socialmedia Welcome to my series of blog posts on the ABC's of Social Media, a tool that you can use to make you more "hip" in the world of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (just to name a few).  Today's letter is "V". "V" brings us vlogs, VIOP, and video but I'm going with something a bit more clinical.  Today's word is Viral.

"V" is for Viral

whisper Viral

Pronounced: Vahy-ruhl

For something to be viral, means that it is able to replicate itself or convert other objects to copy itself when those objects are exposed to it.

In the context of Social Media, examples of things that can be viral are marketing, advertising, and video.  As defined in Wikipedia:

start_quoteViral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. Viral marketing is a marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message voluntarily. Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages. The basic form of viral marketing is not infinitely sustainable.end_quote

They say that the average consumer tells three people about a product they like and eleven people about a product they did not like.  Viral marketing is based on this natural human behavior by targeting folks with a high social network reach and creating viral messages that appeal to that user base causing a high probability of being passed along.