Viral advertising in social media
Co-founder of Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, Jonah Peretti, spoke at Web 2.0 conference yesterday about The Hidden Secrets of Social Media and Viral Advertising. The main focus of his keynote speech was to explain how to make something “go viral”. Showing the audience a glimpse of his early experiences in making things viral, he moved on to share his learnings on what it takes for the content to get spread out, shared and eventually go viral.
To explain how content that sparks the desire in people to share through word of mouth holds the bigger potential to become viral, Peretti compared how content spreads on two different platforms, Google and Facebook. He pointed out that the main difference is that Google views content and access to information as the key factor when it comes to media, while Facebook view is that “Media is another way to express your feelings and more importantly a way to do something with your friends.”
On Google, pages with practical information such as “how to” guides perform very well. Facebook on the other hand is more about social interaction than information itself. Users are more likely to share content that is funny, entertaining or that they can identify with. He stressed that the social factor holds more weight than information when it comes to social content distribution, saying that on Facebook “the key is to share things that define you.”
Peretti said that the key to success in social advertising is to “think of content and media as an excuse for social action, a reason for people to react, share their opinion and share the content.”
“Google sometimes struggles to understand this when they are doing their social initiatives, ” he added.
He also talked about Buzzfeed, a hub for viral content, which was founded on the social distribution ideas he pointed out during his keynote. Buzzfeed is focused on the viral lift, a new metric for viral marketing success. Peretti previewed a new design of the website where users will be able to search the content by users’ reactions, such as “LOL”, “wtf”, “omg”, etc, instead of by traditional topics found on news sites.
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