SCBWI NY: Viral Marketing & Social Media

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One of the best sessions I attended at the SCBWI 2010 Winter Conference was Viral Marketing & Social Media, presented by Jenn Bailey.

Definition of viral: an online marketing strategy that encourages people to pass along a message.

Jenn broke down how to set the groundwork for a viral campaign into six easy steps, using Paul Revere (“The British are coming!”) as an example.

Here’s the recap:

1. Pass on the message

  • Build a community using social media networks
  • Share your message when people are listening
  • Target the people who will help get the message out
  • Be a constant advocate
  • Be many things to many people; think of how your other passions can build community
  • Ask people to help you

2. Create a call to action

  • Keep your message simple
  • Relinquish control
  • Let the community spread the word as they will; it’s OK, as long as they’re traveling down the same road as you

3. Plant your message in fertile soil

  • Make sure your message gets to the right connection
  • Ask for help from those who have the right connections
  • Make it easy for others to help you

4. Encourage conversation and sharing

  • When someone helps you, thank them and encourage them
  • Be smart about utilizing links and embedded information
  • Have passion for what you do
  • Listen to your community to hear the next step/suggestion

5. Reward

  • Sometimes saying thank you can be reward enough; doesn’t have to be a product
  • Make those who help you feel good
  • Let the community see the effect of what they did

6. Give them a sequel

  • Do the campaign again
  • Pick up those you missed the first time

Jenn pointed out specific “Paul Reveres” of today and explained why their online campaigns went viral.

  1. Cynthia Liu – The Auction
  2. Neil Gaiman – The Party
  3. John Green – The Movement
  4. Tammi Sauer – The Launch

She then listed reasons why campaigns sometimes flop:

  • Not listening to community
  • Not engaging in conversation
  • Not making it easy to be involved
  • Other big events happening at the same time as your campaign

Finally, she gave advice on how to use social media.

1. Have patience

  • Building your social media reputation takes time
  • Play nice, help others

2. Be a friend to get a friend

3. Know your audience

  • You have to know what to say to get others to help you
  • Smell like cookies all day long and people will want to be around you

4. Beware of TMI

5. Be yourself, everyone else is taken

  • If you’re not being you, people will know
  • People will know if you’re just using them

6. Listen to your “Jedi Council”

  • Have friends who will tell you when you’ve got it all wrong
  • Don’t listen to the entourage, but the people who will tell you when you suck

7. It’s called ‘social’ for a reason

  • It’s supposed to be fun
  • It’s supposed to be about interacting

11 thoughts on “SCBWI NY: Viral Marketing & Social Media

    Cee said:
    February 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Love this! Thanks for sharing!

      Amy K. Nichols said:
      February 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm

      You’re welcome. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

    Suzanne said:
    February 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Such are wonderfully helpful posts. Many thanks for passing on these gems to those of us who can’t access the events first hand. 🙂

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amy K. Nichols and stickybot, Dorothia Rohner. Dorothia Rohner said: RT @amyknichols: Recap of @JennBailey's #SCBWINY10 #kidlitart #picturebooks session on Viral Marketing & Social Media […]

    uberVU - social comments said:
    February 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dorothiar: RT @amyknichols: Recap of @JennBailey’s #SCBWINY10 #kidlitart #picturebooks session on Viral Marketing & Social Media

    […] SCBWI NY: Viral Marketing & Social Media « Amy writes…17 hours ago by Amy K. Nichols  This post was mentioned on Twitter by dorothiar: RT @amyknichols: Recap of @JennBailey's #SCBWINY10 #kidlitart #picturebooks session on Viral Marketing & Social Media… Reply · Click here to cancel reply. … […]

    Jessica Leader said:
    February 10, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Thank you! This was just what I needed today! ::Printing, and hoping the printer doesn’t run out of ink, as my street is not cleared of snow!::

      Amy K. Nichols said:
      February 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

      You’re welcome. 🙂 Thank you for reading. I hope they clear your streets soon…and you get a break from the snow!

    Kimberly Sabatini said:
    February 10, 2010 at 9:02 am

    And you even have awesome graphics! Love it!

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