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How Stuff Spreads Viral Video Webinar


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This is the presentation used in our Viral Video Webinar: Gangnam Style & The Harlem Shake. It covered: …

This is the presentation used in our Viral Video Webinar: Gangnam Style & The Harlem Shake. It covered:

-The two models of viral spread: Top Down vs. Bottom Up
-The 7 common characteristics of viral video
-Influencers vs. communities – which matter more?
-How to measure viral video performance
-And of course… How to maximise the shareability of your own video content

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • Gangnam Style was the biggest video meme of 2012Record breaking 1.5bn YouTube viewsScores are for the top video – Norwegian Army for Harlem Shake. Figures from April 2013
  • Most shareable content in social media – understand what's got "social currency"They're memes – ideas people creatively re-interpret, not just share passivelyYouTube is the 3rd most popular website in the world. 722m unique visitors per year. The social life of video needs more analysis
  • What's the equipment you need for the job?A social media research platform that can track URLs, not just keywordsBuilt for Big DataWith Datasift's functionality for "unbundling" shortened URLs
  • More data available:URL unbundlingMetadata to analyse, e.g. followers, Klout, visibility, retweets. All this is essential to measure the network effects of how content moves from person to personHistorics
  • The question – which works best?
  • Three main points:The most shareable videos are the most news- and influencer-driven, e.g. Britney and Miami HeatOverall the shorter-lasting memes
  • So hang on… The meme with the lowest sharing-to-views rate also has by far the longest lifespan (and the biggest volume of shares overall)Less shareable because:Known quantity: your friends knew it, you didn't need to tell them about itSeeing it on TV – big media spendBut it's also led by Psy as a leader and a focal point for the story
  • The Miami Heat meme – late to the Harlem Shake partyHuge interest
  • We noticed some memes were much "spikier" than othersImpact of influencers
  • As the Gangnam Style meme spread to such a huge global population, the influence level went downYou can't just be shared by "influentials" if you're going to go truly global
  • Only 5% of Gangnam Style shares were from messages with >100 RTsMiami Heat even lower – 1%So retweets of a few "hero" messages only provide a smaller part of spreadSome people see it and manually retweet, or share without acknowledgingMore people are seeing it from peeers
  • 673,000 YouTube views before the advert started on TVThe red nodes are individual Twitter accounts.The black edges represent reactions (retweets) to the sharing of the YouTube link by each individual.The further from the centre the greater the influence of the node, as measured by the number of reactions generated.
  • Videos are visual and audio – text content wouldn't spThe specific "memeish" features are kinaesthetic, i.e. movement-basedGangnamhorseriding danceHarlem Shake 'shake'So they transcend language
  • Gangnam Style was quite internationalWith an exception of some countries (e.g. Turkey, Red), the shares are a mix of USA (blue), UK (purple), Brazil (green).Harlem Shake was much more nationally fraRemember this was a video in Korean! No-one knew what the words meantDon't underestimate the appeal of good content – audiences round the world will shareSeen same pattern with Dove 'Real Beauty' adverts, or Commander Hadfield 'Space Oddity' video
  • It's a great example of how different videos can be while being part of the same series:Same musicSame structure of individual dancing, then the group joining inWeird costumes, including masked
  • Built off ideas from French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, who coined the term "social capital"social capital is the sum of the resources, actual or virtual, that accrue to an individual or a group by virtue of possessing a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition."Access to symbolic capital gives people "prestige, honor, attention"So a meme or piece of content has "social currency" if it contributes to people building up a store of "social capital"
  • Gangnam Style Story of its surprise global spreadStory in there for The Atlantic & broadsheet media about what Psy was saying about the Gangnam area of SeoulMeta-story of how it went so viralHarlem Shake- Meta-story of how memes evolve
  • Gangnam Style ultimately had "leadership" and that's why the meme had a longer duration
  • Transcript

    • 1. How stuff spreads Understanding video sharing in social media Webinar 9 July 2013
    • 2. Contents 01 02 03 04 05 06 How do you study viral video dynamics? 8 ways to measure video performance The two models of viral spread: Top Down vs. Bottom Up Understand the audience Influencers vs. communities Maximising the shareability of your own video content
    • 3. Setting the scene
    • 4. 1,500 million YouTube views 76 million YouTube views
    • 5. Why study these videos? 1. The most shareable content in social media 2. They're memes – ideas people creatively re-interpret, not just share passively 3. YouTube is the 3rd most popular website in the world. 4. Truly global 5. Understand Twitter as a hub for sharing 3rd-party content
    • 6. How do you study video memes?
    • 7. What we did… Gangnam Original Waveya dance team Deadpool Britney on the Ellen show YouTube Rewind Original Dizasta V1 South Coast Skate V3 Office Norwegian Army Miami Basketball Track the top 5 most-viewed videos within the meme: Focus on Twitter content
    • 8. Research findings
    • 9. We had to create our own video sharing metrics Content metrics Shape Number of shares per video, over lifetime of the meme Lifespan Number of consecutive days where people shared the meme 500+ times Shareability Total Twitter shares per each million of YouTube views Variation How much did attention to the meme vary day-by-day? Audience metrics Popularity Number of unique users sharing the meme over its lifetime Amplification How influential were the people who shared the meme? Globality How international was the meme? Diffusion Network Hubs and nationalities who drove the spread of the meme
    • 10. SIZE of the memes
    • 11. SHAPE of the memes - the balance between different videos
    • 12. SHAPE of the memes Model 1: Top Down One dominant source (e.g. Gangnam Original) Spin-offs appear but only get a fraction of the attention Driven by old media – record labels, TV, established sources
    • 13. SHAPE of the memes Model 2: Bottom Up Non-celebrity creators Copies out-perform the original source as the meme gains awareness and interest Meme can get picked up by established celebs & influencers (e.g. Miami Heat basketball)
    • 14. SHAREABILITY of the videos 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 Original Waveya Britney Deadpool YouTube Rewind OVERALL Dizasta Norwegian Army V1 South Coast Skate V3 Office Miami OVERALL Twitter shares per million YouTube views
    • 15. So is a celebrity-driven model is the way to go?
    • 16. LIFETIME of the memes 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 Gangnam OriginalTwitter shares per day
    • 17. Harlem Shake videos burnt out quickly 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 2-Feb-13 9-Feb-13 16-Feb-13 23-Feb-13 2-Mar-13 9-Mar-13 Dizasta Army V1 Skate V3 Office MiamiTwitter shares per day
    • 18. VARIABILITY How does the sharing rate change day by day? 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 14-Jul-12 14-Aug-12 14-Sep-12 14-Oct-12 14-Nov-12 14-Dec-12 14-Jan Gangnam Original Memes "spike" when they're shared by a top influencer or national media – sources with massive reach, driving 10,000s of retweets
    • 19. VARIABILITY How do you measure spikeyness? = the standard deviation / mean (unit: shares per day) In plain English: A ratio of the changeability day-to-day Why? You can "see" when a search is more spikey – but it's useful to put a number to it for benchmarking and accurate comparison The more spikey, the more top-down driven a meme is
    • 20. Undestanding the audiences sharing video content
    • 21. The people driving the meme sharing
    • 22. The role of communities
    • 23. Irn Bru 'Fanny' advert 673,000 views starting from 1 fan
    • 24. Internationalism The majority of content for each meme came internationally – not from one country How did they spread? - Visual & audio content is more international than text - The "memetic" qualities are kinaesthetic, i.e. movement- based So they transcend language
    • 25. The Harlem Shake meme produced highly local variations
    • 26. Why does video behave like this?
    • 27. Six drivers for sharing: Social currency Triggers Emotion Public Practical value Stories
    • 28. What is social currency?
    • 29. How can social media content give people "social currency"? It's got to reflect well on the person who chooses to share the content: First to spot "the next big thing" Sharing a different perspective or a creative new spin on an idea Makes you look intelligent, creative, cool Humour Contrarian ideas
    • 30. Memes need to evolve Crazy song from Korea! Surprise hit! Biggest video ever! Look at this random video! Hey, here 's a local one! Wow, celebs have done one!
    • 31. Charles Duhigg 'The Power of Habits' A movement starts because of the social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances It grows because of the habits of a community, and the weak ties that hold neighbourhoods and clans together And it endures because a movement's leader gives participants new habits that create a fresh sense of identity and a feeling of ownership
    • 32. There's a balance to be struck… Influencers… Big audiences Build reach, fast …But can burn through audiences quickly …Risk of becoming overexposed The crowd… Lots of them! Close relationships with friends Looking for what's new & cool to share ….Can be hard to get their attention You need both
    • 33. Takeaways 1. What does your audience communicate by sharing your content? How are you making them look good? 2. How is your content going to evolve? Invite collaboration 3. Stay flexible and seize opportunities Be prepared to surprise people 4. Influencers give great reach – but they burn through their audiences fast. They can't be the only tool you use 5. For sustained interest, seed with communities first
    • 34. How to measure your own video performance Content metrics Totals Total YouTube views and total shares per channel Lifespan How long the video stays "active" (e.g. 500+ shares per day) Shareability Total Twitter shares per each million YouTube views Variability How much did attention to the video vary day-by-day? Audience metrics Popularity Number of unique users sharing the video over its lifetime Amplification How influential were the people who shared the video Globality How international was the video's spread? Diffusion Network Hubs and nationalities who drove the spread of the video
    • 35. Thank you Jessica Owens