How Putting Viral Videos to Work Can Help You “Get Down on Friday”

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend.

If you’ve logged onto Youtube in the past month, you no doubt recognize these much-maligned lyrics to the song “Friday,” by 13-year-old Rebecca Black.

 

The music video for Black’s song is approaching 100 million views on YouTube, even though every last viewer (we can think of) agrees the song is dreadful. Which begs two questions to anyone in the social media world: 1) how did she do this? And 2) how can I capitalize on it?

The first answer verges on the type of viral marketing mystery that communications grad students write dissertations about these days, but “Friday” had a few very simple elements in its favor. As awful as this over-autotuned song is, even its biggest detractors have to agree that it is pretty darn catchy. Hardly a day has gone by in the last few weeks when “yesterday was Thursday” or “which seat can I taaaaaaaaaaaaake” hasn’t been heard on the floor here at Greenough.

Second, the blog for Comedy Central show Tosh.0 wrote about the song in a March 11 post, boosting its visibility and increasing its views from a few thousand to millions. After that, the YouTube snowball effect came into play: people began to watch the video just because it had so many views. And here we are a month later, closing in on 100 million.

So how do you capitalize on something like this? There are thousands of parody videos out there already, but late night TV all stars Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert teamed up, not to satirize the song (at least not outright), but to cover it.

It’s unclear just how many views the Fallon/Colbert version has received, but anecdotal evidence on Twitter suggests that it has been hugely popular.

So how will you use the next big viral video to your advantage? I’m ready to start planning, but not until after breakfast. Just like Rebecca Black, I gotta have my bowl, gotta have my cereal.

Contributed by Jake Navarro. Follow him @JakeMNavarro