Some people believe the craziest things — despite being proven wrong. Science can explain why people are stupid.
Hi. I’m Jerry Silver.
I’m a professional PR advisor based in Stockholm, Sweden.
I write advice on PR, online psychology, persuasion techniques, and
media logic. Insights and tactics that you can use to communicate better.
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You can also read my latest articles below (or browse the archive).
15 years in public relations has taught me a thing or two about spin.
Unfortunately, people tend to believe in whatever version of a story that benefits themselves the most — or the version that’s coherent with their existing view of the world (they are often one and the same). Evidence and facts tend to have little effect on those who have made up their minds.
Oxford Dictionaries even named ‘post-truth’ Word of the Year in 2016, so there’s that.
Unfortunately, it’s often enough to sway people by casting enough doubt on the truth — especially if the truth is somehow inconvenient.
Successful online activation campaigns must isolate and engage. The Engagement Pyramid explains how and why.
We all care, but only so much.
If you’re looking to boost crowd behaviors, you must cater to various levels of engagement.
If you can get 1% to enter as creators, you should be happy. But, to be successful, you should also attract contributors — even if you can’t expect them to invest as much engagement as your creators.
Your “ask” of your contributors must be considerably smaller than that of the creators; if creators upload their best summer pictures, maybe contributors can suggest creative captions for their favorite entries? Now, if both creators and contributors are having fun, why not invite lurkers to simply cast their votes with only the click of a button?
This is an example of why the Engagement Pyramid matters.
Do you aspire to design viral loops for your business? Bring out your calculator — it’s time for viral math.
Let’s do some viral loop math!
Let’s say you post a cat video on YouTube. And it’s (obviously) really, really funny.
You share it across your social networks and you get your first 1,000 views.
Out of these viewers, 10% (100 people) decides to share your cat video with their friends, once. Each share generates 11 new views of the video, a total of 1,100 views. Going from 1,000 views (1st cycle) to 1,100 new views (2nd cycle) equals a viral coefficient of 1,1.
And anything above 1,0 = viral, wohoo!
How many views will you get in the 3rd cycle? Out of the 1,100 people in the 2nd cycle, 10% will share it once generating on average 11 new views per share and — boom! — you get 1,210 (1,100 x viral coefficient) additional views after the 3rd cycle!
Well, look at your cat video now, mighty Viral Loop Designer!
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s examine the inner workings of viral math:
Some say you should go big and wide, others say go focused and deep. Which marketing strategy is right for your business?
Should you opt for quantity or quality in your marketing efforts?
Or a mix of both?
These are questions many businesses struggle with today.
On the one hand, we hear of businesses that are extremely successful in leveraging creative mass media campaigns, multi-channel advertising, and aggressive sales efforts.
On the other hand, we also hear of businesses that are equally successful without spending any money on advertising, brands who rely on their fanbase, influencer endorsements, word-of-mouth, and publicity.
In my experience, both sides make compelling arguments.
But which side is right for your business?
Not my best year, but many valuable lessons.