Tipping Points of Social Media
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Tipping Points of Social Media



How can businesses go from good to great in social media? A few case studies.

How can businesses go from good to great in social media? A few case studies.



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Tipping Points of Social Media Tipping Points of Social Media Presentation Transcript

  • Is there such a thing as a tipping point?
  • “Forest fires aren’t spread by influential trees.” — Duncan Watts, Principal researcher, Yahoo! Research
  • Just as viral video and key influencers are largely mythological, so too is the idea that there’s a formula for social media explosion.
  • There are clear tipping points in social media, but they rarely — if ever — exist in isolation.
  • The one thing that’s universal? You have to be good " before you can be great.
  • Two types of social media tipping points: • Proactive • Reactive
  • A proactive tipping point is a premeditated move aimed at launching your business onto the national stage. Photo source: nasa1fan/MSFC on Flickr.
  • Proactive tipping points The good: •  Happens on your schedule •  Takes the form you decide •  Ready for prime time on Day 1
  • Proactive tipping points The bad: •  Can be delayed by internal dithering •  Can lack authenticity •  Failure can be disastrous
  • A reactive tipping point is an unexpected burst of publicity " (good or bad) that lands your business in the social media spotlight. Photo source: ChrisGoldNY on Flickr.
  • Reactive tipping points The good: •  Saves you lots of promotional dollars •  Helps focus your message •  Creates a sense of urgency
  • Reactive tipping points The bad: •  Can back you into a corner •  Execs may prefer to “wait it out” •  Little time for a learning curve
  • Proactive case studies:
  • Lessons learned from Little Debbie: • Be patient. Learn your strengths in social media and build on them. • Be willing to invest. • Create a unifying idea, but multiple ways to engage your fans.
  • In late 2009, TGI Friday’s embarked " on a heavy Facebook push called " “Fan Woody.” The goal? Reach 500,000 fans, " and they’ll each get a free burger.
  • The campaign reached its fan goal " in just 11 days. Then things started to get ugly.
  • Fans were unhappy with all sorts of stuff: • Woody was fake • No burgers past the first 500K fans (later expanded to 1 million) • Technical troubles with coupons • Offer only valid for 4 days
  • But the real problems were in the strategy: • Why a TV push vs. Facebook ads? • Didn’t drive to TGI Friday’s page • Scenarios weren’t really thought through
  • By March 2010, TGI Friday’s had disabled fan comments on the page. Then “Fan Woody” was deleted altogether, " taking more than 900,000 fans with it.
  • Lessons learned from “Fan Woody”: • Walk before you run. • Plan your media spend (and timing) wisely. • Use campaigns to build a long-term audience, not as one-offs
  • Today, TED is the most-watched lecture series on Earth. But that wasn’t always the case.
  • Founded in 1984, TED’s presentations went largely unnoticed for 22 years.
  • In 2006 and early 2007, TED organizers made the fateful decision to begin posting videos online.
  • TED videos became an instant sensation. A year ago, they had been viewed more than 100 million times.
  • Today, TED’s views have surpassed " 200 million. Source: TEDTalks, March 2010
  • Lessons learned from TED: • Know your assets, and constantly look for new ways to leverage them. • Find the line between offering value and giving away the store. • Content is, and will always be, king.
  • Reactive case studies:
  • In 2005, Chicago band OK Go created a rehearsal video of their new choreographed dance.
  • “If this gets out, you’re sunk.” — Head of digital media, " Capitol Records/EMI Source: Sound Opinions, Chicago Public Radio, March 19, 2010
  • Never meant for public release, the video was posted by a friend on an early video site called iFilm. It soon racked up 300,000 views.
  • “That was about as many records as we had sold globally at that point.” —Damian Kulash, lead singer Source: Sound Opinions, Chicago Public Radio, March 19, 2010
  • As a thank-you to their fans, the band created another choreographed dance, this time on treadmills.
  • But that wasn’t the tipping point.
  • After months of languishing on a hard drive, the video was abruptly posted by the record label…
  • After months of languishing on a hard drive, the video was abruptly posted by the record label… ….on StupidVideos.com
  • The band succeeded in getting the clip moved to YouTube, where it got " 1 million views on the first day.
  • The band succeeded in getting the clip moved to YouTube, where it got " 1 million views on the first day. Today, it has been viewed " more than 50 million times.
  • OK Go continued to struggle with record labels for years, until forming their own in 2010.
  • Lessons learned from OK Go: • Innovation rarely sells itself in a corporate environment. • The social media revolution is never “won.” • Put profit over public access at your own peril.
  • In October 2009, Old Spice established its Facebook presence with a large-scale ad buy targeting men.
  • In October 2009, Old Spice established its Facebook presence with a large-scale ad buy targeting men. The result was a respectable 175,000 fans.
  • Then they created a work of art.
  • The fan count has since exploded to 536,000.
  • On YouTube, the ad has been viewed more than 6 million times.
  • Old Spice reacted by focusing most of its Facebook messaging on its ads.
  • Lessons learned from Old Spice: • TV ads can still be major drivers. • When you strike gold, keep digging. • Find ways to engage your fans beyond “watch this.”
  • In summary: The tipping points of social media don’t happen at random. Leveraging these moments requires skill, experience and flexibility.
  • Most of all, you need a willingness to see the world through your customers’ eyes, to see what has captured their attention. Then just bust your butt to make the most of it.
  • Need more info and inspiration? Be sure " to check out our blog, TheSocialPath.com
  • Thanks for your time. David.Griner@Luckie.com Twitter.com/Griner TheSocialPath.com Slideshare.net/Griner