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Issue #777: The “10 Lessons from the Most Viral BtoB Report Ever” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That Email Newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

The smart social media gurus at Altimeter Group offer us a classic example of how to help your content go viral. Their latest report, “Social CRM: The New Rules of Relationship Management” has been viewed 30,000 times, favorited 200 times, and embedded more than 130 times.

What it all can teach us:

1> Put it on a blog
2> Add sharing buttons
3> Host it on a sharing site
4> Give them cut and paste content
5> Remove all barriers to sharing
6> Ask people to share it
7> Say thank you
8> Give out the goodies
9> Keep a scoreboard
10> Let them share however they want

1> Put it on a blog

Blog content is always easier to share than something buried on your corporate website. By publishing their report on a blog, Altimeter’s content is quick to publish, easy to link to, and allows for ongoing updates.

See the report

2> Add sharing buttons

Put a share button offering links to all the popular social sites right next to the document. Altimeter’s report offered all the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Reddit, etc. Even if readers don’t always use the actual widgets, posting them next to your content helps get them thinking about sharing your stuff. (Click image for a close-up.)

3> Host it on a sharing site

When you put your paper on a sharing site like SlideShare instead of as a download or PDF on your own site, it already has all the tools for sharing, including email, Twitter, Facebook, and codes that allow bloggers to embed your content on their websites. It won’t cost you a thing and you’ll be instantly sharing with everyone. Bonus: You’ll get new readers who find you when they’re searching on the sharing site looking for similar content. (Below is an example of what SlideShare allows bloggers to do.)

See it on SlideShare

4> Give them cut and paste content

If you want people to write a good post for you, give them stuff they can copy and paste into their content. Altimeter gave everyone a sophisticated chart that they could use with their blog posts. It helps everyone look smarter, better explain a complex idea, and create a more interesting post. If you want to get bloggers to write what you want, write it for them.

See it on Flickr

5> Remove all barriers to sharing

To really help your content go viral, you’ve got to get out of the way. This means removing barriers such as forms, log-ins, and complicated download processes. Just let them grab the stuff and use it. Think of all the times you’ve walked away from a report with an annoying form that demanded your personal information.

6> Ask people to share it

Ask nicely. People are glad to help. For this report, “spreading the report” was one of the four action steps. Altimeter called it “open research” and politely asked readers to share it with partners, constituents, vendors, clients, and to blog about it.

7> Say thank you

Give positive reinforcement every time someone shares your content. When someone blogged about the Altimeter report, Altimeter added them to the original blog post. If your readers tweet about your content, re-tweet it. If they write something nice, post a comment on their blog. Do everything you can to show your appreciation.

8> Give out the goodies

Give people all of your content, not just a snippet and a plea for a link. It’s one thing to say, “Hey, will you link to this report?” It’s an entirely different proposition when it’s “Hey, here’s the full report. Feel free to share it.” When your fans can only post a link, it’s promotional. But when they can blog a full report and add their insights, it gives them a chance to create genuine content — making their blog more valuable.

9> Keep a scoreboard

Use a scoreboard to put all of this word of mouth on display. Most of the sharing sites use them automatically, and it helps everyone see all of the buzz about your content — leading to more word of mouth. When people see that 30,000 people have viewed and shared Altimeter’s report and re-tweeted it 550 times, it just creates more buzz and adds more legitimacy for their content.

10> Let them share however they want

Help fans of your content share it however they want. Ask yourself: Do you care how they share? Or that they share? Give them every tool you can to help them share with more people, more often, in the way that’s easiest for them. And don’t try to control it, just enjoy it.

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Comments

  1. Jeremiah Owyang April 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Thanks Andy

    I really appreciate this. In fact, I just cross-linked back to you, which of course cements the linking relationship “thank you!”

    Perhaps number 11 would be: We also create a community, called the Social CRM Pioneers using Google Groups where the conversation has grown beyond the report.

    Also, we’re trying a new business model, by sharing openly our research “Open Research” we know the influence will spread and grow, rather than hiding it behind a registration page or a paywall. We see it working.

    Much appreciated, thank you!

  2. R "Ray" Wang April 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Andy,

    thanks for the mention. we’re really thankful for the pre-report contribution and the post-report response. Great break down of what can be done!

    R

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Jeremiah Owyang’s “Altimeter Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM, The New Rules of Relationship Management” - April 12, 2010

    [...] * Ray Wang, my co-author on this report has his take * I cross posted on the Altimeter Blog, see comments * Dave McClure, VC blogged his take * Ray also cross posted on Enterprise Irregulars * Marketing Profs Daily Fix, and it ended up on the homepage * Brian Solis, speaker, thought leader reviews the report and extends the conversation about customers * All Things Digital cross posts Brian’s piece * David Berkowitz posts on Marketer’s Studio, we await his detailed review later * Gauravonomics builds off of our use cases and creates a matrix, well done. * Clo takes a sales focus, and extends the thinking and rallies for action * Jacob Morgan has an excellent review, because he critiques the many vendors needed for 5Ms (see my comments on his blog) and discusses the need to separate automation vs manual processes. He cross posted on Cloud Ave * Prem, one of the thinkers in this space says the report helped to crystalize thinking, read his review. * More thinking about gurus and vendor control in this post and comments. * Tac Anderson, a practitioner and thinker on social business compares to his existing frameworks when it comes to sales * Stefano takes the use cases and aligns them with the Groundswell objectives, interesting. * Get Satisfaction blogs about the report * Our friends over at Web Analytics Demystified, also a research and consulting boutique, notice our pragmatic approach. I’m working on a report with them, stay tuned. * Marshall Sponder hopes we take the report further –and notices what we did, a gap in implementation partners * VC Cafe says this is a must read report * Connie Bensen of Techrigy, Alterian points out it all starts with listening * Greg Moyer wants to see more research on this topic, including the final impacts * Also in Italian, look for the small icons at top to translate into English * Customer think publishes Ray’s points * Mike Boysen does a detailed review of the paper, adding additional points, really extends the conversation * Gerald Hensel did not find it boring * Adam “The Metz” suggests sales 2.0 folks read the paper * Mitch expands on use case rapid social sales response (S2) * Ogilvy’s John Bell, calls for a definition, discusses influencer relationship management, and questions the difference * John Batelle, CEO of Federated Media shouts out about the report * Paul Greenberg discusses the changes the report has caused, and makes some suggestions, thanks Paul. He also reviews the use cases, and points out other reports. * Dennis Howlett gives a critical review, requesting more use cases that have direct impacts to the bottom line. Fair enough feedback. * Filiberto reviews the report, and gives some strong cursory reviews. * Well respected analyst Rachel Happe covers the report and seeks definitions around SCRM in relation to collaboration. Short answer? A company must first love itself before it can really love their customers. * Perkett PR listed this as a key weekly read * InsideView takes a look at this from a sales perspective. * Ross Dawson, looks at this from both an industry analyst perspective. * Andy Sernovitz, who runs the social business council says this was the most viral B2B report ever, a… [...]

  2. Altimeter Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM, The New Rules of Relationship Management « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing - June 22, 2010

    [...] Andy Sernovitz, who runs the social business council says this was the most viral B2B report ever, a… [...]