Going Viral is the number one aspiration of everyone and their next door neighbor. And it should definitely be your aspiration if you want to build an online business or brand. So can only the Beyonces and Honey Boo Boos of this world go viral? We sure hope not! And a man called Chip Zdarsky from Toronto is proof!
While you were probably still battling your New Years’ Eve hangover, an offbeat story was published. It was weird enough to get noticed, and funny enough to be passed around. It did not need much time going viral, and many blogs wrote about the man having a sweet relationship with Applebee’s!
Chip Zdarsky may have achieved instant fame, but the seed was sown a few months earlier. Whether this was a planned coup, or just happenstance, we can all learn from Chip.
Low Hanging Fruit is the Best Vehicle
Facebook is arguably the most popular social network with over a billion users spread across the world. Choosing such a platform automatically guaranteed high visibility. According to Megan Garber, Chip’s whole conversation was very much like the well known play Waiting for Godot. Using a well known literary text as a template also turned out to be a winning strategy.
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Do Things On A Lark
Chip Zdarsky saw his parents click Like on a burger photo, and thought of the plight of the person at the other end. He started talking to this person just for the heck of it. And look where serendipity got him.
Do things on a whim because you feel like it. Don’t over analyze every action!
Persistence Pays, Persistent quality pays more
The whole Facebook conversation with Applebee’s played out over several months. Not once did Chip tire of the thing. His tone, involvement or interest in the conversation did not change either.
Be Likable 24×7
Honesty is so 2008 (like the song)! Being Likable is the way to go. And Chip was sweet and likable instead of snarky. It might have been a bit against his nature, but he stuck to being NICE!
Make ‘Em Smile
Chip maintained a sense of humor at all times. And made the person at the other end, and the people reading the page laugh. If going viral is your goal, you need to invoke some emotion. People are happy when they smile. And they spend money when they’re happy!
Engage Engage Engage
Chip Zdarsky did not hesitate to share details of his personal life. He talked about his wife and her work schedule, and their problems. As impolite or distasteful as it sounds to some, find a compromise so that you can share something personal without airing dirty laundry in public. Just shows you’re human!
Entertain if Possible
Chip brought in Uncle Mel to make some point about including ethnic cuisine. Whether there really is an Uncle Mel or not, this sort of reminded me of Grandma Mary. It took me a while to realize who Grandma really was. Yeah, DUH!
Live It Up After Going Viral
Also known as making hay while the sun shines. Chip Zdarsky’s latest book cover identifies him as ‘the man who talks to Applebee’s on Facebook’. However altruistic his motives may or may not have been while chatting with Applebee’s, Chip has found a new moniker.
Lesson? There is no shame in claiming the prize when you’ve earned it.
So what do you think of this guy? If he can do it, why not you? Going Viral can be planned meticulously, or it can just happen. Actually, I think the secret is being passionate about what you do, whether it is in work or life. Pour your best into every situation, go with your gut instinct, and let your true personality shine.
Your very own true personality is the only thing that will prevail over time and fads. So, what do you say? Are you ready to pull a Chip Zdarsky?