The internet, ahh, the internet. An exceptional platform offering opportunities for connecting with and reaching millions of people the moment you tap that 'Enter' key. 20-years ago, this would have seem more far fetched than a flying car... or at the risk of dating myself, a digital dancing baby. Today, this is our reality and the phrase 'going viral' can mainly be attributed to the things that take over the internet with the veracity of a wildfire on a dry, windy day. You'll know you've made it when you've finally gone viral. Right?
Is Going Viral 'IT' And Is There A Secret Recipe?
That's what I set out to ask Spectacular Blue Smith - CEO/Founder of Adwizar. His social media management company goes beyond "ghost-posting" to turn a social following into a "productive mass following" - one that generates income. He grows followings by tens of thousands to millions per week. Yes- millions per week. Before he became this entrepreneur captivating online audiences by the millions, you may have known him as a member of the American R&B/Hip-Hop group Pretty Ricky.
Now Spectacular is spending his time helping celebrity clients turn their tribe into treasure using a formula that allows them to create viral content, specific to each client's following, over and over again. He does this by focusing on connecting, guiding, and growing the celebrity as a brand. Of course we can't give away his entire formula, but he was generous enough to share some incredible insights with us, like his rules for creating engaging content.
Here Are Spectacular's Rules:
- Authentic content is the only way. If it is manufactured or forced in any way, you will actually create a negative reaction from followers. Content must be real, relatable, and engaging, never contrived. Remember, it's not about the celebrity, it's about the follower. Your goal should be to give them exactly what they want. Fans are the boss and they can fire you.
- A strong connection is important. Hit 'em where it matters. Emotional connections are the strongest/longest lasting. Speak to them, and their lives, and they will engage in a way you've never seen because you've built your connection on a foundation that means something, rather than just a product or a 'like'.
- Be Organic. Rather than sales/promotion, aim for fan discovery. "Imagine you come up on a picture. It's Shaquille O'Neal working out at the gym. As you glance over the image you realize there is a water bottle sitting next to him. You wonder what water bottle Shaq is using..." Discovery and organic engagement is so much better than just pitching to your followers with a picture of Shaq holding a water bottle telling them to buy it. Let your followers be a part of the lifestyle, the image, the brand you are building, on their own accord. When the power to choose is in their hands, and you present them with choices they really like, the engagement will skyrocket.
How Do We Know This Approach Works?
Judging by Spectacular's statistics, I'd say he knows a thing or two. 3.5 Billion post engagements; 139 Billion impressions for his clients... those are Buzzfeed level numbers. His team of experts are working overtime to make sure their clients are on the path to virality. And they just opened up a new department helping smaller clients reach the one-million follower mark to get into Adwizar's 'viral program'.
With this approach, just like any other, there are cautions:
- Too many endorsements is as bad as the wrong endorsements. Be selective.
- Negative comments are an opportunity to pivot. Use the negativity to edit your approach, and to get to know your followers even better.
- Stay true to who you are (brand personality) BUT do not make it all about you. If you make it about the followers, they will stay true.
Spectacular Smith truly is, as called here at Inc., "the must-have man behind celebrity social brands that fans love." Oh, and he has a new book out, Spectacular Love... which (of course) reached best-seller status while still in pre-order!