media management is not a “wham-bam” job. Just like your career, it takes skill, continuing education and a thorough understanding of digital marketing and social behaviors to effectively carry out a social strategy. Why burden your employees with the task when you can easily hire a specialist to do the work for you? With the time you save, you can focus on what matters most: running your company.

2. Social media strategy is more than just posting to Facebook

Image Courtesy: Technet.com

Image Courtesy: Technet.com

One of the greatest misconceptions about social media is that all it takes is just a few minutes every day. Wrong! There is so much more that goes into successful social media implementation. A winning strategy includes:

* Analyzing and understanding analytics, target audience demographics and web traffic behaviors
* Serving as a fast-acting customer service agent
* Using digital advertising to boost visibility with Facebook ads, LinkedIn Sponsored Posts, Google AdWords, etc
* Engaging current customers with content they can relate to
* Using creative storytelling about your brand through social posts and blogs

3. You don’t have to worry about legal issues

Image Courtesy Bandl.typepad.com

Image Courtesy Bandl.typepad.com

Let’s face it: there are so many ways you could get in legal trouble through social media and digital marketing and the last thing you want is a lawsuit on your company’s hands. For instance, is that photo or video you’re sharing someone’s copyrighted property? Did you just post confidential information protected under HIPAA that should’ve been left off your company’s page? Are you disclosing any paid endorsements? Did you double-check that your email newsletter follows the CAN-SPAM Act? If you’re unsure about any of these and other online legal issues, it may be better relying on a trusted social media management company that keeps up with the ever-changing digital media laws.

4. Your customers get swift customer service

Image Courtesy Loyaltylab.com

Image Courtesy Loyaltylab.com

Whether you realize it or not, social media has become one of the primary ways users go about the customer service process. Let’s look at a few statistics:

* 71% of of 16-24 year olds go online when they have a problem with a product (2012 Sitel Study);
* 67% of 23,000 consumers in a J.D. Power and Associates study had used a company’s social media site for servicing; and
* 87% of consumers in the J.D. Power and Associates study said their online social interaction with the company positively impacted the likelihood that they’ll purchase from the brand, and that the responsiveness of the service representatives were a key of that satisfaction.
While consumers utilize many of a company’s social sites in this instance, the number one platform for customer service is Twitter. Are you using your Twitter account to answer the influx of questions and concerns from your customers? This is another time-consuming portion of social media and it helps having someone always there to help out.

5. Always on top of trends

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The world of social media is always changing. Research into trends, predictions, and insight from industry leaders is the only way to stay on top of the social media landscape. If you don’t have 2 to 4 hours in a workday to dedicate to research and staying up-to-date with issues, you may want to consider hiring an outside social media specialist to help.

Are you thinking about hiring a company to help you out with your social networks? Let us help.

Want a Free eBook? Come and Get It

Our free eBook, Astronauts in a Digital Universe: An Explorer’s Log Book, is now available for digital download! All you have to do is click here and you’ll be directed to the download page.

Also, just for downloading, you’ll automatically be entered to win a free social media consultation with tCloud Solutions’ Social Media Specialist.

What are you waiting for? We’re giving away a lot of free stuff, people! Go get it.

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