Seeding Viral Content: The Role of Message and Network Factors
Old Dominion University
- A proper seeding strategy is critical to the success of a viral video.
- The need for a "big-seed" strategy (i.e., using many consumers as initial targets) decreases as the quality of a viral message increases.
- It is best to start a viral campaign with consumers who have a strong tie with the viral-message originator.
- A moderately heterogeneous group of consumers with not too few (or too many) common interests can best increase the reach of a viral message and, therefore, is optimal for diffusion.
- Somewhat counter-intuitively, this research finds that it is not ideal to use seed consumers with a large number of social connections, as such connections typically are weak and not sufficient to motivate the initial spreading of content.