"Viralness" in online campaigning is something everybody wants, yet nobody really knows the secret formula.
In the end, when “viralness” happens -- whether it's a video, a petition or just a text piece that everyone keeps forwarding to friends and families -- we often aren't sure exactly why this particular piece of content went viral.
Planning for something to go viral is therefore about as unreliable a strategy as planning to win the lottery on command. “It's wiser instead to use time-tested, tried and true strategies, such as old fashioned guerilla promotion of your campaigns, or even (gasp) paid promotion -- monitoring your ROI closely of course -- while also doing whatever we can to make sure we are "open" to the possibility of that “viralness,” to strike,” says Clint O’Brien, Vice President of Nonprofit Services at Care2.
Yesterday over on Twitter (@care2frogloop) we asked our followers what was their personal definition of “viral?” Here’s what non-profit influentials like Katrin Verclas of MobileActive and Matt Stempeck of Americans for Campaign Reform had to say in less then 140 characters.
@mstem: Viral is something you want to share with friends even without being told to. MoveOn's video fit that bill. – Matt Stempeck, Americans for Campaign Reform
@annedougherty: Viral=something people pass on of their own accord; it's content+timing+luck; marketing helps but push too hard+thud! – Anne Dougherty, Clean Water Action
@escapetochengdu: Viral = spreads on its own without any help from its creator. – Jessica Kutch, SEIU
@Katrinskaya: Viral content = Stuff that gets forwarded. – Katrin Verclas, MobileActive
Do you have a different definition of “viral?” Post your comments!
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