I’ve been pounding on the difference between viral and organic this whole spring, both on this blog, and in pretty much every meeting that talks about web-based marketing.
Although I know it’s not particularly endearing, I love it when my predictions come true. Back in March, I wrote:
An organic campaign nourishes the hosts (or network nodes), and gains the social ‘word-of-mouth’ hyper-growth as the result of its direct benefit to the host. In fact, organic is not just about a marketing campaign, but should be integral in the design of the product in the first place, reducing the need for flashy or creative marketing.
Take Facebook and LinkedIN as examples. Whether I’m reading the digerati or talking to close colleagues, professionals have become weary of widget spam on Facebook, because the widgets are noise, not signal. But new features from LinkedIN actually provide benefit to professionals, and are therefore quickly adopted. In this comparison, Facebook is viral, LinkedIN is organic.
And now, it turns out, advertisers agree with me. In a post on AlwaysOn, John Shinal wrote,
The Collective Intelligence Foo Camp (CIFoo) just concluded. Lots of interesting pieces:
- It’s run on an open WIKI server, demonstrating real trust in the community.
- It’s got a relatively active social network attached, with good comments and lots of shared knowledge.
- Slides are posted. I strongly recommend two based on key metrics for social network development (but search around for others):
- ROI for social networks. Good walk-through of the creation of a business metric to justify investment and measure return.
- Viral marketing performance metrics. Although set in a silly pirate metaphor, the review of a full viral marketing campaign reviews several key performance metrics that define web 2.0 campaigns
What’s the nuance? It’s another great un-sung benefit of all these groovy web 2.0 tools – the outer ring access to conferences and other curricula that provides something on the order of a 50-5 Proposition, which considers that you may get half the value of the conference by spending 5% of the time to carefully read and review the site, slides, presentations and comments. This is not to say that it will replace the conference – so much of those are about who you meet and how you connect – but it’s nice to glean key learnings from a distance.