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Triggering a World Wide Rave

Posted on 6.15.2009

What are the top few enabling factors that trigger a World Wide Rave? What tools can website owners give their audience to spur them to spread content?

These six factors are so important, and each item such a strong predictor of success, that I call them Rules of the Rave.

1. Nobody cares about your products (except you). Yes, you read that right. What people care about is themselves and ways to solve their problems. People also like to be entertained and to share in something remarkable. In order to get people talk about you and your ideas, you must resist the urge to hype your products and services. Create something interesting that will be talked about online. But don’t worry — because when you’re famous on the Web, people will line up to learn more and to buy what you offer!

2. No coercion required. For decades, organizations of all kinds spent bucketfuls of money on advertising designed to coerce people into buying products. For example, “Free shipping,” “This week only, 20 percent off,” and “New and improved” This product-centric advertising is not how you get people talking about you. When you have something worth sharing, people will share it — no coercion required.

3. Lose control. Here’s a component that scares most people silly. You have to lose control of your messages; you need to make your valuable online content totally free (and freely sharable); and you must understand that a World Wide Rave is not about generating sales leads. Yes, you can measure success, but not through business-school Return On Investment (ROI) calculators.

4. Put down roots. When I was a kid, my grandmother said, “If you want to receive a letter, you need to send a letter to someone first.” Then when I was in college, my buddies said, “If you want to meet girls, you have to go where the girls are.” The same thing is true in the virtual world of the Web. If you want your ideas to spread, you need to be involved in the online communities of people who actively share.

5. Create triggers that encourage people to share. When a product or service solves someone’s problem or is very valuable, interesting, funny, or just plain outrageous, it’s ready to be shared. To elevate your online content to the status of a World Wide Rave, you need a trigger to get people talking.

6. Point the world to your (virtual) doorstep. If you follow the Rules of the Rave as I’ve described them, people will talk about you. And when they do, they’ll generate all sorts of online buzz that will be indexed by the search engines, all relating to what your organization is up to. Forget about data-driven search engine technologies. The better approach to drive people to your stuff via the search engines is to create a World Wide Rave. As a result, your organization’s websites will quickly rise to prominence in the rankings on Google, Yahoo!, and the other search engines.


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