Viral marketing has existed on the Internet for a long time, but now this kind of marketing is more powerful because of the large number of people on social networks.
Viral marketing can be applied for any kind of products and services, even news.
Therefore, you will see news organisations, not only in Thailand, but around the world, active across social-media platforms that are the most popular in each country.
In Thailand, news organisations are very active on three social forums – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. News is fed over their timelines around the clock. People spend a lot of time grabbing information from social-media outlets, especially via smartphone.
I asked university students I teach how they consume news. Almost all said they read news that is shared on social media every day. This might represent the way the new generations get their news. That’s why viral marketing is so important.
News organisations here, no matter what “platform” they use – newspapers or broadcasts or event Web-based news platforms – also use social media to reach a greater audience and build their brands. They keep distributing the news, getting in touch with communities, and receiving feedback, as well as news “clues” from crowd-sourcing.
For a clip or news to “go viral”, it needs to be attractive, be inspired, and address human interests.
However, it is normal to see viral marketing campaigns put on social media with several different themes. Some are positive, some negative but all can make it.
Recently, for example, an actress posted a video clip on social media to complain about her boyfriend. This was the talk of the town for a day. Then, there were claims that her clip might be a part of a “viral marketing” push to promote her new film.
Another example involved a full-page advert about an event in a newspaper. But the advert only listed the name of the event – nothing more. Someone put this ad on social media and said it was a result of an error in the client’s advertising department, which failed to submit ad artwork to the newspaper in time. Then, all that day, many people shared and shared this advert on their social networks, so many eyes saw it without any cost.
The challenge for marketers in every company, not only businesses but also news organisations, is how they can be creative to design and develop a piece of advertising, in any form, including text, photos, and video clips, to attract people’s interest, to persuade them to be willing to help it “go viral” freely by simply sharing it.
Now we are in the social-media era, so we need to think social! And we need to change the way we interact with audiences from one-way communication to inform, or show, or to advertise to become a two-way communication tool to get participation from people on social media. And to get your products and services seen and in people’s minds, by making them interesting.