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Content Marketing & SEO Blog

Blog about startup growth strategies revolving around content marketing, SEO, CRO, and social media marketing.

Social media engagement, a wild ride

Sean Smith

This is not a story to gloat, this is a story of "WTF"? That's surely what I was saying when this happened.

So here was my situation. For the past two weeks, in my off time from a busy start to Q4 I started writing "How to Blog; The Ultimate Blogging Resource" a post that was, from conception going to be a huge-ass damn post. Enormous, immense, as John Doherty put it

I wanted this post to be the one-stop-shop for people looking for information on Blogging online. It has interviews from tons of industry leaders, friends and co-workers, a huge amount of resources and links, a ton of explanation and literally 2 weeks of on-and-off work. I was hoping it was going to be a success, and it was! At least to me it was. My blog traffic spiked like it hasn't ever done before.

Needless to say with this spike in traffic I was pretty happy, but what happened next I couldn't believe. 


The Scenario

I was sitting on Twitter, monitoring my feed, answering questions, responding to mentions for my post etc. And that's when something fun happened. 

Deadmau5, my favorite EDM artist retweeted this dude's image of a dog with a myostatin deficiency with the caption "Bro, do you even fetch?" To anyone who wants to know what a "myostatin deficiency" is -- it's a genetic mutation that doesn't limit the amount of muscle growth of the affected animal, so a pitbull could look like it's on steroids (more than they already do). Here was the Tweet:


Now, when I saw this I laughed my ass off. I love Deadmau5, I follow all of his stuff, I know what his followers are like, and I know what his sense of humor is like. It actually aligns a ton with mine specifically. I knew that it was just as funny to him. I knew about myostatin deficiencies from research I did back in school, and I knew other animals that had even scarier cases of it.

So what did I do? Belgian blue. 

Just kidding.. but really.. I pulled up good-ol Google and searched for a "Belgian Blue" -- a type of cow that they breed in Belgium with myostatin deficiencies to be massive and produce 10x the meat than a normal cow would. Once again, why I know this stuff? God only knows.

grabbed one of the best pictures from the SERPs, opened up a caption editor, threw some text in there, and tweeted it over to @deadmau5. I never expected him to see it, let alone retweet it. It's one of those things that you just do for the hell of it -- not really expecting that it would work. But that's how viral shit goes, for the most part. If you try to plan viral content and hope that it does something, chances are it won't.  


The Outcome

So about 15 seconds later, I'm headed to the john before splitting to the gym and my phone starts going erratic. I thought either the world was ending and all of my loved ones were calling me in harmony or iOS7 decided to go haywire.

Neither were the case. Just a retweet from Deadmau5.   


This shit got 200 retweets before I could blink. My phone was going off-the-handle. It sounded like a symphony of iOS7 ring tones. I didn't even put it on vibrate because I liked hearing the notifications (and because it might have likely broke my damn phone).  

I was geeking out, but then actually started to get quite cross.  

The mentions and retweets from my 6,000 word post had pretty much died out. It wasn't being discussed much anymore -- and while people were sure to read it for much longer than this tweet -- it still kind of angered me. 

I spent that long putting that post together, all of those resources and ultimately I get far more mentions posting the dumbest of dumbness and having a celeb retweet it. 


The Power of Response Social Media Marketing

It's absolutely undeniable how powerful the effect of well-approached response social media marketing is. It's like a homing missile towards star-dome. A hellfire missile straight to your mention feed.  

The funny part was, I didn't even know I was doing it until it had already happened. That's when I stepped back and said "wait, that was actually -- albeit dumb -- somewhat clever.."  

I knew deadmau5. Not personally, but I know his sense of humor. I follow him, I engage in his content, I listen to his music, I know he is the type of person that aligns with me. And since my brand is essentially myself, that's the "persona" I'm targeting.  

It's really very easy. If you acknowledge and learn as much as you can about the people you follow, you increase your chance at having them mention you or move your stuff forward.  

The power of response social media marketing stems from the ability to throw something together as fast as possible, hustle, because timing is everything.

If I had sent deadmau5 that tweet the next day, after he hadn't said anything about that hilarious gym line, no one would have cared. He wouldn't have been bothered to use it or retweet it, it's about catering to moods -- on twitter more than anything. Tweets have about a 15 minute life-span. But even with that, I was getting retweets buzzing my phone the whole way through my workout. I did turn it to vibrate eventually because otherwise I'd hear a little bird every 3 seconds, instead of Greyhound by Swedish House Mafia (that's my shit when working out, oh man).  

The Lesson? 

Know the people you follow. Know what their likes and dislikes are, know their sense of humor, know their moods, know their patterns. To succeed in response social media marketing you have to know all of these things about your audience.

You have to be quick on your toes.

You have to not expect to succeed.

You have to be outrageous.

It's not always with an influencer, it could be like Oreo's "dunk in the dark" tweet during the Superbowl.  

The funny thing is, I couldn't have cared less if this got retweeted. It really didn't matter to me. My blog probably didn't get affected by it. The 6,000 word post was a labor of love to me. I love talking about blogging and marketing, so it wasn't so much a struggle to write it. Sure I would have liked if it got as much traction as that damned Cow got, but it's fine. 

These were completely different verticals and target audiences, so there is that. One, the tech / blogging community -- the other, the 2 million+ fans that follow @deadmau5.  

They don't really correlate at all, but one responds in quite a larger uproar than the other. This actually made me immediately think of Will Critchlow's "the future of link building" talk from the last link-love conference.  

He saw a post that Lady Gaga tweeted that had 20,000 retweets, so he tweets the same exact quote -- 2 retweets. The celebrity status is just ridiculous in social media, you can't compete. So learn how to tap into it, instead of competing.  

The lesson really wasn't much of anything, other than a picture of a monstrous damn cow got over 400 mentions on twitter, and my 6,000 word blog post got ~30.  

The internet is an awesome, strange, messed up place -- but God, I love it.