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Marketing: Christmas Social
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What Makes Things Go Viral?

Recently I was emailed this video of a recent event by the Opera Company of Philadelphia – an “Hallelujah!” Random Act of Culture.

As of this writing, the video has received over 6.7 million views (one of which was mine). The video not only inspired my holiday spirit and belief in the human goodness, but also got me to think about the real characteristics that make something go viral. Ad firms and the like will tout their creativity as the cause. But in order for something to spread this quickly, it needs to touch something deeper than a clever quip. So what makes something go viral?

  • Deep emotion – Beyond our intellect it must strike a deep and strong emotion: joy, hope, anger, compassion, outrage.
  • Speaks to personal  values/beliefs – The sender is reflecting something about him or herself when forwarding to a long list of friends, family and colleagues. Generally it must be special and personal (otherwise recipients tend to ignore it as spam).
  • Exceptional – The item must be unique, original, innovative.  The Hallelujah Chorus is a traditional Christmas classic, but it is the unique placement and surprise that gives this video its inspirational appeal.
  • Well Executed - Sound, image and editing must be well done. Or in today’s fast-paced world, we click on.

Your Next Best Three Steps:

  1. Speak to passion – yours and that of your clients.
  2. Foster the extraordinary – in yourself and your employees.
  3. Enjoy the holidays – both offline and online.

And for some real holiday spirit, see below for a modern/social media take on the Nativity story:

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Jeanne RossommePresident, RoadMap Marketing
Jeanne uses her 20 years of marketing know-how to help small business owners reach their goals. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she held a variety of marketing positions with DuPont and General Electric. Jeanne regularly hosts online webinars and workshops in both English and Spanish. | @roadmapmarketin | More from Jeanne

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Discussion (1) Comment

  1. What a fun video. I especially love the looks of joy that come over people as they realize it’s a live opera company singing to them in Macy’s.


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