By Ryan Velez
Being viral may seem like a dream for any entrepreneur, and Michelle Y. Talbert, Esq., recently wrote for Black Enterprise that the question of being viral is the main thing that she is asked by “clients and members of audiences when I speak on content creation and social media marketing. Most business owners, celebrities—shoot—even everyday folks, have something to sell or say; want to gain the attention of their intended market and audience; and reach as many people as possible.”
However, going viral, which really means that piece of content gains enough traction to reach large numbers of people, is something that you need to be ready to leverage. On paper, it sounds great, meaning a massive word-of-mouth boost or potential to translate into sales. Again, though, you need to be ready to reap the results when you catch that lightning in a bottle.
A good example is the Beard Game Matters Facebook group, started by Mike McMillan, founder of Big Beard Brand/Man Cave Essentials. After a viral explosion, the group went from social media fame to print and broadcast attention, even with an appearance on The Real. As more and more people signed up to the Facebook group, Talbert saw one issue. Where was the ability to monetize this success? “I just want him to put a Facebook pixel on his website!” she recalls.
“Amazon, and most online retailers, has a pixel, that attaches to you, knows you visited the site, knows what you looked at and then that you didn’t purchase, so Amazon follows you around, right onto Facebook, Instagram, and everywhere else online that you visit, to subtly remind you, ‘Hey, don’t forget you were considering buying these shoes. You know you want them,’” Talbert explains.
Among implementing a Facebook pixel, Talbert recommends using email and contact management platforms such as MailChimp or AWeber. Google Docs is inefficient by comparison, and while you may have to pay to use platforms like these, not only will they give you added structure, but most of them have means to help you stay on the right side of online marketing laws.
Another important thing to do is be prepared to say you don’t know certain things. When you go viral, things start to move quickly, and you don’t want to miss your window of opportunity. For example, if you go viral and don’t know social media, bring on a social media manager. The expense now can easily be repaid later if you can translate your viral platform into sales.