Viral Marketing? Who cares.

You can build a great product and market market market but if you don’t have viral word-of-mouth marketing then no one will care.

Creating a real story in the poptech cultural movement with a social product is no easy task. And it’s not something that happens just because you pay an ad agency promising social media.

Social marketing goes a little something like this:

  1. Create your profile on all major social networks.
  2. Connect your profiles and feeds.
  3. Engage in dialogue with your audience and alliances. Repeat.

To be successful, however, you must build something with the right team and create a real collaboration that everyone cares about: this is the base action needed to help a well-executed idea flourish as a social business.

Case in point: I’ve never adopted a social network because of traditional or interactive advertising. I’ve learned about all major online communities, from Craigslist and Yelp to Facebook and Twitter, through friends. I learned about Foursquare via email from Andrew Schneider, a friend of a friend, when it first came out.

So I signed up. Then I waited. I didn’t get involved right away.

It’s the chicken and the egg: you need your people and current content all on the same network at the same time to make it relevant.

And it’s the old “people need to see your ad 7 times before they buy” theory. I wonder how many times I heard a friend or stranger mention Foursquare before I bought in and started playing around with it, downloaded the app. Probably 7.

So remember, starting a project or a startup is like starting a band. Everyone wants to be a rock star, but not everyone is: you have to work your ass off and inspire people to get involved and those people must believe in you and your movement enough to keep telling their friends and strangers about your project because they really do care about what you’re doing and how it makes them feel.

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