Reality Check on Social Media Marketing and Virals


The focus of Emergence Media is to discuss new ways of thinking about online marketing – from Social Media Optimization to new takes on SEO-PR. Under such an ambitious goal, its important to not be distracted and imbibe too much of the “Cluetrain Manifesto” kool-aid. In that spirit, I’ll point you to two recent postings on the blogosphere:

Top 5 Stupid Trends of Marketing 2.0” by Noah Kagan.

A choice excerpt on what is not a marketing plan (by itself):

3- You need a blog. Why? Do you really? Do people really care what your company has to say?

4- Digg will save us. You get 10,000 visitors one day of horny nerdy computer kids and the next day nothing. I always say relevance is key. Talked with Adam of Renkoo today and he agrees about quality always over quantity.

5- Oh don’t worry, we have a MySpace Badge. It appears the new and ultimate trend in marketing is a badge / widget that people can put everywhere. This is okay but not as effective as people think.

Seven Deadly Sins of Advertising Via Viral Video” via


1. Make a white and brown cow. Seth Godin has a term called “Purple Cow,” which refers to marketing that is “remarkable” and worth paying attention to and talking about. Your viral video better be Technicolor Purple if you actually expect it to break through an increasingly crowded space.

2. Pretend you’re not advertising. Nothing quite irrates a consumer like being secretly persuaded.

3. Spend a fortune on production.

4. Tell consumers instead of engage them. Don’t think of your viral video as an adaptation of a 60-second spot. Obviously it’s got to be irreverent, weird, funny and different. But more importantly, the web has the ability to make the viral event a dialogue.

5. Do a video contest because everyone else is. This online-video “contest fad” will continue, and it will become more difficult to activate consumers to promote your product.

6. Set unrealstic conversion metrics. After someone watches your video, what do you think they’ll do? Will 30% come to your site? Will 10% buy your brand in two months? Give me a break.

7. Throw in the towel and decide to just advertise around viral videos. Please don’t give up and decide that it’s easier to simply advertise around videos. There are certainly products and services that can do well through this, but it’s the lazy way to approach online video.







One response to “Reality Check on Social Media Marketing and Virals”

  1. noah kagan Avatar

    thanks for linking to me. great link find on that other site.

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