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Consider these recent events in social media:
1) Former Tonight Show host, in an attempt to kill time during his forced exile from television, starts a Twitter account which quickly amasses more than half a million followers. For reasons not entirely clear, he chooses to follow one person at random, turning a 19-year-old Michigan woman into an instant celebrity.
2) A fan of actress Betty White, determined to see the TV legend host Saturday Night Live, sets up a Facebook fan page to generate support. About three months and nearly half a million fans later, it’s reported Betty will host the show in May.
3) Film critic and prolific tweeter Roger Ebert points followers to a blog article on The Feminista Files about dressing Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe for the ceremony, resulting in a significant increase of readers for author Erica Kennedy, whose blog received a further boost with mentions on high-profile sites Salon.com and The Frisky.
You as a social media marketer may think: what are the chances some celebrity is going to follow your Facebook or Twitter, or else share your content and spark a viral spike in unique views. It would be nice to be singled out in this manner, thereby allowing you to take advantage of growing interest in your blog or social profile – while in time the mass numbers may drop off as the Warholian fifteen minutes tick away, there remains the opportunity to maintain a higher readership than you had before you were discovered.
Of course, nobody will discover you, famous or otherwise, unless you give people something to find. The one advantage to building an archive of blog articles and commentary, Twitter data, and even Facebook status updates is that once they are set free, they remain cached in search. It’s very possible a blog you may consider old news will pop up on somebody’s radar, prompting them to share via Digg, Delicious or a host of other services. The more information is shared daily via social media, the longer it retains relevance. You may think a topic is expired, but it’s always new to somebody.
How do you ignite the spark to get that one retweet or dig? It’s a challenge to pinpoint the magic formula, but ultimately it boils down to A) writing what people want to read, and B) writing it often. You may find it will take many strikes of the match to set one aflame, but if you refuse to lift the flap first and get started, know it will never happen.
Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media optimization and travel social media services. Clients include Gainesville hotels, European hotels, and Virginia web design firms.