Possibly the most appealing aspect of social media marketing, is the viral nature of the industry. If one can make their message appealing to clients and followers alike, there is an opportunity for the message to be spread father than the initial marketing efforts. This level of sharing is what most marketing endeavors aim to accomplish, and the challenge is creating a message that is appealing to their audience. The recent “occupy” efforts taken throughout the country, provide an excellent example of the power of social media outlets.
From September 20th 2011 to November 25th 2011 there were over 2.8 million tweets centered on the topic, and on certain days there were over 300,000 tweets recorded. The first day of the Occupy Wall Street movement, where an estimated 1,000 people attended, produced over 70,000 retweets. When police raided the Occupy Oakland encampment and severely injured an Iraq War veteran from the U.S. Marines, the event resulted in over 103,000 retweets.
While the nature of the incident is not easily mimicked by companies, noting the infectious nature of social media can greatly benefit ones advertising efforts. An image from Social Reflexion looks aims to visualize the impact of information sharing over social channels:
As portrayed in the diagram, sending information through one source can ultimately travel over various channels, both increasing brand awareness and improving search engine results for your products. Starbucks, which is now valued at over at 4.1 billion dollars, has strayed from more traditional forms of marketing, and has relied on customer experience and viral social media campaigns. Its successful use of the medium proves that even international companies can base their advertisement efforts in these channels.
As long as one can create a message worth sharing, individuals will share with their spheres of influence, increase website traffic and improve your search engine ranking all resulting in brand awareness.