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SHIFT IT Youtube Video. Why It Went Viral

May 1, 2013

Arlen’s Transmission in Burbank, California is an auto repair shop. They produced this video with the goal of bringing in more business. It was published 2 days ago on April 29th and has received 275,000 views already. Watch it.

Is it getting new customers? I don’t know. But I do know why the video went viral.

Jonah Berger, author of the new book, “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” explains why things spread via word of mouth. He uses the acronym, STEPPS to explain the 6 keys to making something spread.

  • S-Social currency: People care about how they look to others. They want to seem smart or in-the-know, so they like to spread word about things they will increase their social proof
  • T-Triggers: Remaining top of mind means you increase your relevancy. Find ways to remain relevant in people’s everyday lives
  • E-Emotion: When we care, we share. Emotional content goes viral because it triggers an emotion in us be that joy, sadness, or hate.
  • P-Public: The more public and accessable something is, the more likely people will imitate it. Think Livestrong bracelets.
  • P-Practical Value: Things that are useful to our everyday lives are likely to be shared. This is the reason why bloggers often start their entries with titles such as “Top 5 Ways…” or “10 Ways to…” or “How to…”
  • S-Stories: Since the dawn of human kind, stories have been a method of relating and communicating to each other. Find a way to package your product into a narrative that people will want to share. Think Dove Beauty Video

Now what trigger does this auto mechanic video use? Emotion. Guys will probably find this video to be hilarious. Women will find it tacky, offensive, and sexist. Regardless, both sexes will share the video because it triggered an emotion. Do I find it tacky? Yes. But what does it matter? As they say, some PR is better than no PR.

I spend time monitoring the major social media platforms and notice all sorts of trends. Day in and day out, I see certain tweets catch on fire, a specific article shared hundreds of times by readers, or a Youtube video going viral. Most people think it’s by luck. Some people think you have to spend alot of money to get this sort of publicity or that you need to be advertising genius. You don’t. You just need to understand human nature and why we talk about some things more than others.

Like I said, I don’t know what sort of business he’s getting. But I do know that if they had implemented several simple online marketing tactics, they could drastically improve their conversion;

  1. Get rid of the splash page on their website. Do people still use splash pages? 
  2. Optimize the title of the video for SEO purposes. Instead of  naming it “SHIFT IT VIDEO. Amazing Transmission Commercial”, rename it to “SHIFT IT VIDEO. Burbank, CA auto mechanic shop”. I am confident that this video will show up top 5 in a couple weeks given the amount of websites linking back to it.
  3. Spend a few hours optimizing the website with proper search engine friendly content. In a blue collar industry like auto-repairs, most of your competition do not know anything about local SEO. I guarantee he will see results especially in a sizable market like Burbank, CA.



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H. Dean

Owner and Google and Facebook Ads strategist for Sachi Studio. Currently accepting new clients. Contact me on how to improve your lead generation strategy.

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