Overview

Viral Marketing

Planning, Seeding and Controlling viral marketing in the Social Web

The idea for Web X.0 is implemented through the technical infrastructure of the social media applications and comes alive through User Generated Content (UGC). UGC is influential on the common social media platforms such as Twitter, Xing, Facebook and blogs and is spread within the individual communities through communication in the form of dialogue between the Internet users. The social network Facebook alone is used worldwide by more than 600m users 16,000,000,000 minutes, which equals 31,000 years – and it is done daily!

Social media marketing has made it its business to use the existing communicative infrastructure as well as the users’ dialogue to promote specific market communication. In doing so, the process is based particularly on well-known word-of-mouth (WOM) mechanisms. The recommendation of one consumer to another is an effective weapon in the war for attention and credibility, particularly in light of inflationary communication in everyday life.

On the basis of the network structure of social media, communication between consumers (C2C) is brought to a new level. Only a few contacts were able to be achieved through face-to-face communication in line with a WOM campaign but now, through social media marketing, it is possible for messages to dynamically spread on their own like a virus and therefore, be made accessible to a large number of recipients.

The study at hand is centered around the manifold problems connected to the highly challenging task of planning viral social media campaigns. Based on already implemented projects and substantiated scientific background knowledge, VOK DAMS Consulting was able to develop a planning process to plan and implement a holistic campaign.

Here, the main focus is particularly placed on the planning, creation and seeding of the campaign content. A conducted empirical survey substantiates the developed planning process and shows ways of identifying multipliers, so-called social hubs, and of directly integrating them into the value creation of the campaign. Furthermore, the communication behaviour of ‚users’ was examined to determine reasons for interpersonal communication in the social web.