Did you know Jackie Chan died? I didn’t either. But evidently, the news went viral on Twitter and it wasn’t even true. How did that happen?
Tzvi Balbin tells how it happened. The key lies with a Twitter account by the name of @tweetmeme, which has more than 60,000 followers. A user put up a fake news page, tweeted “RIP Jackie Chan” and @tweetmeme (and its followers) did the rest. Viral marketing at its best.
If one person can achieve top Twitter trends status with fake news, how much easier should it be to do with real news?
Social media offers Internet marketers a powerful way to get our message across, but it is work. The hard work is coming up with an idea that will spread like wildfire. A surprise – maybe even shocking – news item like a celebrity kicking the bucket can do it, but if you want your viral news to represent your company well, then it needs to be real news. It also needs to be relevant to your audience.
I wouldn’t suggest that you tweet your news to @tweetmeme, but it couldn’t hurt. The question is, will that Twitter account’s followers be interested in your news? If so, you could rise with the tide. If not, you haven’t really lost anything.
What’s more effective is to find the influential people – the connectors – in your niche that can spread the news. Once you influence the connectors, things can go viral pretty fast.