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Advising the hotel industry how to increase their online revenue

How does viral marketing work?

I undertook a small experiment a few weeks ago during the thunderstorm over Berlin. I posted a photo of the storm onto Twitter and other profile pages of social networking sites and wanted to see how much attention it gets. Remember, this was just a pic of an event that occurs quite frequently but only seconds after posting about 40 people had viewed it. The number of viewers got another push when a local newspaper returned my tweet and therefore published the photo to their followers. I’m proud to announce that the number of viewers has reached 170! Plus, the local paper is following me on Twitter.

This is a very good example of viral marketing and how social media marketing works. Exposure is generated by people sending on or repeating your message to their friends or contacts. You have probably heard of pyramide schemes before – very recently in the news was the fraud case of Bernard Madoff – or I’m sure you have received chain letters by snail or email. Viral marketing very much follows the same principle but in the positive sense of people wanting to inform their friends about the news. If a message is not interesting enough to be passed on, it won’t happen. There usually is no incentive or threat to retweet a message other than compelling content. Now imagine using that for business!

You need to have a story, though because that is what it is all about – having a conversation with people. When reading someone’s tweets or Facebook status updates we don’t normally think of them as institutions or corporations but we think of them as individuals whom we do trust more. What a chance for businesses that use Web 2.0 and viral marketing effectively!

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Filed under: Social Media Marketing, Viral Marketing, , , , , , , , , ,

About me

Corinna Witt : e-commerce, hotel internet marketing expert for hotels and the travel industry

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