A self-styled social media scientist and his Facebook marketing wife taught local businesses a little about the ins and outs of Web campaigns on Friday.
Dan and Alison Zarrella flew in from their Las Vegas home to teach dozens Chattanoogans how to spread ideas in Facebook posts and 140-character Tweets.
The world of social media is like a small town, Dan Zarrella said after making a presentation about the myths and statistics of social media messaging.
“It’s talking to people, it’s community, kind of word-of-mouth,” he said.
Though there isn’t a magic formula for sparking a viral campaign, Zarrella said three things can increase the likelihood of success. He calls it the “hierarchy of contagiousness.”
“They have to be exposed to your idea, then they actually have to become aware of that content,” he said. “Then something in that content has to motivate me to want to spread it.”
Dan Zarrella encouraged attendees to craft relevant messages about unique information and express them in simple language.
“Really flowery, overly descriptive language doesn’t do well in social media,” he said. “As complexity of language increases, the amount of times its shared on Facebook decreases.”
Alison Zarrella explained recent changes to Facebook’s format and recommended ways marketers could take advantage of them.
“Getting into the newsfeed and also into the ticker is getting more and more important,” she said.
Online applications allow companies to localize information by region, to post messages based on time zone, and to access multiple social media sites at once.
She recommended providing exclusives for Facebook users who “like” a brand or company. Those could be coupons or early access to a new retail line.
The Johnson Group’s Joe Johnson has been working with the Zarrellas for about a year and brought them to Chattanooga for Friday’s four-hour social media crash course at The Loose Cannon Gallery.
“They’ve been so helpful to us, we thought it would be great,” Johnson said.
Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...