This month, Sci-Fi released it’s second take on the ridiculous made-for-TV film series, Sharknado. This series originally launched in July of last year and due to overwhelming frenzy of fans, the network quickly went into production on Sharknado 2. Needless to say the frenzy continued and left marketers, like myself, perplexed as to how it went viral. In watching the outlandish TV production and taking part in the social media mayhem, I discovered five lessons that might just help you create a wave and launch your business or product into the perfect storm.
1. Don’t take yourself too serious. Sharknado is the perfect example of brand, in this case a B-rated production TV series, not taking themselves too seriously, but serious enough. They were smart and used social media to pre-market the heck out it, and then road the viral wave until the brand practically became a household name.
2. Cliche’s can be fun. Although sharks and tornadoes aren’t necessarily a cliche, the marketing, script and social media compounded the internet with them. Cliches reinvented like #Shark Happens were frankly a whole lot of fun and fans couldn’t get enough of them. Want to have fun and drive engagement on your next social media campaign? Cliches done the right way, can be great alternative.
3. Everyone loves a comeback King. Ian Ziering has done it again. No one loves a comeback like Hollywood and its die-hard fans. Back in the 90’s Ian Ziering was the epitome of cheese, but fans still loved him. Ian takes that cheese we loved so much back in his 90210 days and harnesses it in Sharknado. Our lesson take away is finding your strength or what your fans/friends or followers respond to in your social media messaging and maximize it its fullest potential.
4. Strike while the iron’s hot.: The first Sharknado released in July of 2013. Sharknado 2 released about one year later. Sharknado 3 is already in production and is rumored to be released next year. Our social media lesson here is to capitalize on hype while you can. If your brand can piggyback on another viral campaign, do it. If you can create your own, then do so. When the timing is hot, strategize quickly and wisely to the most effect results for your campaign.
5. #Hashtag. #Hashtag. #Hashtag: Ah, the power of the hashtag reaffirms every time there’s breaking or hot news. #Sharknado had so much buzz, it made the experience that much more fun for the fans. Be sure you take the time to integrate those into your next social media campaign.
There are an entire smorgasbord of lessons learned by the Sharknado series including one can actually use a Taser gun on a shark out of water. Observing campaigns like Sharknado’s or any topic that goes viral to understand the background details can be a powerful process to use in your own business.
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