Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance
The concept of viral marketing has been discussed in the literature for over 15 years, since Jeffrey Rayport first introduced the term in 1996. However, the more widespread use of social media has recently pushed this idea to a whole new level. We provide insight into the relationship between social media and viral marketing, and illustrate the six steps executives should take in order to dance the social media/viral marketing waltz. We define viral marketing as electronic word-of-mouth whereby some form of marketing message related to a company, brand, or product is transmitted in an exponentially growing way--often through the use of social media applications. We consider the three conditions that need to be fulfilled to create a viral marketing epidemic (i.e., giving the right message to the right messengers in the right environment) and present four different groups of social media viral marketing campaigns (nightmares, strokes-of-luck, homemade issues, and triumphs). We conclude with five points of caution that managers should heed when trying to launch their own viral marketing campaign.
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- Dobele, Angela & Lindgreen, Adam & Beverland, Michael & Vanhamme, Joelle & van Wijk, Robert, 2007. "Why pass on viral messages? Because they connect emotionally," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 291-304.
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- Chrysanthos Dellarocas, 2006. "Strategic Manipulation of Internet Opinion Forums: Implications for Consumers and Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(10), pages 1577-1593, October.
- Dellarocas, Chrysanthos, 2003. "The Digitization of Word-of-mouth: Promise and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms," Working papers 4296-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2010. "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 59-68, January.
- Chrysanthos Dellarocas, 2003. "The Digitization of Word of Mouth: Promise and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(10), pages 1407-1424, October.
- Phelps, Joseph E. & Lewis, Regina & Mobilio, Lynne & Perry, David & Raman, Niranjan, 2004. "Viral Marketing or Electronic Word-of-Mouth Advertising: Examining Consumer Responses and Motivations to Pass Along Email," Journal of Advertising Research, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(04), pages 333-348, December.
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