I’m a 20-year marketer specializing in lead generation for medical companies. As a medical device consultant I write for multiple sites but never “went viral” until I wrote “The Twitter Chat That Killed Sermo.”
This article shares what I learned and how you can you benefit.
Lesson One: You don’t need a huge audience in order to make an impact.
(a) Each week I make a strong connection with a professional who may remember me when an occasion arises. What are you doing each week to expand your business network?
(b) I synthesize each chat into a blog post on my site. Visitors might also take a quiz, download my ebook, or subscribe to my blog. I get a list of professionals who may be interested in my services. Do you have reasons for visitors to share their contact information?
(c) I created a companion LinkedIn group called the #MedDevice Chat Group (Join us!). I discover new people and, because they are group members, I can send them a LinkedIn message for free. Is your company using LinkedIn to its fullest advantage?
Lesson Two: Those little icons really do work.
By adding Facebook and Twitter links on the bottom of the post, I garnered an extra 159 shares among people in my target audience. Do you use social media sharing icons?
Lesson Three: The title is everything.
When I published, I thought Sermo’s revelations would seriously damage the company, thus the title I chose. Time will tell, and the choice “Killed” is probably an overstatement, but there is no question the title begot clicks and retweets. I probably could have been more conservative with “The Twitter Chat that Hurt Sermo” and had a similar result.
The first headline I considered was “Should Physicians Be On Sermo? Should You?” I don’t think the article would have had nearly the traffic with this title, do you?
So, lesson three is spend time on your title. Often times, it’s the only thing people will read, so you have to hook them right away.
Lesson Four: Live by sensationalism; die by sensationalism.
Curiosity-seekers wondered what Sermo could have possibly said that hurt them so badly.
When I saw the huge spike in traffic I thought my chat would attract big numbers the following week.
It did not. The readers had come for the sizzle, not the steak.
Said another way, writing a viral piece was fun, but it did not do much for my business. The implication for you? Don’t ask medical device consultants to create something viral for you. It’s better to get something strategic that attracts less, but more qualified, traffic.
And last, 149 tweets later, here are some of my favorites.