The Morning After: An Inside Look at Viral Metrics
I had the great fortune on Friday to have experienced a true Internet phenomenon – the picture of the new NBC logo I designed for fun got picked up by several high profile websites, and I had my 15 minutes of fame, so to speak (if you want to get technical, I had 17 minutes, because that was for precisely 17 minutes I was on the trending topics of twitter).
So, I wanted to dissect my findings, and just see exactly where everyone came from as best I could.
First, the raw numbers (as of 9am today):
- 8,503 views on TwitPic
- 300 RT (Retweets) to the TwitPic Site
- 1,537 RT to the Mashable article
- 217 RT to FunnyOrDie
- 116 RT to The Hollywood Reporter
- 49 RT to the Digg Article
- 32 RT to the Daily What
- over 200 other various RT’s to other sites.
- 987 Diggs
- 8 Reddit Bumps
- 251 Facebook Shares
- 67 Facebook Posts
- oh, and as an added (uncounted) bonus, my own website got 500 new hits (not too bad considering I never published the site on the twitpic – people tracked it down themselves).
That means that there was a total of 12,267 tracked* impresssions. And those are only the most popular ones – who’s to say that there aren’t more that I didn’t know about?
But, out of those numbers, I found out some really interesting results.
Digg is good for numbers, but not positive feedback
We all know that Digg has went from a socially accepted way to find popular information to… well… the bridge in which trolls live. While I did get a lot of diggs from the post, an overwhelming majority of the comments (over 50% if I counted right) were non-related or unnecessarily pessimistic. Elsewhere on the internet, 99% of the comments were overwhelmingly positive. I still got traffic, but it’s not good for constructive criticism.
Viral doesn’t necessarily mean video
An image that went viral – sure, it’s not a viral video, but it still put up some impressive numbers. Don’t think that video has to be the first option you choose – sure, a video will be more likely to be widely spread, but for people who have zero time to watch a video, a quick glance at an image will do just the trick.
People still found my website, even though I didn’t post it.
And I think I actually got a client out of it, perhaps. But I didn’t post on my blog, or even mention the viral activity, until after it happened. And I never put my website address on the twitpic comment – I just posted the image and let people do their thing.
Total self promotion of image: 2 tweets
After i posted the image, I made two tweets about it – one on Thursday night, and one on Friday night. Everyone else did the rest.
So, anyone can have something go organically viral – where others are spreading it around with far little effort on your part. Make something that’s good content, be passionate about it, and people will recognize the effort and will share it with their friends.
Thanks again, by the way, to everyone who clicked on the Retweet button, the digg button, or sent it to their twitter or facebook friends – it’s cool knowing that I made a little piece of history that day (hey, I beat out Twitter Location Based Trending Topics as a story of the day on Mashable!)