Trend Report: The Snowball Effect
This trend report is written by Pi Yin Tai
To keep in line with the theme of Christmas for this issue, we would like to discuss social media trends that also have a festive flavour to them.
Despite Malaysia not being able to have a White Christmas, we would like to share with you an interesting theory inspired by Frosty the Snowman that may just help you with your upcoming campaigns.
WHAT IS THE SNOWBALL EFFECT?
Let’s start by visualising a baseball-sized snowball. It starts small, and relatively insigni cant. But as it rolls down a snowy hill, it comes in contact with a lot more snow. The snowball accumulates not only in size, but in speed. In general terms, a snowball that was once small and insigni cant, begins expanding its surface area quickly and grows exponentially over time to become something rather impactful.
SO HOW IS SOCIAL MEDIA RELATED TO A GROWING SNOWBALL?
Look at Twitter for instance. Twitter is a perfect social snowball medium, as it is built and revolved around users tweeting and retweeting tweets.
If your question is,
How does a tweet go viral?
Here’s the technical answer
Say you have 1,000 Twitter followers. Today, you cleverly tweeted a funny tweet about your cat. Now if 1% of your followers retweet it, and each of these followers has 1,000 Twitter followers as well, the original tweet has now been presented to 10,000 followers in a click of a retweet button. And if we keep the snowball rolling, if 1% out of the 10,000 followers have the same level of humour for your funny cat tweet, your tweet would have a potential audience of 100,000 – in just 2 retweets!
HOW DOES THE SOCIAL MEDIA SNOWBALL WORK FOR CONSUMERS?
Once upon a time, brands advertised with the mindset where if enough people see their ad, some will buy from them. But those ads require a large budget that not every business can afford.
However, with social media and the right campaign strategy (which is something brands should never take lightly), your brand can create an impact on your target audience. In this day and age, when someone wants to buy something, they would first search online for ratings and reviews. With social media, it makes it that much easier to give reviews, ratings and to share the website of a product a customer is satisfied with. As the old saying goes, the best advertisement you can do is one that ensures satisfied customers. When you have happy customers talking about your brand, you create a positive snowball effect. Keep in mind, in this social media era, everything is just one “share” button away.
HOW DOES THE SOCIAL MEDIA SNOWBALL WORK FOR BRANDING?
As much as we want to tell you there is a magic answer to branding, there is none. Branding is very tricky. It does not necessarily come with throwing in a bigger budget for ads. The best advice we can give you if you would like to build on social media: aim to create ripples and not tsunamis.
With a little time and effort to build consistent content that creates talkability, you will slowly create a foundation of brand presence. And the best part is, social media is essentially FREE!
With consistent content that is strategised in one voice with your brand identity, you will be able to spread and multiply a singular brand image from one person to another. Be it to create a strong brand identity, or a buzz for a new product, and even driving sales to your business, this positive snowball effect is something you should aim towards.
SOCIAL MEDIA SNOWBALL EFFECT, YAY?!
As much as we are advocating the positive impact of a snowball effect, this can also have the power to break a brand. The same theory applies to how negative feedback and complaints can go viral and potentially extinguish all the effort and time you have spent to grow your brand. So always, ALWAYS have good damage control when the inevitable happens to cushion the fall.
With that being said, the snowball effect can do wonders for brands, as seen from many interesting and impactful social media campaigns on the web. The question you should ask yourself now is:
what is my social media strategy at hand to generate a positive snowball effect for my brand?
We wish you all the best in your upcoming marketing strategies! If you would like our advice and assistance with your campaigns, do drop us an email at email@example.com and we will be in contact with you!