Chair in Social Media Monetization – Social Media, between audience and virality: Pierre-François Chiron’s point of view

The Chair in Social Media Monetization organized a conference on December 13 between researchers and professionals in order to review the term “virality”. After the scientific point of view offered by Jean-Samuel Beuscart and Kevin Mellet, three professionals entered the conversation to share their perspective on the marketing consequences of the audience model in social media.

Pierre-François Chiron, CEO of Makemereach, talked about the conditions of virality on Facebook.

In 2009, brands could easily create their page and bring together a community of 400,000 fans in a few days… with a budget of 5,000€. Facebook Ads then consisted of notifications pop-up that could bring hundreds of thousands of new fans. Today the Zuckerberg’s firm offers fewer channels of virality, in order to force brands to pay for its services, or for the diffusion of their content.

For trademarks that wish to optimize their expenses on Facebook, the founder of Makemereach underlines the importance of the social mechanisms’ primary value: « the friends ». When designing a communication campaign, one must consider including them in the recruitment process, not only by inviting them, but also by making them to participate in the process. Moreover, to reach a significant amount of users, it is better to focus on a city or on a specific population category, to ensure that interactions are concentrated in this segment of people… and also, that the content is favored by Facebook’s algorithm, which will make it go up in the newsfeed, increasing its visibility and virality.

 For Pierre-François Chiron, whatever the purpose or the brand is, « the buzz is always possible as long as one finds an impactful idea. » Rather than focusing on the correction pen, an ordinary object, Tipp Ex dared to act outside the box and created a personalized Youtube page to increase product awareness.

 Same for Oasis, which created a series of characters, characters of little fruits, in order to go beyond the image of the product- a bottle of orange juice. Thus, the page’s fans increased from 500,000 to 2 million. The success of such campaigns lies in the transformation of fans- from fans of the brand to fans of the product. Which was a successful turn for Oasis, since a marketing research revealed that 40% of the page’s fans would be « ready to buy the product ».

Be always aware and adapt continuously: this is what is required, as the Facebook platform constantly evolves, closing channels of virality, to open others. Each ergonomic or technical novelty should be seized as an opportunity, as a new way to reach users. The vertical timeline on the right is, for instance, a fabulous virality channel for brands.

As for maintaining audience’s interest beyond the buzz: the brand must offer a strong universe, with content that engages fans and causes multiple «shares» or «likes»- which help the brand maintain its ranking.

Video interview of Pierre-Fraçois Chiron (in french with english subtitles) here.