Social Strategy in the Age of Viral Content

Rackspace is committed to supporting our partner network through on-demand training, technical resource and consultations. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Jordan Emerson, Director of Awesome (and yep, he lives up to the title) at our partner group The IT Guys, who wanted to help his customers develop a social media content strategy. Small businesses and non-profits may not have the resources for a dedicated social team, so I shared some best practices on their Brain Droppings blog that we’ve learned here at Rackspace:

Viral content is everywhere these days. We’ve all debated the color of that dress. We’ve all shared a trending meme or cat video. For companies new to social media or revitalizing their social strategy, the temptation to “go viral” is very real. Virality has woven itself into the fabric of our culture so seamlessly that brands might not even be aware they’re holding themselves to an unrealistic – and I would challenge undesirable – standard for success.

Viral content is not a business model. Just ask Mathew Carpenter, the creator of ‘Ship Your Enemies Glitter’, who was overwhelmed with demand when his concept went viral. When content goes viral there is an inherent loss of control; no longer are you guiding the conversation, most often you’re just holding on for dear life. There is no guarantee for success and in the end, it can cost you time and money. Nonetheless, as companies begin to develop their social content strategy the appeal to go viral is there.

Want to learn more? Head over to Brain Droppings: The IT Guys blog, for four tips that helped us navigate the social landscape. Whether you’re a small business, big corporation or looking to promote a personal initiative, there’s a little something there for everyone when it comes to executing successful social campaigns.

Elizabeth's passion for connecting with people knows no boundaries. In college, she seized the opportunity to intern in Sevilla, Spain with only an elementary level of Spanish. However, the initial language barrier did not stop her from developing lifelong friendships with the people she met and led to an inevitable love affair with Spanish language and culture. In November of 2011 she joined the Rack as an Enterprise Account Manager, and immediately saw the parallel between her experience abroad and immersion into Rackspace culture. Her favorite part of her job is getting to help employees build strong personal brands online and share their expertise via social media. You can find Liz (as she is referred to by friends) in Austin where she does her best to Keep Austin Weird and teaches yoga in her spare time. Connect with her on LinkedIn or @CreatingLiz on Twitter.

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