So I’ve never been fortunate enough to tap into a viral fad that created a quarter, half or one million views on a YouTube channel in just a matter of days or hours.
Few of us have or ever will.
But what happens if you did? Would it matter? Or would the sheer volume of attention brought to your organization be far beyond your capacity to do anything with it? Such is the nature of the viral beast.
Sure the attention is great, but there’s little you can do with a tsunami of attention comes your way. In one moment it’s there, in the next it is gone. To say fame is fleeting in this instance is an understatement of mass proportions.
Most of us will always live in the world where slow and steady growth, with expectations for true business results is the norm. Will we have the occasional publicity or mild viral success? Sure, but our measures will be in thousands or tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands or millions. And to be quite honest, if you or your senior management team is planning or expecting this kind of result, might I direct them to the nearest casino.
Simply, that’s not how successful marketing and relationship building works. And after all, committed relationships should be the goal of any organization. The cultivation of friends into fans and fans into donors is the way for us all to build our business.
On the other hand, there is the rare individual that can harness the power of large amounts of attention and focus it precisely on moving the needle of real tangible goals. But for most, we might be lucky to get caught up in the latest fad of a dance craze or meme or some other digital epidemic that spreads like wildfire; we may be hip one moment and totally square the next.
Call me boring, but I prefer the slow and steady approach. Sure, it’s not very sexy, but since when is hitting your numbers month in and month out, year after year, the cause for unbridled passion? Each year, when it comes time to count the successes and collect on your bonus, that’s when!
Social media is so new that there’s not really an accepted measurement tool other than straight up raw data to track the impact of an uber-post, tweet or video. Word-of-Mouth advocate are doing better at this and many firms are starting to aggregate all of this info into meaningful metrics, but we have a long, long way to go to measure.
Rather, these exposure spikes are usually marked by little strategy and very little expectation for end results. Meanwhile if you go about the tried and true of calculating the expectations of your social media strategy, you can remain relevant in the eyes of your followers and those who remain truly committed to you and your organization.
Am I suggesting that you don’t try and play a part in the next major internet sensation? Of course not. If you have the skills and the resources, make sure the timing is right and jump on into the rapids. Who knows where the raging river of pop culture may take you? But be sure you have a plan in place to leverage all of this new found energy and excitement. There’s nothing worse than putting yourself out there, and then not really having much to show for it.
Lastly, when considering to piggy back onto the latest movement that is trending, try to be early enough into the mix that you can benefit without looking like you’re far too late to the party – or worse that you ‘jump the shark’ with your attempt to be relevant at a time when the stale-by date has long been exceeded.
This social media thing is a pretty cool way for you to bring your message to your audience in new and innovative ways. Don’t ever expect you’ll have the next million-view idea, but if you do, have a game plan in the back of your mind on how you can take advantage of it and have the current carry you to success beyond your wildest expectations.