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Fast Company Learns Value and Results of Social Media Marketing Through Online Viral Project to Promote Brand

Posted By: Carlee Vellinga

Last May, Fast Company challenged digital marketing firm Mekanism to an online viral project to promote its brand. Mekanism worked with Fast Company to initiate the Influence Project. This venture, which aimed to find the most influential people on the Web, received much attention. Bloggers and websites picked up the project with both praises and criticisms. The commendable endeavor allowed Fast Company to learn about the value and results of social media marketing.

When deciding how to expand branding efforts to social media, it is vital to consult a professional. A professional can plan a social media campaign which will align with the overall business strategy. It is necessary to measure the outcomes of a campaign to ensure that the efforts support the marketing and branding strategy. This editorial by Robert Safian from FastCompany.com reviews the results of The Influence Project.

Letter From the Editor: The Influence Virus: Our Unlikely Experiment in Social Media

The first time I participated in a viral marketing effort, it was on a whim. And it failed miserably — in part because we didn’t actually have a purpose. I was a freshman in college, and late one night, a few of us came up with a bunch of quirky sayings that included the words “Goats Head Soup” (the name of a Rolling Stones album). We then stuck these sayings under the doors of every dorm room in our part of campus. Perhaps if we’d been trying to spur CD sales, it would have made sense. As it was, all we were after was a little buzz of conversation the next morning. By the time we woke, we’d forgotten what we’d found so funny the night before.
Today’s viral-marketing efforts tend to be more sophisticated, and yet there’s still a seat-of-the-pants vibe about the whole area. Having your concepts “go viral” has become a holy grail. There is no more hotly discussed business arena today — more debated, more feared and loved, more misunderstood and changeable — than social media. Marketers, brands, and individuals are using tools such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to get earned media on the web. Why pay for an ad campaign when others will spread your message for free? On the other hand, how can you control a message in this unruly world?

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