SCD Marketing asked:

One of the most vital aspects of this recent marketing concept which every business owner should be aware of is that it’s completely free. With the right idea, intuition and planning; viral marketing on social networking websites can return thousands of client prospects to any business website.

Social networking website, as the name suggests, are networks of people and friends who use the Internet to communicate, socialise and share, all through one website. Common websites of this nature are Myspace, Facebook, Bebo and many others.

These websites can be utilized through viral marketing methods; that is the concept of providing marketing material which propagates itself to many other people by giving an incentive for this to occur. For today’s Internet audience this incentive is usually interesting, entertaining and more commonly, not related to the business involved.

This may sound confusing but it’s the system of these networking websites which allows this technique to become effective. For example if a business finds a video which could become popular. If this video is interesting, entertaining or both, it will entice viewers to pass it onto their friends to share it. By adding your website link or marketing message into that video as a footer, or maybe adding your URL to the video description, your business details are being passed wherever the video is sent. This is what makes viral marketing on social networking websites so powerful for businesses of any size.

One important factor must always be taken into account for successful viral marketing and that’s to not flood the media with your material. Journalists, the media and members of the public will value your contributions much more if every one of them has a sense of strong content and a good angle. Distributing viral releases or PR as much as you can will result in people devaluing your presence if the content isn’t worthwhile.

Some websites such as Myspace also offer profiles which can be used to the same effect. Making a profile for your business allows you to add people all over the world as friends, who can see your profile and therefore any marketing message you choose to present. However an interesting, unique angle is often required to make the most effective use of this method. For example using an interesting, make-believe character as the profile owner or offering another, more attention-grabbing incentive for visiting your website.

Should you get professional assistance with social networking campaigns? That’s the question many businesses will ask. Managing director of SCD Marketing Scott Chapman explains:

“One of the great benefits of viral marketing on social networks and anywhere else is that it’s 100% free and can provide fantastic results. Good marketing agencies do have the Public Relations and marketing knowledge to get the right angle for your material, which will result in the most publicity. Whether a person chooses management for their viral campaigns depends on the situation they are in but if the budget is there then I’d certainly recommend looking into it.”


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