Posts Tagged ‘Virality’

Catching the viral fever

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Viral-VideoYou would have had to be living in a different country to have missed the Kolaveri Di rage. Over the last couple of weeks, everything and anything seems to have led to this one piece of music video. From brand ads to political uproar and even a famous singer’s son making his version of the same, Kolaveri Di has had the spotlight firmly fixed on it. So what are viral videos? What purpose do they cater to? Here is an insight in to those videos that make the world catch a fever!


Prescription for a viral video

Viral videos are user generated content events, acts or largely ideas, made using a mobile device or any other video camera for simple consumption. The idea is to share the work on the web but the outcome is a huge buzz. This generally happens via multiple shares across various social networking platforms like the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. thereby giving the content a cult status.


Click on the image to see the video

For most part, these are videos that are made without any direct intention of promotion. Many viral videos are simple homemade videos with animals, kids or even text and graphics. The insanely famous video ‘charlie bit my finger’ and the sequel, ‘charlie bit my finger – again’ that spawned off based on the popularity of the original one that was released on May 22, 2007 rose to the charts with an astonishing number of views (389 million as of November 2011) and people are still viewing that.


Click on the image to see the video

But a lot of these videos are brand backed. Although, while launching the video, the brand is generally underplayed. It is only when the buzz builds up and has caught enough eyeballs that the brands start claiming their success.


Click on the image to see the video

What’s making the temperature rise?

For any 21st century marketer, it becomes crucial to tap onto any medium that assures the brand presence is reverberated across various target groups. An increased visibility or mind-space is the first step towards selling any product/service today. With an increasing number of people who are getting added to the digital world each passing minute, the database of prospective buyers are on a parallel rise.

Traditional mediums like TV and radio are not just making a cut primarily because a major chunk of those who used to spend time on these mediums have migrated to the virtual world. The average time an urban dweller (not only restricted to metros) spends on internet today is much higher than what he spends in front of a TV or while listening to the radio. Also the cost of making such videos would be a fraction of what an ATL campaign would cost.

An incredibly successful viral video campaign is that of ‘The old spice man (Perez Hilton)’. The video has the main character talking to women about, ‘the man their man could smell like’. Within no time it started going viral and it reached to such heights that the same concept was carried forward as commercials.


Click on the image to see the video

Season for viral

In most cases there is no definite time when a video should be uploaded. The thing about a video going viral is that if it’s properly edited with enough good content to keep eyes glued to it, chances are that it will in due course gather decent views. Of course there are few videos which are event and time specific that are released to maximize the benefit of prevailing crowd sentiment.

A clear example of the same was the video leaks of the chammak challo song from the film RA.One. People were already waiting to see how international superstar Akon would sound singing a Bollywood song when the video hit the social media platforms. And within hours, the video had garnered thousands of views. The fact of the matter is that although there is no foolproof time that can assure a video going viral, carefully releasing one in tandem with a stirring event can spell wonder for brands.


Click on the image to see the video

It’s getting hotter

Although there is no hard and fast way to determine what will become viral, a simple idea that lets the viewer have an insight to some really interesting, entertaining or unseen footage will make the cut. There is no upper limit to the viewership that a viral video can achieve as compared to the ad spends that a brand is restricted to.

Combine this with the number of people who are getting on to these platforms and the further rise in users through mobile phones presents an incredible scope for brands to invest in viral videos. They not only come across as spontaneous but also are far more entertaining than a typical tvc.

While the fact remains that not everyone who uses internet would have plausibly view it, chances are that they would’ve heard a mention or two. That’s what internet does right? Spreads information like a wildfire.

Insight in to new Facebook Insights: Part II

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Insight in to new Facebook Insights Part I


Continuing our discovery of the new Facebook Insights, we would now look at growth measurement tools that have been incorporated.

Section 3: Growth Measurement

3.1 Like Sources

Facebook included Like sources in the previous iteration of analytics, but this is now more advanced. This number used to be fairly arbitrary as organic Like sources within Facebook were simply expressed as ‘unknown’:


This has now been expanded upon to give a much more accurate view of how people are not only finding the Page, but also how they Like it. Importantly, this is split down for the different functionalities within Facebook. So, for example, one can now see how many Likes the page is getting as a result of another Page posting a link to the brand Page :


3.2 Demographic Reach

While Facebook offered access to the demographic breakdown of fans, now it gives the admins the ability to see the demographic breakdown of active fans. This shows information on age, gender and location for anyone that was exposed to the content, whether they are a fan of the Page or not. As this gives a more accurate indication of who is actually engaging with the content, one might find that if the demographic breakdown here is different to the demographic breakdown of the fans, then you need to adjust the content to better suit these engaged fans.


3.3 How you reached people?

This graph will allow admins to plot different visits to the Page based on how people were exposed to it. That is to say that if most people are finding the Page through ads, then there is a need to improve the organic content.



Another insight is ‘unique users by frequency’ that gives the average number of times someone engaged with a piece of content. So, for example, one can now see how many people were engaged with your content once, versus the number of people who were engaged with the content 3 times. This counts people that viewed the content, as opposed to commenting or Liking for example.



Overall it seems that Facebook has really jazzed up their insights with tools that give more or less a complete picture of the expanse to which the page admin can monitor developments without having to rely on external softwares. The various new tabs, sub tabs and sections introduced give a real time happening about the brand’s engagement with not only its primary audience (users) but the secondary audience too.

This development also means that as an owner one can gather various data and analytics and determine the course of the page. What kind of content is a hit with the users, what’s not, what will perhaps be received with much enthusiasm, by whom, how etc.

With features such as the Timeline and Subscribers already gaining popularity, carefully integrating the insights with these could only spell wonders for brands. Of course, it does not take away the fact that it becomes a little too complicated from a strategic viewpoint and the results are yet to be seen.

Insight in to new Facebook Insights: Part I

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Facebook Insights had always been a handy tool for page owners irrespective of the size they command. It always provided information about how to make the page even better. Last month Facebook launched a new version of Facebook Insight. Many had speculated it to be a paid service, but so far Facebook is not charging anyone. Here is a look at how the insights have evolved.

Section 1: Reach Measurement

1.1 Friends of Fans

Facebook advertising provides the option to target friends of fans. Essentially this means that the ad will only be shown to friends of people already on the brand page. Now through Page Insights, one can see the total reach of ‘friends of fans’. This is an important number to keep an eye on, as it will ensure that when someone engages with a piece of content on the Page, their friends are being alerted to it. It gives a more accurate reflection of your ‘ambient’ audience. i.e. those who might not be fans of your Page themselves (as this number excludes current fans) but who may have been exposed to your message :


1.2 People Talking About This

This is the most hyped feature that Facebook has introduced. It gives a figure, for the time period that one selects, of the number of times a post was generated about the Page, including links in personal profiles, or posts in which the Page has been tagged in.


Within this new metric, one can see a demographic breakdown of people who are talking about the Page by age, gender and location. One can also compare the viral reach (the number of people who saw your Page), compared to ‘talking about this’ (the number of people who actively created a story). As reach just takes into account people that were exposed to your content, this figure will always be a lot higher than those people talking about it. Individual ‘story’ can be compared, for example the number of times someone tagged the page in a post or photo:


1.3 Weekly Total Reach

Earlier for a post on Facebook Page one could see the individual number of impressions, but not the cumulative total. Now Facebook has introduced a feature that gives the weekly total reach, which is the number of times someone has been exposed to the Page, either through a post, a friend commenting, or through an ad. One can see the percentage change over time, thus, if there is increase in fans but the reach is going down, brand may need to think about creating more engaging content, so as to grow organically:


Section 2: Post Insights

2.1 How viral is a post?

Facebook ranks the posts in order of engagement, as before, but this has been massively expanded on. Now, ranks also show a number of different metrics, which cover : Reach (the total number of people that saw your post) ; Engaged Users (people who interacted with the post in some way, such as clicking on the post in their newsfeed or leaving a comment) ; Talking About This (the number of people who have created a ‘story’ from your post, such as leaving a reply or sharing with friends) and Virality which is slightly more complex. The ‘virality’ of a post is expressed as a percentage of people that created a story about the post, against the total reach. Seeing the posts in this way allows brands to see the content that clearly worked, or didn’t work:



One can then expand on a particular figure, to get more detailed insights. Clicking on ‘reach’ reveals a breakdown of whether that reach came directly from your Page activity, Facebook Ads, or whether it was viral (fans generating stories)



Clicking on ‘engaged users’ shows: Other  clicks (clicks on other parts of the post, such as the name of the person that posted it) ; Link clicks (the number of clicks in a link on your post) ; the number of stories generated from the post, by fans :



Clicking on ‘talking about this’ allows people to see whether these stories generated were someone who likes the post or sharing it:



Click here to read part two of this post.