While having something go “viral” on the web is among the ultimate achievements for a marketer, it isn’t something that can be easily planned. In fact, a lack of definitive steps and concrete definitions for implementing a “viral” campaign along with the variability of human behavior makes it nearly impossible to truly plan a “viral” campaign.
While there may never be a single path toward a guaranteed viral campaign, researcher Adam J. Mills of the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University suggests an outline for something he calls the “SPIN Framework” for virality in social media.
According to Mills, there are four key drivers of success for viral marketing in the SPIN Framework – Spreadability, Propagativity, Integration, and Nexus.
Mills suggests “Spreadability” is related to the “likeability” and the “sharability” of the content. Mills explains a message that is stimulating or engaging in some emotional or intellectual way is related to the likeability of the content. Mills further explains one’s willingness to distribute the content is related to the sharability of the message.
To build upon the foundational driver of the SPIN Framework Mills proposes, it is also important to consider the technical imperative that exists to facilitate sharability.
For any piece of content to go “viral” on the web, it must be technically easy for a user to effortlessly distribute the content through some technical means. Consider, for example, the Facebook “Like” button. While it requires a user to have a Facebook account and to be logged in to use it, a piece of content that is connected in some technical way to a “Like” button is only one physical action away from a potential “viral” launch – a single click.
In order for the infrastructure to be in place to position content for potential “viral” exposure, one needs to consider ideas that set “virality” in motion such as those suggested by Mills. One needs also to align the technical pieces so that when a user finds something likeable enough to share it, they are only a single click away from contributing to the “viral” phenomenon.
There are a variety of ways to accomplish this technical aspect that helps to support sharability. Each social media outlet often has some unique way of providing some linkage. Some options include plugins within a given content management system. For others, a code snippet will suffice. Identifying the most effective, efficient, and credible option can sometimes be challenging, particularly with rapidly changing technology and social media options.
Kosovich Media Group specializes in helping marketers to connect the technical pieces with the communication plans that help set the stage for “viral” potential.
- Mills, A. J. (2012). Virality in social media: the SPIN Framework. Journal Of Public Affairs (14723891), 12(2), 162-169. doi:10.1002/pa.1418