How to Create Triggers That Get People to Spread Your Ideas

Rick Burnes
Rick Burnes



This article is a guest post by David Meerman Scott . David is the bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR and the hit new book World Wide Rave . He's also a member of the HubSpot board of advisors

rave the rooster

What is it? That thing that everyone is talking about? You haven't heard? Didn't you get the email? It's everywhere! All over the Web!

Buzz....Hot....Cool.... You've just encountered a World Wide Rave. Congratulations.

Seemingly born overnight, a World Wide Rave happens when collectively, your product, your brand or heck, you are instantly known the world over. Most of the time they are accidental. But what if you could create one? How valuable would that be to you? Priceless?

You can.

You and I are incredibly lucky.

We're living in a time when we can reach the world directly, without having to spend enormous amounts of money on advertising and without investing in huge public relations efforts to convince the media to write (or broadcast) about our products and services.

There is a tremendous opportunity right now to reach buyers in a better way: by publishing great content online, content people want to consume and that they are eager to share with their friends, family, and colleagues.

One of the coolest phenomena on the Web is that when an idea takes off, it can propel a brand or company to seemingly instant fame and fortune. For free. Creating a World Wide Rave in which other people help to tell your story for you is a way to drive action. One person sends it to another, then that person sends it to yet another, and on and on. Each link in the chain exposes your story to someone new, someone you never had to contact yourself! It's like when you're at a sporting event or concert in a large stadium and somebody starts "the wave." Isn't it amazing that just one person with an idea can convince a group of 50,000 people to join in? Well, you can start a similar wave of interest online, a World Wide Rave. You can create the triggers that get millions of people to tell your stories and spread your ideas.

As I did research for my new book World Wide Rave, I discovered the six elements that are likely to lead to success. Many of the six are counter-intuitive and likely the opposite of what you're doing today.

In fact, these elements are so important that I call them your Rules of the Rave:


Nobody cares about your products (except you).

Yes, you read that right. What people do care about are themselves and ways to solve their problems. People also like to be entertained and to share in something remarkable. In order to have people talk about you and your ideas, you must resist the urge to hype your products and services. Create something interesting that will be talked about online. But don't worry-because when you're famous on the Web, people will line up to learn more and to buy what you offer!


No coercion required. 

For decades, organizations of all kinds have spent bucketfuls of money on advertising designed to coerce people into buying products. Free shipping! This week only, 20 percent off! New and improved! Faster than the other guys! This product-centric advertising is not how you get people talking about you. When you've got something worth sharing, people will share it-no coercion required.


Lose control. 

Here's a component that scares most people silly. You've got to lose control of your "messages"; you need to make your valuable online content totally free (and freely sharable); and you must understand that a World Wide Rave is not about generating "sales leads." Yes, you can measure success, but not through business-school Return On Investment (ROI) calculators.


Put down roots. 

When I was a kid, my grandmother said, "If you want to receive a letter, you need to send a letter to someone first." Then when I was in college, my buddies said, "If you want to meet girls, you have to go where the girls are." The same thing is true in the virtual world of the Web. If you want your ideas to spread, you need to be involved in the online communities of people who actively share.


Create triggers that encourage people to share. 

When a product or service solves someone's problem or is very valuable, interesting, funny, or just plain outrageous, it's ready to be shared. To elevate your online content to the status of a World Wide Rave, you need a trigger to get people talking.


Point the world to your (virtual) doorstep. 

If you follow the Rules of the Rave as I've described them, people will talk about you. And when they do, they'll generate all sorts of online buzz that will be indexed by the search engines, all relating to what your organization is up to. Forget about data-driven search engine technologies. The better approach to drive people to your stuff via the search engines is to create a World Wide Rave. As result, your organization's Web sites will quickly rise to prominence in the rankings on Google, Yahoo, and the other search engines.


How will YOU create a World Wide Rave of your own? What do you have to lose?


Want to Learn More About World Wide Rave?

Download David's free webinar . He'll explain how companies can create a world wide rave, by getting people to spread and share their ideas for free.

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