So you have all the pieces…but why won’t they move?
Its 2am. You crush your 9th Red Bull and hit "publish." And then you wait. And wait. Dawn breaks and the counter sits at zero. What happened? This was supposed to be the next "Double Rainbow!" Weeks of mind-numbing research, dozens of 'meme-friendly' gifs, and a array of personalized hashtags, and for what - zero impressions. What went wrong?
You're not alone. This is an increasingly common situation that illustrates the chasm between the execution and efficacy of a social media campaign. The reality is that there is no magic formula: X + Y doesn't always = Z. Part of the alchemy of a successful viral campaign is in its reception. For every "David goes to the dentist" there are countless others that fall flat, or worse...go viral for the wrong reasons. But that doesn't mean you should stop trying.
What makes a social media campaign effective is its utility. And sometimes the utility may be different from the one you initially envision. Contrary to popular belief, the days of prospects lining up to read your latest whitepaper are starting to wane. If you're looking to build a bigger megaphone, prepare to be disappointed when your audience stops listening. Want to build something that resonates with your customers? Build something that they can actually use.
Create - or curate - provocative content, then build a forum or a community to discuss. And here's the rub: you don't necessarily have to start from scratch. Moderated Tweetchats, Facebook Pages and LinkedIn Groups can be equally as effective as a DIY User Community. There is one major caveat, however - whatever the channel, it is only as effective as the quantity (and sometimes quality) of the resources you devote to its maintenance. Unless your 'chat-bot' can pass the Turing Test, it's likely to be short-lived.
Make your project interactive. If something isn't engaging, it won’t stick. Here's a test. Download a mobile game. Angry birds, Candy Crush, Words With Friends - any of these will suffice. As you get lost in the gameplay, note how each of these apps keep your attention. You can employ some similar devices in your project without compromising your code. A little personalization can go a long way. It might not take much - custom fonts, color schemes or personal avatars allow consumers to take ownership of their experience.
In short, if you want retweets and repeat visits - make something that merits a second look.
Questions? Comments? We're here to help... sound off below! :-)