Blog, business, post production for film and video

How to push past viral, or, viral is dead

So, we’re getting our first month sales figures back from the November 18 release of The Fair Trade movie, which is very exciting, especially since the preliminary numbers look really good, at least for a production of our size. But how do you keep the momentum going? I’m spending time checking conversion metrics on Google (absolutely none), Yahoo (none), and Facebook (a few sales that I know of), and trying to think up new ways to make the movie into a truly viral success. And then I read a post by Joe Marchese, where, in the same article, he quote a fellow panelist (Henry Jenkins) who says “When it comes to social media, if it doesn’t spread, it’s dead,” (i.e., viral is good!) but then goes on to say

But before you try to say the word v…v…vi…viral (had trouble spitting that one out), there is a key difference that Jenkins pointed out between viral and social spreading. People spread viruses by accident. It is not intentional to give someone a cold — at least I sure hope not — but when people pass things to each other by way of social interaction, there most certainly is intent. This means that people are rational about spreading something through their social connections.

And he’s right. I realize that I don’t want The Fair Trade to have a “viral” spread. I want people to intentionally tell other people about it, and then spread from person to person to group to group. So how do I do that?

Well, sales help, because the more people that see it, the more people who want to talk about it. But I would love to help that process along, and I’m still brainstorming how to go about encouraging people to “intentionally” spread the word about the movie.

I’ll keep you posted.