Engaging Customers And Going ‘Viral’

Probably 99% of us have seen the insanely popular “Honey Badger” video that has spread across YouTube with over 45 million viewers in a year. If you haven’t, ‘Google’ the phrase ‘honey badger’ and you will find the first page filled with references to the hilarious viral sensation.

So what do businesses and brands stand to learn from the honey badger? Well, first off, that he doesn’t give a sh*t. But mostly, it’s that he shows us the power of going ‘viral’ on the Internet. If you want to truly engage your customers as well as potentially gaining mass amounts of viewers to your brand, the honey badger can give us some tips.

  1. Keep your message simple: We now know honey badgers are nasty and aren’t scared of anything. Keep your message simple and you will have a better chance of engaging customers.
  2. Be unique in your delivery: Randall, who is the voice behind the honey badger videos has a very unique voice and has a humorous delivery that is memorable. Think of how you can be unique in your messages so that you increase your chances of being remembered.
  3. Tell a story: The video tells a story about the honey badger, what he likes and doesn’t like, how he acts. Telling a story about your brand makes it more likely for people to connect with you.
  4. Keep the viewer guessing: Although it is useless information, we can’t help but watch because we want to see  what craziness the honey badger do next. Keeping the viewer on the edge of her seat is a great way to increase your chances of going viral.
  5. Create a character: Because of the video, the honey badger now has a personality of it’s own – nasty, vicious creature who doesn’t “give a sh*t”. Humans tend to relate emotionally to characters more than things, so make sure that your brand is relatable to your target audience.

With today’s information sharing capability using social media and internet marketing, almost any company or brand can succeed engaging customers. Social engagement is the practice of marketers creating conversation about industry-related topics and news, and by encouraging customers to share conversion via social networks.

Social media is nothing new. In fact every business across the globe is embracing networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But we need to learn from the honey badger; everything that we do on these platforms has to be simple or unique, tell a story, be exciting, hilarious, controversial, etc, etc, the list goes on.

Simply put, think about why your message will be remembered.

There are several different ways small businesses can promote social engagement. One of the easiest ways to do this is a blog. Blogging has been around for years, but the emergence of social media has exploded it into a giant pipeline of sharing knowledge, information and entertainment. There are virtually unlimited ways that you can show that you are an important part of your industry with a blog.

You can write about:

  • industry news
  • your opinions on new products or practices
  • ways you can save your customers money
  • ways that you can make it easier for your customers
  • valuable industry tips

Just think of why people hire or buy from your company, then write about it. And don’t forget to make it easy for people to share these posts via social sharing buttons such as ShareThis. ShareThis is a great tool to help engage customers by allowing them to share your content with many different social media and content channels. With free and paid options, ShareThis makes it super easy for people to help your message to go viral.

Another hugely successful way of getting people talking about and sharing your company brand is video. YouTube, is the uncontested champion here with about 1 billion views a month. If used correctly YouTube not only can get you a lot of attention from viewers, it can increase your search results due to it’s parent company – a little company called Google.

Video gives you the power to not just tell your customers that you know your stuff, but actually show them that you do. Video is one of the best ways to advertise your company; consequently it is one of the most underutilized vehicles by small businesses.

Check out our study on YouTube use by local businesses in Syracuse, NY

There are many ways that video can increase your brand recognition, but there are two very effective strategies that I would like to highlight. One is to create a very regular (daily, weekly, bi-weekly) video series that helps your viewers solve a problem, shows your expertise and puts your company brand in their minds. The other is to create emotion-evoking videos that work on engaging customers and viewers either because they are funny, shocking or emotional in some way.

There are many factors that go into making a message viral. The steps outlined in this article can greatly increase your chances of engaging customers. Just take a few pages out of the honey badger’s book.

So watch the nasty Honey Badger

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