Spent some time this week with some ad agency execs chatting about the challenges of building an audience for branded video content on the web. One told me about a piece of humorous content they created for a major package goods company. They posted it on all the usual outlets – YouTube, Facebook, MySpace. It languished until a popular YouTube vlogger praised it. Views spiked from 10,000 to 250,000 in a week.
There is a distinct hierarchy in the social media system and at the top are the people with the ability to influence the stream of conversation. 360i just published a social marketing playbook http://www.360i.com/pdf/360i-Social-Marketing-Playbook.pdf and in it illuminates this hierarchy, describing 6 levels of participation:
The Creators and Critics share the top, are mutually dependent on one another and often exchange roles. For example, a popular blogger or vlogger might be all about identifying interesting content that they praise and send off on a viral run.
Now more than ever, you need friends in the right places.