The social media “snowball effect” is something you’ve probably noticed, and perhaps even participated in before, but understanding it is key to helping your business or organization properly utilize social media.
The “snowball effect” is a metaphor for a process that starts out small, but quickly begins to gain momentum and weight, moving more quickly as interest and visibility grows. If you’ve ever watched a cartoon, you’ve probably seen some variation of the scene where a character rolls a snowball down a hill, and by the time it reaches the bottom it’s the size of a boulder. Ideally, you should be able to use social media to create your own positive snowball effect, helping to create interest in you and your organization!
While the snowball effect could be potentially dangerous (think of when a celebrity tweets something negative, and how quickly it goes viral!) If you can make it work for you, it can be largely beneficial. Using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, you can create buzz about your business or organization. Here are a few tricks and tips that will surely get your message growing!
Lay the Groundwork
The best way to create a snowball effect is to first lay the necessary groundwork. On social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, a good initial goal is to build up a follower or friend count. You can do this by interacting with people in your community online, and by following and promoting their businesses or events on your own account. This will help you to gain followers, build relationships, and lay the base for a successful social media snowball effect.
Encourage User Interaction
Once you have a fair amount of followers or friends, begin encouraging them to provide you with feedback on posts, or sharing them among their own social media followers. For every follower you have that shares a post you make, your visibility increases greatly, as does your potential audience. If you can create a post that catches people’s attention and is shared widely among your followers or friends, there’s a greater chance that their friends and followers will share it as well — creating a snowball effect!
A great online technique to encourage this type of sharing and visibility is the use of the #hashtag. Hashtags are not only a great way to categorize posts, but you can use them to encourage people to include your hashtag in their own tweets or online posts, creating a “trend” to follow. Since social media websites often have a “community” feel about them, by encouraging people to interact with you, and add their own ideas to a category by using a hashtag, you can make yourself and your organization a bigger, more visible part of the community.