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                                                            HOW TO MAKE THAT ONE THING GO VIRAL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       *Just
 Kidding!
                                                                                                                                                  Mitt Romney, Angry Irishmen, Sexist Pens, The GAYZ and You.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Good luck with that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Because luck is the only way it’s gonna happen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  With bonus “make your boss be reasonable” slides!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  RootsCamp 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           #UpRoots @Upworthy #roots12




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1
 
 
 
 
 
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        with
 lin                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ks
 to
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 to
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 @
 
What Makes Us Fancy Experts?
   Mansur              • BS in Advertising (Soon.)
                       • Cried a little after finding out the real world is
   Gidfar              nothing like “The West Wing.”
   Viral Curator       • Wrote our first two 1,000,000-view hits.

                       •Encyclopedic knowledge of Scooby Doo.
    Rollie             •Knows who REALLY let the dogs out; won’t say
   Williams            who.

   Viral Curator       •Wrote our first big hit, as an intern, on a video
                       that everyone had already seen.

   Adam                •Worked on the Howard Dean campaign, maybe
                       caused the scream? So he’s seen things go viral.
  Mordecai             •Screws around on the Internet for monetary
                       compensation.
   Viral Curator
                       •Can imitate muppets.
                   2
Who The Hell Are We? Meet The Founders.


  Eli                                  Peter
Pariser                               Koechley




                    Chris Hughes
                      3
Blend It All Together
                                                                                                6th,
 2012
                Launches
 March
 2



                =
       As of December 3, 2012:
791,000 Facebook fans, 10,000 Tumblrs,
     and 43,000 Twitter followers.
                             4

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How To Make That One Thing Go Viral

  • 1. you
  • 4.  ahead ite
  • 6.  now. s ‘ and
  • 7.  favor HOW TO MAKE THAT ONE THING GO VIRAL *Just
  • 8.  Kidding! Mitt Romney, Angry Irishmen, Sexist Pens, The GAYZ and You. Good luck with that. Because luck is the only way it’s gonna happen. With bonus “make your boss be reasonable” slides! RootsCamp 2012 #UpRoots @Upworthy #roots12 1
  • 9.  
  • 10.  
  • 11.  
  • 12.  
  • 13.  
  • 16.   @
  • 17.  
  • 18.  
  • 19.  
  • 20.  
  • 21.  
  • 22.  
  • 23.  
  • 24.  
  • 25.  
  • 26.  
  • 27.  
  • 28.  
  • 29.  
  • 30.  
  • 31.  
  • 32.  
  • 33.  
  • 34.   with
  • 36.  
  • 37.  
  • 38.   with
  • 39.  lin ks
  • 40.  to
  • 41.  hits! Click
  • 42.  to
  • 43.  see
  • 44.  @
  • 45.  
  • 46. What Makes Us Fancy Experts? Mansur • BS in Advertising (Soon.) • Cried a little after finding out the real world is Gidfar nothing like “The West Wing.” Viral Curator • Wrote our first two 1,000,000-view hits. •Encyclopedic knowledge of Scooby Doo. Rollie •Knows who REALLY let the dogs out; won’t say Williams who. Viral Curator •Wrote our first big hit, as an intern, on a video that everyone had already seen. Adam •Worked on the Howard Dean campaign, maybe caused the scream? So he’s seen things go viral. Mordecai •Screws around on the Internet for monetary compensation. Viral Curator •Can imitate muppets. 2
  • 47. Who The Hell Are We? Meet The Founders. Eli Peter Pariser Koechley Chris Hughes 3
  • 48. Blend It All Together 6th,
  • 49.  2012 Launches
  • 51.  2 = As of December 3, 2012: 791,000 Facebook fans, 10,000 Tumblrs, and 43,000 Twitter followers. 4
  • 52. What We Do In A Nutshell 1. Find a meaningful piece of content we think people should see. 2. Improve the framing and put it on our site so more people will see it. 3. Promote the cause or idea so that @ the world remembers that there are more important things to ponder than Honey Boo Boo. 4. ??? 5. PROFIT?!?! Invest in Nutshells? 5
  • 53. What Made Us Think This Whole Thing Could Work? meet
  • 54.  the
  • 56.  at Zach Wahls Speaks About Family (YouTube Title) Text (1 million views) Two Lesbians Raised A Baby And This Is What They Got (MoveOn Title) (17 MILLION VIEWS!!1!) 6
  • 57. We
  • 58.  Are
  • 59.  Now
  • 61.  -
  • 62.  X We’re Off To A Good Start OUT OF DATE 7
  • 63. THE MOST FAQ EVER How Do You Make That One Thing You Made Go Super Viral And Stuff? 8
  • 64. First, Let’s Define “Viral.” Shares per View Clicks per Share Viral? LOW LOW nope HIGH LOW kinda? LOW HIGH not so much HIGH HIGH Hell Yeah! If people click and don’t share, you lose. If people share, but their friends don’t click, you lose. Ergo, your content must be really shareable and clickable. 9
  • 65. Why The Hell Do People Share? Anger Shareable: “I am angry, yet entertained. I must do something, right now.” *click* Relaxation Happiness Not Shareable: “Just chill, we’re all gonna die anyways.” *sigh* Sadness So if you can find that happy medium between entertainment and an emotional connection, you can make some magic happen. 10
  • 66. Where The Hell Do People Share? Almost all your traffic will come from You have to go where they live. good
  • 68.  if
  • 69.   slow
  • 71.  it
  • 72.  to you
  • 74.  it
  • 75.  you perfection. are
  • 76.  a
  • 77.  god. If
  • 78.  you
  • 79.  do
  • 80.  it
  • 81.  right, it
  • 82.  can
  • 84.  a
  • 85.  dent. 11
  • 86. Six Degrees Of Viral Bacon Shares EASY: Getting your audience to like. NOT AS EASY: Getting your audience to click and share. HARDER: Getting your audience’s audience to click. EVEN HARDER: Getting your audience’s audience to share. HARDEST: Getting your audience’s audience’s audience’s audience to share something with Kevin Bacon, which he then likes and shares. That’s when you know something’s really viral. 12
  • 87. Your Audience Already Likes You Your audience will share your stuff. It’s their friends that you really have to focus on. If their friends who haven’t heard of you share, you have a way better shot at viral gold. So your content better appeal to them. 13
  • 88. STEP 1: FINDING EPIC CONTENT A Hero A Villain A Emotional Story Arc A Super Inspiring Meaningful Message Post At The Right Time And The Right Place (Good luck with that.) Charles Xavier Cerebro (So you can read people’s minds and know what they will share in the future.) 14
  • 89. How Hard Can It Be To Find Awesome Stuff? 56% of our posts don’t break 10K views. 5% of our posts have reached 100K views. Tell
  • 90.  me
  • 91.   more
  • 93.  how
  • 94.   2.7% have reached 200K views. easy
  • 96.  is. 1.9% have reached 300K views. 1.1% have reached 400K views. 0.7% have broken 500K views. and only5 POSTS have broken 1,000,000 views. (0.3% for those playing the home game.) 15
  • 97. Our Top 0.3% Think They Are SOOO Special @ @ @ @ @ 16
  • 98. The Top 0.3%: Irish Dude Yells At A Guy In A Bar Original Title: Michael D Higgins v Michael Graham (Newstalk 106-108fm, What We Did To It: 2010) Original Stats: Posted March 3, 2012 — 223,000 Views Why We Think It Did Well: 1. It’s a really meaty rant that captured how fed up people are with extremism in this needlessly ideological day and age. 2. The Irish guy went on to be president, which we framed well. Also, he called him a “Wanker,” which is hilarious. How We Got Lucky: Click
  • 99.  to
  • 100.  see
  • 101.  @ Completely unintentionally, we posted this on August 22, which was 3 days after Tea Party Congressman Todd Akin made his idiotic
  • 102.   comments about “Legitimate Rape.” As such, a Tea Partier getting schooled was especially resonant. On an AUDIO CLIP, no less. Shares: 98,000 Tweets: 37,000 17
  • 103. STEP 2: Frame ‘Em It doesn’t matter how good your content is. If you don’t make it compelling enough to click and share, no one will know it exists. 18
  • 104. FRAME ALL THE THINGS! The Share Text The Headline @ The Excerpt The Share Image The Tweet Your Mom* ing
  • 106.  The
  • 107.  Mom
  • 109.   *
  • 111.  Not
  • 112.  Jok 19
  • 113. Let’s Talk About Your Mom, Dude FACT: No one likes to disappoint their mom. DOUBLE FACT: Middle-aged women are the biggest sharers on the Interwebs. ERGO: If you frame your content to not make your mom shake her head in disappointment, you have a better chance of winning. 20
  • 114. Social Headlines Need A “Curiosity Gap” Too vague, and I don’t want to click: Mitt Romney Says Something Bad, Again Too specific, and I don’t need to click. Mitt Romney Says, “I Want The Middle Class To Be Tied To The Roof Of My Car.” Ergo... You Will Not Believe What Mitt Wants To Do To You. 21
  • 115. You Aren’t A Bad Person I know what you are thinking. Marketing is not inherently evil, hippie. If making a snarky and entertaining headline is the difference between 100 people seeing something important and 1,000,000 people seeing something important, which would you choose? 22
  • 116. Upworthy’s Editorial Process 1. You HAVE to crap out 25 headlines for every piece of content. 2.You WILL write some really stinky headlines. 3. Once you start getting desperate, you start thinking outside the box. 4. So you HAVE TO WRITE 25 HEADLINES. 5. #24 will suck. Then #25 will be a gift from the headline gods and will make you a legend. 6. Accept that not every headline will be perfect. 7. Then write 25 headlines. 8. With practice, you’ll be writing 25 in 15 minutes. Then I will give you permission to lower your limit. SO PLEASE WRITE 25 HEADLINES 23
  • 117. Headline Rules Don’t give it all away in the headline. Also, don’t give it all away in the excerpt, share image, or share text. Don’t be shrill. Don’t form an opinion for the end user. Let them do that. Don’t bum people out. (Remember slide 11.) Don’t sexualize your headlines in a way your mom wouldn’t approve. And don’t over-think it. Some of your headlines will suck. Accept it and keep writing. Which reminds me, my mom doesn’t like it when you put the word “sucks” in headlines. Lastly, be clever. But not TOO clever. 24
  • 118. The Case Of The Clever Monkeys We had two of our curators write up the SAME video about two monkeys in an experiment. 59X THE VIEW S! @ @ 8,000 474,000 Pageviews Pageviews Sometimes, if you get TOO clever, your audience won’t get it. So it pays to test things. And write 25 headlines. And show this to your boss when he tells you it’s a waste of time. 25
  • 119. YOU WILL WRITE 25 HEADLINES!1!!!1 Otherwise, people won’t click your links. So I’d write 25 headlines. 26
  • 120. The Top 0.3%: Ellen Ruins Lady Pens For Everyone Original Title: Bic Pens for Women What We Did To It: Original Stats: Posted October 12, 2012 — 532,000 Views Why We Think It Did Well: It’s really funny. And women are the biggest sharers. The hero and the villain are very clear. Also, it’s really smart. And did we mention funny? Our curator, Rebecca, nailed the framing. Also most people love celebrities and abhor sexism. Especially all the people who like/know women. How We Got Lucky: Click
  • 121.  to
  • 122.  see
  • 123.  @ We posted this right in the run up to the election. The Republican Party
  • 124.   had been dealing with various candidates talking about “legitimate rape,” their presidential nominee had been speaking of “binders full of women,” and clearly the electorate was tired of hearing about all of it. Shares: 65,291 Likes: 128,785 Comments: 55,156 Tweets: 23,518 27
  • 125. Also... Not sure if we mentioned this yet, but you should write 25 headlines unless you want the terrorists to win. 28
  • 126. The Share Image Is Your ‘In’ @ @ @ @ x
  • 127.  vs.
  • 128.  y Heavily
  • 129.  annotated video
  • 130.  symbol Obvious
  • 132.  love
  • 133.   dichotomies @ @ Curiosity-inducin’.
  • 134.   PG-13 WTF
  • 135.  Knee?! 29
  • 136. Do Not Take The Share Image For Granted Nobody cares about seeing your logo on a Facebook post. They want drama. @ @ @ @ Interesting
  • 137.   The
  • 140.   Weird
  • 142.   Both
  • 143.  cute
  • 144.  and
  • 146.  image in
  • 147.  the
  • 148.  world close
  • 149.  up weird
  • 150.  face If your boss wants their logo on Facebook shares, tell them to find a new digital director who can make people care more about logos than kittens. 30
  • 151. I Know Your Boss Thinks It’s A Waste Of Time but, I have an idea. You should write 25 headlines and test the best ones. Then people will want to “click” on your “stuff” and bring “traffic” back to your “website.” Then your boss will “finally get it.” 31
  • 152. Pop Quiz For Your Boss A white dude tells all the other white dudes that they start on third base and have tons of advantages from birth. Also, he mentions that it might be good to get over it. (A) A Public Service Announcement On Behalf Of All White Dudes (B) Put Yourself In A White Guy's Shoes. Comfy, Right? Which headline wins? 32
  • 153. See, I wrote 25... 33
  • 154. Hey Boss. How You Like Me Now?! 36x THE CLIC KS! Click
  • 155.  to
  • 156.  see
  • 157.  @ 34
  • 158.  
  • 159. The Top 0.3%: Barbie Is Soooo 1956 Original Title: GoldieBlox: Engineering toys for girls | LAUNCH VIDEO What We Did To It: Original Stats: Posted September 18, 2012 — 32,000 Views Why We Think It Did Well: Everyone has a women friend or a daughter. And they want her to succeed. And there’s been a severe lack of toys for them. And the inventor, Debbie Sterling Lewis, made an excellent emotionally uplifting case for such toys to exist. And Edwardo, our curator, totally called out Barbie and her inherent sexism, drawing in clicks. It was our most tweeted post ever. How We Got Lucky: Click
  • 160.  to
  • 161.  see
  • 162.  @ It’s almost Christmas. And everyone wants to buy gifts for the little
  • 163.   empowered girls in their lives. Sadly they are sold out until April. But you should totally buy one anyway. NOTE: Though the view count is under a million, over 1.4 million people came to our site to look. Shares: 111,960 Likes: 186,261 Comments: 108,692 Tweets: 617,459 35
  • 164. STEP 3: Let’s Talk About UX, Baby UX or “User Experience” is basically the science/art of making your site easier to use for your visitors. 36
  • 165. Optimize Prime Your website is the gateway drug to sharing. Make sure it shares properly. You should make it as easy to share as possible. You should always be testing, always adapting, always challenging what works. Art by Tim Doyle of Nakatomi Inc 37
  • 166. All The Cool Kids Are Doing It We tried showing famous users’ tweets on post pages to encourage people to interact more. It worked. 10-30% f Man dvi Increase A asi In Likes Richar d Dawkins Graham Linehan Christine Bohan Click
  • 167.  to
  • 168.  see
  • 169.  @
  • 170.  
  • 171. You Better Fix Your Share Buttons We added hovering share buttons that scrolled down with the user as they moused over the piece of content. It seemed to help. Click
  • 172.  to
  • 173.  see
  • 174.  @ 398%
  • 175.   Increase 39 In WIN
  • 176. It Never Hurts To Ask We added a doohickey that appears after you finish watching a video and then gently inquires as to wether you would have any interest in hanging out with us more on Facebook. We’re of the opinion it just might be doing OK. 4 1 9 % eL ike Mor N! AC TIO 5
  • 177. The Facebook Slider Kind Of Helps We added a hover thinger that peeks out after you scroll down the page and asks you to like us. % It has potential. 62 0 IKE S !!1! OREL 5 M
  • 178. UX Conclusion: Make your site focus on sharing on Facebook. It might help. Just sayin’.
  • 179. The Top 0.3%: Awkward Moments With Mitt Original Title: Gay Veteran talks to Mitt Romney - ABC News What We Did To It: Original Stats: Posted December 12, 2011 — 929,000 Views Why We Think It Did Well: It’s a really honest compelling bit of reality. The hero and the villain are set. Mitt sees a veteran at a diner, saunters on up to do his thing, then discovers he’s in over his head. The veteran is amazingly eloquent. Mitt, not so much. The headline sets up the scene perfectly, yet doesn’t say what happens next. Extremely compelling. How We Got Lucky: Click
  • 180.  to
  • 181.  see
  • 182.  @ This happened in the primary. It had already had been a modest hit for others, garnering a million views before we got it. It got those views
  • 183.   when Mitt was still one of many candidates. We reposted when he was the nominee. It got better. Shares: 165,172 Tweets: 112,437 43
  • 184. STEP 4: Don’t Stop Testing And/Or Believing 44
  • 185. Always. Be. Testing. A/B Test constantly. - “Katy Perry and Tim McGraw” garnered twice as many clicks as “Rihanna and Pink Floyd.” - Test angry vs. passive, short vs. long, questions vs. statements, and anything else you can think of. Google Twitter Analytics can be great indicators of future victories. Always ask yourself, “Is there another way to do this?” 45
  • 186. You Can Always Do Better We added a 16-second delay to the like slider, just to see what would happen. Another 70% Increase In Likes! 16-second delay 46 5
  • 187. It’s The Little Things... Our share text above the share buttons used to say “The right time to share this is... Right now!” We tweaked it. Another 13% Increase In Share s! 47
  • 188. STEP 5: Go Get Lucky You can’t force something to go viral. Even if it’s good. Virality is tough to predict. Content you love won’t always make it. Walk it off and write 25 more headlines. More content = more chances for a huge hit. 48
  • 189. The Top 0.3%: Our Most Viral. Hit. EVER. Original Title: CBS WKBT News Anchor's On-Air Response to Viewer What We Did To It: Calling Her Fat (Oct. 2nd, 2012) Original Stats: Posted October 2, 2012 — We posted the day it went live. We brought in 4,148,692 views. Why We Think It Did Well: Eloquent hero. Idiotic villain. A beautiful sentiment. And an epic smackdown. Our curator, seeing the potential, pushed as fast as she could to get it out the door. Bully, fat, destroys, and live TV were words we knew would be clicky. The debate around body image issues created tons of comments on both sides, increasing interaction rates significantly. Click
  • 190.  to
  • 191.  see
  • 192.  @ How We Got Lucky:
  • 193.   Some jerk thought it was a good idea to write in and call a news anchor fat. We moved fast enough to get it out before many others. Shares: 127,827 Likes: 839,705 Comments: 237,047 Tweets: 106,376 49
  • 194. TL;DR Again 1. CONTENT: Find and/or create amazing content. 2. FRAMING: Optimize said content to be really clicky on Facebook (for your audience’s friends). 3. TECH: Optimize your site to be really good at sharing said content back to Facebook. 4. DATA: Never stop testing your zany theories. 5. LUCK: Capture a leprechaun and steal his lucky charms. ost. The
  • 195.  one
  • 196.  that
  • 199.  the
  • 200.  m 50
  • 201. So No, We Can’t Make That Go Viral But this SlideShare COULD if you were kind enough to share it. CLICK HERE TO SHAR E If you don’t, you’ll make my daughter, Lola, cry. You wouldn’t want that would you? Click here to find us on Facebook. Then go tell your boss what’s up. How To Make That One Thing Go Viral. Just Kidding. by Upworthy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://facebook.com/upworthy. 51