Topic: Book Club

Stick: How Can Social Media Help With Stickiness?

Posted by Anonymous on 500 Points
Thanks to the wonders of Web 2.0, consumer-generated media, user-generated content, social media, emerging media, or any other nebulous, overblown term you want to use, it's now easier than ever to communicate with others and spread ideas. Of course, the ease of communication makes the clutter and noise all the more prominent.

Do you have any experiences with using social media to help make your ideas stick? Is it a blog, a wiki, a great use of sharing video, a way for others to create their own content? How did it work? Alternatively, have you seen any other really great executions?

Moderator Note: This discussion refers to the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath (topic: communications). Click the title to learn more. Then join the conversation. We'd LOVE for you to participate!

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  • Posted on Accepted
    David, I don't have a personal case history to relate, but I know how I look at blog posts. If they're too complex or too long (unless there's a compelling story that's being told) I tend to lose interest and drift away.

    Perhaps with a blog it's better to have several posts -- each covering a particular point of an issue, instead of a single long and complicated one that covers the issue fully in one shot.

    There's so much to read nowadays that I find myself skimming more and more -- like the USA Today-ification of journalism.
  • Posted on Accepted
    "Of course, the ease of communication makes the clutter and noise all the more prominent."

    Yup. Having an expertise in social media delights me and yet makes me batty as every client and prospect wants to "produce a video or launch a blog" and "spread their message all over or amass zillions of fans". The thing is, social media can absolutely help spread your message efficiently and, sure, faster. But it's the marketing 101 stuff (e.g. creating a superior product/service/experience and following the sticky system) that will give you the potential to "go viral".

    But I just smile when they see social media as a "shortcut" (and I even had a woman at a party this weekend ask me "the secret to all this blog and viral stuff").
  • Posted on Accepted
    With greater experience in social media publication, your blade will become sharper. However it requires a dedication to a lot of environmental scanning and filtering, and seeing for yourself what headlines and content attract the attention of yourself and others.

    Obviously, any message with SUCCES factors combined with word-of-mouth and participation features has a greater opportunity for memorability and building buzz.
  • Posted by Mark Goren on Accepted
    I like what Spike Jones over at Brains on Fire always goes back to in regards to viral videos. (Paraphrasing) "You don't make viral videos. You make a video. It isn't viral until it goes viral."

    So, the question becomes, Can the SUCCESS checklist ensure that a video goes viral?
  • Posted on Member
    Per Mark's good question of: "So, the question becomes, Can the SUCCESS checklist ensure that a video goes viral?"

    I think it can increase the chances...but not "ensure". Too many other factors (e.g. competing videos; world events competiting for attention, etc.). Viral is just a very "organic" process. But I agree that we can follow these rules to exponentially increase the chances.
  • Posted on Member
    Yes. Because when people see others commenting, participating, favoriting (etc.) lends social credibility thereby amplifying user acceptance and pondering/drawing-in.
  • Posted on Member
    I hear your frustration and the desire to focus on the core strategy of any communication effort. Forming and delivering a memorable message aimed at the right people using appropriate the best plan.

    Social media is an aid mechanism - nothing more. Some people will overate it and others discount it. It's when people want to believe in shortcuts and lose sight of the aforementioned plan, that quality time is lost to sensational expectations and the whole execution goes awry.
  • Posted on Member
    Per David's "Tying this back into the book, social media is able to amplify the SUCCES effect if you're able to make ideas stick among smaller groups. "

    I do think the majority of social media success is with smaller groups (be they communities or niches). There are those videos that hit a home run with mass audiences but they're usually 30-60 seconds of "funny" and aren't delivering a message. Some of the more controversial ones (cable guy that falls asleep on the customer's couch, AOL dispute) do get a lot of downloads with mass audiences and send out an unwanted sticky message (that these co's aren't taking care of their customers). Those are the viral videos that I think co's need to be concerned about--and by concerned I mean maintaining high customer service so it doesn't provide a video opp in the first place.

    The world is so very much "on display" at this time (be it through a videocam or ranting on a blog). A lot of companies fear this, and I understand why, but if they provide value and consistency then those very same blogs and videos can promote them (or leave them alone and focus on other co's). Interesting times indeed.
  • Posted on Accepted
    Something I've noticed with blog posts is that the context in which you link to another blog can affect the chance that someone will click the link. For example, if I simply say 'Check out David's post' at the end of my post, it probably won't get as much readers clicking through to David's blog as it would if I wrote a new post based entirely on the idea of David's post.
  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Accepted
    Dan, I think that's because the original intent has been hijacked by the viral nature of the ad's dissemination.

    That ad was made viral by people who forwarded it for all the wrong reasons. It became viral because people were kind of titillated by the unusual, sexually-related content.

    They just weren't looking for dinner.

    So the "effective" part of your last sentence above must be achieved by creating a solid, credible, concrete, emotional connection between the message content, and the effect that is actually the objective of the message.

    Like "by the end of the decade we will put a man on the moon and return him safely home again".

    The objective for the subservient chicken ad should have said "By the end of the week we will put 4M people in front of a chicken dinner at one of our restaurants and have them pay for it and tip the staff generously"...

    Big hits, no tips.


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