Sunday, March 8, 2009

Talk about smart marketing with the help of the Web – the case of a new book about MySpace

Julia Angwin from Wall Street Journal has written a book about the evolvement of MySpace. From what I can judge, it seems to be an excellent book. But that is not the point in this blog post.

The point is the "smart" way the Web helps her to promote her new book. It is a good example and case study of how the viral part of marketing can function on the internet. I do not know if these events are intentional on Mrs Angwin’s part or not and it is either way of no importance for the discussion and arguments here. The interesting thing is how this book thing plays out on the web.

How is this played out? Mrs Angwin choose to write about the most hot topic on the internet – Twitter. The piece is published in the very influential Wall Street Journal. The article is an excellent interesting piece about Twitter – it is easy to read, personal and it includes some practical tips and reflection about twittering. This article of Twitter becomes - accidental or not - the viral “motor” for the promotion of the book.

Among several things in the Twitter piece, she mentions her own twitter account. She also mentions - almost casually - an interview with her in This interview is about her book. She finally mentions as one of her favourite third party Twitter tool.

At the same time the owner of seems to need as much promotion as possible for his service so he spread the mentioning in Mrs Angwin’s Twitter article as much as he can through his channels and thereby promote her book about MySpace. In the moment of writing, she also has become the number one on the list with her article on Twitter.

Some learning points from the case concerning marketing on the web:

1 Choose to deal with a topic which is hot as your viral motor – i.e. in this case a written piece on Twitter.

2 Be careful to deviate from the topic which creates your “motor”. This e.g. when you are dealing with the topic of the motor suddenly stride away and out of context mention the marketing message. Instead try in a natural way to include it within the motor topic - i.e. in this case almost casually mentioning the interview (about the book) when talking about retweeting.

3 Identify and create several sources which together can play out and create leverage in spreading the marketing message (sometimes called the network effect) – i.e. in this case an interview in, a written piece about Twitter in WSJ, and a mentioning of

4 Make sure that your activities characterises of high quality in all directions – i.e. in this case an interesting, funny, easy, and thoughtful read about Twitter which appeal to the many readers and a interesting and informative interview.

5 Identify and connect to other positive forces on the Web which have a self interest to help you to reach out with your message – i.e. in this case above all but also

Ps. Yes, by writing this piece, I’m also a contributor of the viral machine of spreading the message of the MySpace book.

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