People in the business of figuring out why some content goes viral on the Internet are still trying to figure out what goes viral on the Internet. Let's face it: no one has any clue – unless it's a 15-second video of a kitten attacking a dolphin. If someone told you last year that the video of a Korean techno-rap song would be the biggest Internet hit since "David after Dentist," you would have scoffed at that person, and yet here we are living in the shadow of Gangnam Style.
So while we ponder what sort of content might achieve viral lift in 2013, let's take a quick look back at the viral memes of 2012. It will do very little to help us anticipate or generate future viral content, but it will be fun and we can pretend like it's research.
Here's a quick and unofficial rundown of the best of the social Internet's viral memes of 2012:
1. Gangnam Style
What can be said about Korean pop star Psy and his crazy dancing that hasn't been said already? With over 847 million views, Psy's Gangnam Style became the most watched video in the history of YouTube (link bonus: AMA performance with MC Hammer), beating out #2 – Justin Beiber's "Baby," which is currently stuck at a mere 807.5 million on YouTube.
LinkedIn is the gold standard for online professional networking. The social network is a great place for individuals, companies and organizations to network with industry contacts, make new connections, stay up-to-date on relevant news and trends, share content, create a following and increase brand awareness and lead conversions. One of the most impressive facts about LinkedIn is that it has a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74% —almost three times higher than the conversion rates of Facebook and Twitter. As the world's largest and most influential professional network and a rich avenue for lead generation and conversion, you and your company should certainly start taking full advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer. Sharing high-quality content, actively participating in industry discourse and building a following via LinkedIn could win you a reputation as a thought leader and increased publicity and reach for your company.
Garner Recommendations and Endorsements
To get the most from LinkedIn, you need dive right in and fully immerse yourself. Fill out your profile completely—listing all your skills and full work history. One of the most effective ways to generate new business is to get recommendations and endorsements from industry contacts and current and former clients. LinkedIn allows you to request recommendations for each position in which you have worked and for your educational experience. You should aim to garner as many recommendations and endorsements as possible. The endorsements show up on your profile within the Skills & Expertise section. Endorsements are fast and painless, as all you have to do is click on the + sign next to a particular skill on a user's profile. Endorsements and recommendations are powerful word-of-mouth marketing tools.
Facebook's Open Graph is a powerful tool -- when used correctly. Here are the most common mistakes companies are making.
Despite recent struggles, Facebook continues to dominate the social environment. And the platform's Open Graph environment is a powerful tool that allows companies to "frictionlessly" and continuously share users' actions, after the users have given permission.
But many companies are misusing the tool, alienating users, and losing fans instead of locking in important interactive relationships. We spoke with Roland Smart, VP of marketing at Involver, about critical do's and don'ts.
Instagram users outraged over new rules made good on their threat to dump the popular photo-sharing app.
The app, which Facebook acquired for $1 billion earlier this year, may have shed nearly a quarter of its daily active users in the wake of the debacle, according to figures from AppData.
"[We are] pretty sure the decline in Instagram users was due to the terms of service announcement" on Dec. 17, AppData told The Post.
Instagram, which peaked at 16.4 million active daily users the week it rolled out its policy change, had fallen to 12.4 million as of yesterday, according to the data.
Last week, Instagram changed its terms of service to pave the way for advertising.
The new language would have allowed the company to sell user photos for advertising and promotions "without any compensation to you."
The move sparked threats of a mass exodus, with celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber expressing outrage.
"Boy, you sure have a lot of apps on your phone."
"Well, it's my job."
"What's your favorite?"
"Oh, I couldn't choose. But hey, want to see one to set your skin crawling?"
It was the flush end of a pleasurably hot day — 85 degrees in March — and we were all sipping bitter cocktails out in my friend's backyard, which was both his smoking room, beer garden, viticetum, opossum parlor and barbecue pit. I was enjoying the warm dusk with a group of six of my best friends, all of whom seemed interested, except for my girlfriend... who immediately grimaced.
"Girls Around Me? Again?" she scolded. "Don't show them that."
She turned to our friends, apologetically.
"He's become obsessed with this app. It's creepy."
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