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Haider Alleg speaking at Ecom Geneva 2011 ed.

Have you seen the number of buzzwords around social media and viral campaigns lately? In response, I had to return to this topic during the E-com event in Geneva. But first, why?

Viral marketing is not a trend.

Of course, it isn’t. We see great examples of brands running campaigns loaded with views, comments and engagement. But how many brands locally come to an agency asking to be viral?

You don’t ask that. It is a thought process tailored to build growth for your brand. Will that be a positive or negative buzz to it? Who knows, but you are standing true to your concept and are willing to adjust it? 

See, this is what you don’t have when a campaign runs. You don’t have the struggles, the brainstorming, the fallback ideas and everything around to compensate for a bad run.

Be ready for a long conversation.

One of the first things worth mentioning is that whatever you are starting will stay on, especially on social networks. So if you aren’t ready for this, don’t start that fire. Even worse, if you are not prepared to get burned, don’t come close to it. 

The brands jumping on these tactics are mature, well funded and organised. Of course, you always have that example of a firefighter saving a cat and running worldwide but let’s agree that in business, luck is a variable that we shouldn’t count on, and memes, especially the ones using cats, are excluded from any presentations.

Listening before talking

As much as you can, map out your online landscape. It is excellent to look for high reach all the time, but usually, it comes with a cost and a higher risk. Micro-influencers are a great way to start and could be a good cushion to absorb your initial mistakes as a brand.

Get clear on what you expect as KPIs.

Let’s talk business for a second. If you are not engaging to move the needle of your sales or at least positioning your brand, then stop right now.

Even if you are a charity, you have to compute some performance metrics to your activities, and no, this isn’t just a visit or a follow we seek.

You must build a scorecard that includes metrics from reputation, sales, market share, and top in mind anything valuable to your brand.

Will having more followers mean you are better? Not sure depends on your engagement. It will have a high level of engagement, good enough, again, depending on the context.

Also, don’t forget about putting goals. How often do we see great scorecards that stay in trial mode for years?

Of course, easier said than done. That’s why I also recommend defining your path, and the best is to fail. These above are just tips. I’d be happy to learn more about your experience so we can all know collectively. 

If you have to walk away with one principle: influence is not equal to visibility and vice-versa. Then, of course, you can mechanically induce one another, but it is hard work.

Good luck trying to match those viral cats’ performances!

Haider Alleg
Haider Alleg
Entrepreneur Haider developed a toolbox for bringing brand performances to life, helping organisations of various shapes and sizes navigate the unknown and generate growth. This led him to build Kainjoo in 2012, a fast-growing consulting firm supporting ambitious leaders from top 500 Fortune companies. With Allegory Capital, he supports regulated industries to innovate through portfolios of emerging tech and channels.

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