“Gangnam Style” by PSY (aka Park Jae-Sang) featuring his “ride the horse” dancing now holds the record for the most liked song ever on YouTube, with more than 300 million views and 3 million likes. The question most us are asking, besides “What the hell is ‘Gangnam Style’?” is “How did a South Korean rap singer, singing in Korean, make this happen?”
The answer is, he didn’t. When asked why the video went viral in an interview with Time, PSY, a one-time Boston University dropout, said, “I think this is all about luck. They say some philosopher said, ‘When effort meets chance, then there is luck.’”
The truth is (although we have our theories) most of us don’t really know what will engage audiences and encourage them to share. After blogging about marketing for more than six years, I have no idea why certain content is shared.
However, I have been able to determine three common trends:
1. Mondays are the best days to post content, with 10 a.m. being the peak time for views. Thursday is the most challenging day of the week, with the exception of summer months, and then it’s Friday.
2. Stumble Upon is the most valuable sharing tool for driving views, followed by LinkedIn, with LinkedIn having the longest tail.
3. Twitter and Facebook are very difficult to assess in terms of driving views. Social sharing may seem valuable with broad distribution of links, but it doesn’t guarantee views.
Researchers are just now beginning to better understand our behavior and how it drives our social habits. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the connection between our internal body clocks and our online behavior. For example, reading Twitter first thing in the morning (8 a.m. to 9 a.m.) can start one’s day on a cheery note because it’s when tweets are the most upbeat.
Other social networking is better done later in the day. According to Dan Zarrella, social-media scientist for HubSpot, if you want your tweets to be retweeted, post them between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., “when many people lack energy to share their own tweets and turn to relaying others’.”
Mr. Zarrella also found that postings to Facebook at about 8 p.m. tend to get the most likes after people have come home from work or finished dinner. At that time of the day, they’re likely to turn to Facebook feeling much less stress.
Given the pressures of today’s world, perhaps it isn’t all that hard to understand why people share. They do it because something makes them smile, or laugh, or want to dance, and they’d like someone else to feel that way as well.
Asked about the secret to his overnight success, PSY commented, “These days people seem so stressed, so I just want to make fun by my music. As an artist and an entertainer and a writer, I think that was my job: anti-stress.”
Now that’s definitely worth sharing.
He blogs regularly at www.B2Bknowledgesharing.com