Viral.  Almost anyplace you see that word it conjures up images of bad things.  Viral at the doctor’s office is never good news, nor is it welcomed on your computer.  The one place it has the connotation of being a good thing is in the realm of social media.  (Note: It can still be bad in social media if the viral story reflects negatively upon you or your organization.)

There are lots of benefits of social media vs. traditional communication, and they include 1 to 1 conversation, listening, etc.  But perhaps the greatest is the ability to spread the word about something very quickly one Twitter user at a time.  I recently had this experience and I can give you some hard numbers to support it.

Kyle was kind enough to ask me to write a post on the right way to market on Twitter which was regarding a conversation we had on a positive experience I had on Twitter.  I was pretty excited about it and Tweeted to my followers to come check out my blog post.  I have a integration with CoTweet, so I am able to track how many times somebody has clicked on my link.  As you can see below, I tapped out at 49.

As my following is relatively small at 200, I was pretty pleased with that number.  But I was curious to see how often it had been clicked on based on Kyle’s reach.  When I clicked on the aggregate numbers I got quite a different number.

Holy Canoli!  I had found out that the article had been clicked on 436 times.  Furthermore, it had been Tweeted or ReTweeted a total of 99 times and the reach was all over the globe.

Over 15 countries have seen this Tweet!  And at this point in time, the true power and possibilities of Social Media start to become a reality.

So what have I learned?

  1. Influence the Influencers- If you want to get a message to the masses; you need to network with key influencers.  Note their number of followers, Klout score, and plan accordingly.  Here is a great article on how to get the attention of influencers.
  2. Track your stats- There is no better way of seeing if your links are of value, than to see if anybody is clicking on them.  Find the total clicks, tweets, shares, comments, etc.
  3. Activity Breeds Activity- I had some conversations with Kat @goheadband and she shared that she had an excellent day in sales the day this article was released.  It only stands to reason with the amount of people who read about her success, but I like to validate the hypothesis with real data.

Incidentally, my Klout received a bump during this process as well.  It sure is nice when everybody wins.


Todays guest post was written by Brian Richardson has 19 years of sales and management experience and is a sales trainer at ExactTarget.  Follow him at B__Richardson (that is two underscores) and check out his Twitter bio for hobbies and interests.