Ready, Set, Viral…

June 3, 2013

Turkey is seeing heavy political unrest, with thousands of citizens protesting the government. As in Egypt and other nations, social media has been playing a huge role in mobilizing protesters and giving them a channel to share their grievances and photos of police responses to the unrest.

So far, the media coverage of the anti-government protests has been minimal compared to other uprisings in the past few years, especially considering the level of violence that is being reported. Citizens have turned to social media to fuel the protests in an attempt to get more media coverage inside and out of the country, making the protests more viral.

Although it seems like a strange connection, these calls to action from the Turkish citizens got me thinking more about viral marketing.


In an ideal world, everything a marketer puts out for a client would go viral. Everyone would see it, everyone would love it and it would help your client immensely. However, that’s not the reality we live in and you can’t just follow this 11 step process and have a viral marketing campaign.

Viral marketing content is one of the most sought after things in the business right now, with companies dedicating themselves to think of the next big video or meme. However, it shouldn’t represent the end-all of a campaign. First and foremost, the marketing campaign needs to represent the company and hit its actual audience.

If you’re able to create content or provide your target market with useful information about a product or service, that’s a win. If you can do it in a creative way that helps people remember it, even better. But over thinking your content in an attempt to make it viral can ultimately take away from the overall effectiveness of the message.

Of course you want to make sure as many people as possible share the content with other, so that’s why the content should be thoughtful, engaging and useful to consumers. The more people that are able to connect with it, the more it will be shared.

In my mind, attempting to force something to go viral only hurts it more. A viral video, photo or message is an added bonus to a well-crafted marketing campaign.