Chapter Fourteen

Making Viral Videos

My social media video series, as of the writing of this revision, is still the most viewed social media series in the world. The first video, “Social Media Revolution,” is the one that truly changed the game from me; and I've been able to fail and learn over the years with online video.

One of the top questions I receive after giving a keynote speech on Socialnomics or digital leadership is: “How can we make a viral video?” But that, you see, is the wrong question to ask. If you go into video production with the end goal of making a viral video, you are certain to fail. The correct question is always: “What kind of video can we produce that will provide value to the viewer?” The viewer makes things go viral, not you, the producer. There are some things we can do as producers to help give our videos a chance to go viral, which I discuss in this chapter, but you always must start with the viewer in mind. Again, when it comes to our digital world, we always need to think outward looking in, rather than our historic Mad Men approach of inward looking out.

Another question I am often asked is: “What compelled you to make the first ‘Social Media Revolution’ video?” The reason I produced the first video was simply as a tool to help explain social media, especially to small business owners and executives who weren't digital natives. As laughable as it seems now, not everyone really understood the power of social media. ...

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