Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

The Risks and Benefits of “Going Viral” in 2019

With the rise of social media and its presence within our society, businesses are always looking for new ways to take advantage of its reach and connection to consumers. There are many ways to use social media positively to grow your business, from advertising campaigns to market research. One other way that is worth considering is the use of viral marketing.

What is Viral Marketing?

If you are new to the digital marketing world, you may have heard the term “going viral” and are unsure what it means. In basic terms, it is when an internet post, campaign or other shareable media picks up exponential interest to the point it spreads like a virus. No doubt you have seen videos or posts shared on social media that can get millions of views in just a few days. Such is the power of viral marketing. It can be an excellent way to increase engagement and reach a wider audience. Many viral sensations have an element of luck involved in their success, but more and more businesses are engineering campaigns with the intention of going viral. However, while it can bring huge success to some people, it can also carry a risk if not handled correctly.

What Are the Advantages of Viral Marketing?

The benefits of this type of marketing may seem obvious. You can reach a huge amount of people very quickly and for a relatively low cost. The majority of engagement is achieved through the clicks and shares of the audience, rather than it being something you have to manage and promote yourself.

If a viral campaign really takes off, it can lead to fast success in a way that very rarely happens with any other type of marketing. Even if you don’t see results straight away, the amount of exposure you can achieve compared to the cost makes this type of marketing worth investigating.

Another advantage is the increased likelihood of mainstream media coverage. Although this isn’t essential for a growing business, it is undeniable the influence that this can have. Media outlets create brand recognition, which always lends credibility to your brand. The desire to report on trending topics also means that you can take advantage of the publicity without having to pay for it.

What About The Risks?

As with most things, anything with positive outcomes often has a downside. Some companies have gone viral for the wrong reasons and this can have a detrimental effect on any business. This is especially true for smaller businesses that cannot afford to absorb the damage caused by negative publicity.

We have all seen bad reviews that have picked up steam on social media and the outrage they can cause. The anger of internet users can seem overwhelming if they descend on an individual or company they take a disliking to. The disassociation that comes from being behind a keyboard means people are inclined to get more aggressive, and are more likely to express their displeasure, even if they don’t have a direct experience of the subject at hand.

Perhaps even more crucial is how this negative press is dealt with. If handled badly, it can add to an already difficult situation. Therefore it is vital that this factor is taken into consideration as early as possible so that any potential damage can be limited and handled appropriately.

The potential positives that come from viral marketing makes it an avenue well worth exploring. Just make sure that you have all your bases covered and are willing to face any potential issues quickly and appropriately. A well informed virtual assistant who can think on their feet could be a huge asset when it comes to handling any type of publicity, positive or negative. Social media is a powerful tool in the right hands. Learn how to wield it and it can be instrumental to your future success.

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Posted on November 7th, 2018 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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