The TED Formula for Going Viral

Twitter is a powerful tool. But I have not seen very many marketers using it effectively. All the ‘gurus’ are telling us to follow EVERYBODY, then send out tweets to every single person who has ever tweeted on our subject. Plus, all these Twitter software packages make that kind of stuff so easy…some of it is even ‘set it and forget it’. Ok, so everyone is telling how to use Twitter…right? What is the big deal? The ‘big deal’ is that these techniques suck. I have read my fair share of Twitter spamming guides. Why? Because they were pitched as legitimate guides for getting targeted traffic from Twitter, and lots of it.

However, when I opened ‘them up to browse through, most of them recommended things like mass replies, mass follows (with specific details to help you avoid getting your account banned…which were effective for about 1 week until Twitter updated its security to detect these deceptive tactics…again), and other spammy techniques. This tells me that there’s tons of people out there who have read these guides and think that they are legitimate ways to get traffic from Twitter…and that is plain scary. Sure, these poor souls could use the techniques to get SOME traffic from Twitter, but at any second Twitter could ban their accounts for spamming. Destroying hours and hours of effort and hard work.

They have no idea that this dagger is hanging over their heads, ready to fall at any second. If we can skip over the fact these techniques are borderline spam. These techniques are only plainly not effective. They turn Twitter into a numbers game, a small numbers game. A game where only a teeny tiny percentage of the people you contact on Twitter will ever respond to you or take the action you are asking them to. And often, these ‘gurus’ tell you to use deceptive tricks to get people to click through your link on Twitter. Again, not highly effective.

And will not build your business. These ‘gurus’ have the Miracle Twitter Formula upside down and backwards. They are not targeting specifically who they want to interact with. Most of the time they leave it up to the software program to help them out, and maybe they will throw in a keyword or two to help it along.

This is the ‘spray and pray’ strategy. Where they spray their message out there to every single person they can, and then pray that a few of them are the right people and are willing to respond. Nuh uh…not going to work. Next, I will show you how we fix this. Here is where we flip the Magic Formula back the right way. The Miracle Twitter Formula is quality + quantity = profits. Putting all your focus on quantity is a good way to get your followers to unfollow and to get your account banned.

It is a little counter intuitive, but the secret to massive floods of Twitter traffic is to focus on quality. Quality of your messaging (to build trust) and quality of the people you select (not the quantity). Here is why this works:

Imagine standing in front of about 10 people. 10 people standing in front of you in a semicircle. Standing side-by-side, probably filling your entire field of vision. Then try 50 people. Alright, that is a lot more people. You can see them going standing behind your first 10 people, all packed in tight trying to see and hear you. Ok, now let us make a big step up and imagine 500 people. That is a lot of people. That is more people than I could fit in my house. Now try to sell them on something. Tell them about the best movie you have seen lately and then recommend that they go see it too. Go ahead.

Try to persuade each one of those people to take your advice. I think you would find that to be tough… to get all 500 of those people to follow your advice and take your recommendation. But imagine your best friend. With everything that you know about them. With the trust that exists in your relationship. Imagine sitting and chatting with your friend and using that trust and that knowledge of what kind of things they like to persuasively recommend they go see the movie. It probably would not be that hard…it would probably only take you 3 or 4 minutes. Trust is one of the most important elements of an online business. When your audience trusts you, you get closer and closer to become that trusted advisor figure in their lives.

This is a concept I first learned from Dan Kennedy and have heard repeatedly from the likes of Frank Kern and so many others. If you have been in the internet marketing arena for any amount of time, I am sure you have heard it too. Trust is vital to your business. Trust rules over almost everything else…The Tweeters who are most trusted have the most power to command their followers. And I mean ‘command’ here in the gentlest way possible of course. In the next section, I am going to share how you can borrow trust from some super high-profile Tweeters.

And then I will show you a strategy you can use to become one of those super high-profile Tweeters yourself. Before we get into the tactics that I want to teach you. I want to set the scene with an amazing formula for getting things to go viral. What you are about to see is a formula discovered by the Trend Manager at YouTube. His job is literally to watch videos all day. There’s over 48 hours (2 days) worth of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.

There’s so much video on YouTube that it is impossible for ANYONE to watch all of it in their lifetime. This is the most powerful strategy I must share with you. And the best part is that it is also the simplest. Wouldn’t you like to have a huge mass of Twitter followers who will jump at the chance to do anything you ask? Well, the harsh truth is that you are probably not in that position… (Well, not yet anyway. I will show you how to get there in the next section.)

So, the fastest and simplest way to tap into this massive group of highly interested followers is to…Make friends. By becoming friends with the mini celebrities in your niche, you can tap into the incredible audience they already have just about any time you want. These are the ‘taste makers’ in your industry. And they are powerful. They are mini celebrities. Probably unheard of outside whatever niche you are in. But highly influential among the people in it.

Remember all the talk about trust from before? Well, these are the people that have it…a lot of it…from a lot of people. And they are the ones we are going to ‘borrow’ it from. In this section, I am going to walk you through how to become friends with these people and damn-near ‘force’ them to promote your stuff. This is psychology at work here, so if something seems a little slow or indirect, look at the principles I am using, and it should make sense. If you still do not think the method makes sense, try it. And you will see the power of real psychology principles applied to the real world. First though, you must know: How to Find These Special People

Think – you probably already know who most of these ‘taste makers’ are. Just take a few minutes to make a list of the people who are popular. This means anyone who is well known, does podcasts, runs a big site, or has a big product/course or coaching program out there. It does not just have to be individuals either, your list could include big companies too.

Google – search for sites and products in your niche. The loudest people on Twitter are usually the loudest people on the web too, so they are usually not too hard to find. Search Amazon for popular authors. Search iTunes for podcasters. Search the forums for references to the mini celebrities, maybe they even post at the forums themselves. Again, you are just making a list here of the most popular people in your niche.

Niche-Specific Stuff – If there are popular TV shows in your niche or magazines, look for those too. TV show guests and magazine covers are great places to find niche celebs. Twitter – We are going to take this one in 2 steps.

Step 1: Search for your niche on Twitter. Pretend you are a consumer and that you are looking for info on some topic within your niche. Who is talking about it? Are they helping/teaching people? How many followers do they have? What do they do in the niche outside of Twitter? Start following the Tweeters who have a lot of followers, say interesting things, and have other things outside of Twitter (like a popular blog for example).

Step 2: Take the big old list you’ve got now from your brain, Amazon, Google, etc. and look for everyone on Twitter. Search for the people and search for the companies. Follow whoever you find. Next, you will also want to keep track of how many followers each of these Tweeters has. Then get a general feeling of how much they tweet and how well they engage their followers. (You can do this by searching for their @name. This will give you an idea of how often they have conversations with people. More interactions/engagement = good)

Now, in a perfect world I could give you exact criteria for what makes someone a ‘taste maker’…but this is not a perfect world. There are no exact criteria because each niche has a different number of average followers and different levels of average engagement. Some knitting ‘taste makers’ might have 100,000 followers who they interact with personally every week. Whereas a marketing ‘taste maker’ might have 100,000 followers who they talk AT and do not interact with very much. You have got to look at what you have got in your niche and compare them. That is the only way to do it.

Once you are following your ‘taste makers’, it’s time to: Make Contact – This is a lot easier than it may seem, because you are going to be doing 2 things at once: Be different from all the ‘other guys’… But be like them. You have got to position yourself as a friend. Someone who is in it with them, and not just another consumer follower. The best way I have found to start this is to complement their stuff to your own followers.

You want to take on the voice of expertise in your niche, and you are reviewing or critiquing their stuff (stuff = products/site/Twitter feed/etc.). So, make a couple Tweets saying you have just discovered them, think their stuff is good, and that you recommend it to anyone looking to do [whatever their stuff does]. Obviously, you have your own tweeting style, but this type of tweet adds a little authority to your voice here. 

Do not be lazy with your compliment. Pick something they have done well or that you like, and then say it. Simple as that. Now that you have completed the foundation, it is time to: Before you interact with these ‘tastemakers’ you have to understand a couple things. These should guide your every interaction: be friendly and casual (You want to legitimately become their friends. Friends do things for their friends. It has been said that ‘a man is only as powerful as his network’.)

Be respectful of their time (They have got tons of stuff going on, they may not have time to just chit chat. Be sure to stay friendly and casual though.) Make them an offer they cannot refuse (Stack the offer in their favor if you want them to do something for you. Give them a bigger-than-usual chunk of the commissions because of the volume they can potentially give you. Would you rather have 100% of nothing or 50% of a lot?) Be honest (They often have finely tuned ‘BS Detectors’ because of the people that approach them with pitches. Remember that you are different though, you are focusing on the friendship first.)

Make it easy for them (Again, they are busy or maybe just lazy. Does not matter. If you want access to their followers make it dead-simple for them to help you out. If you are asking them to promote something to their followers, give them some pre-written tweets they can use for inspiration…or just copy if they want to.)

-make them look good (Remember they have a reputation to protect. So, if you are asking them to promote your product, make sure it is a good product.) So, with that in mind, it is time for a direct message. Remember, you want to be friendly and casual. It really helps to compliment them again. Do not be shy here, a little praise (and a little sucking-up) goes a long way. Then offer to help them with some problem they are having or a project they are working on. This will skyrocket your relationship by creating a huge amount of goodwill with your ‘taste maker’. If you have done your homework and have been reading their tweets, you are probably aware of some problem they have or something that they are working on. If your relevant skills, offer to help.

Otherwise, Google for an answer to the problem and then let them know what you found. For example, let us say one of your ‘taste makers’ is trying to do some graphic design stuff for their site and is having trouble getting it finished. If you are good at graphic design, offer your skills for free or super cheap. Or maybe you know a pro designer who could help or give advice. This behavior (offering to help without being asked) helps to invoke the law of reciprocity. The law of reciprocity is the natural human wiring that says if someone does something for you, you feel obligated to do something back. Basically, they will owe you one. And all you had to do was be super nice. So now that you are in contact with them, I do not recommend asking for favors right away.

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