The Susan Boyle Viral Phenomenon

Susan Boyle singing on Britain's Got Talent

Susan Boyle - photograph from The Daily Mail

There's very little chance that you haven't heard of Susan Boyle. Her stint on Britain's Got Talent has earned her:

  • 103 million total video views on more than 20 different websites
  • 9,200 people on her fan site
  • 320,326 Facebook fans
  • 11,623 fans in the Susan Boyle Facebook group
  • More on Twitter than Ashton Kutcher (an avid Twitter user)

Susan could well be the fastest growing Internet sensation ever seen. Compare her numbers to another viral video sensation, the Iraqi journalist throwing a shoe at former U.S. President George W. Bush (21.4 million online video views in a week) and Susan wins hands down.

Now rumours are rife that Susan was picked to appear on the Show without an audition, but whatever the story she has become a viral sensation the likes of which most businesses can only dream of.

So what can we learn from the Susan Boyle story? Viral marketing campaigns are a superb way to generate a huge amount of buzz and brand awareness whether they are carried out online or offline. if you're clever and add a unique twist to your message, it's more likely that it will be passed on.

Imagine you receive an interesting email. You then forward it on to 20 or 30 people in your address book. They find it so relevant to their friends/colleagues that they do the same thing. And so on. What could that do for your company or organisation and your sales?

Incidentally, the shoe throwing incident mentioned earlier, resulted in a surprising windfall for a Turkish shoemaker. The creators of the now-iconic footwear that Muntazar al-Zaidi threw at President George W Bush, were so inundated with orders that they had to hire 100 extra staff to cope with the sudden uplift in demand!