Emerson Spartz shares his secrets to making content viral

Emerson Spartz is a one of a kind person, who as a teenager had already accomplished more than most people did after they finished university. After completing a degree in Management Consulting from the university of Notre Dame he is now CEO of his own online media publisher ‘Spartz’. He is also a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite only organization that gathers the world’s most elite and successful entrepreneurs from nearly every industry whose goal is to assist and mentor new, young and upcoming entrepreneurs.

Emerson Spartz shares some tips and tricks to making online content go viral that don’t require you to embarrass yourself.

He tells the difference between making viral content that has a great message that makes it go viral and having a great messenger or influencer that makes it go viral. He himself prefers the former.

You should always make virality depend on a great message as opposed to a great messenger or influencer promoting mediocre content.

He refers to a method he calls ‘bribery’ where you tell the viewer to refer a friend by offering them something e.g. a 5% discount on one of your products, some stickers or you’ll donate something to charity.

By using ‘gates’, you can hide content that requires calls to action to unlock e.g. referring friends to unlock by sharing or subscribing to your newsletter.. Use the simple technique of asking viewers to share or refer to a friend, clarifying that you have to have a side of aggression to be able to promote your own content.

Good content is key to making something go viral, as people are bombarded with so much that they rarely share anything and what gets shared is good content that creates an emotional response e.g. cute animals, nostalgia and even anger (however he  suggests taking care when envoking negative emotions).

As a final tip, whenever you post something on Facebook attach a photo as the news feed algorithms is twice as likely to share the content than posts without a photo.. And when tweeting, you should retweet the same message at different times of the day to target a worldwide audience.

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Yahoo’s Acquisition of Tumblr

On the 20th of May 2013, Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo for a reported of 1.1 billion dollars according to The Wall Street Journal.

CEO of Tumblr David Karp told Tumblr users that they should not worry about changes that could come to the site. Yahoo confirmed that he will still be the CEO of Tumblr and that the two companies will operate independently.

Yahoo also said boldly that it will not screw it up. “Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators,” says Yahoo in the release.

Karp said that the move wasn’t always expected. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer had previously been meeting with Tumblr since November, to discuss advertising and how the two brands could join forces.

“I didn’t see this at the time,” said Mayer, retelling the development. “The more we talked, the more we saw the companies could really compliment each other and it made sense to merge. It started as a partnership and the get-to-know-you discussions turned into an acquisition.”

Due to Yahoo’s past of acquisitions and making changes for the worst e.g. Flickr and GeoCities, Tumblr users are definitely worried.

Most loyal Tumblr users have used their Tumblr and Twitter accounts to vent their feelings:




GeoCities (a city based web hosting service and early social network) was acquired by Yahoo in 1999 which then was the third most visited website in the world. Yahoo was said to have spent 3 billion dollars on making changes for the better which then came to nothing as MySpace and Facebook took over the social network scene. And now GeoCities is only available in Japan.

CEO of Yahoo Marissa Mayer was appealed by internet users and conceded that Flickr had lost its ways over the years. “Flickr was once awesome, and it languished… now we want it to be awesome again.”

Flickr was acquired by Yahoo in 2005, but Mayer said at first it “didn’t fare so well.” At this stage all we can do is wait and see what changes Yahoo will make to Tumblr, for better or worst and if Tumblr users will accept these changes or not.

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