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How Neetzan Zimmerman, the viral scientist, drove 17.3 million unique visitors to Gawker in a single month, and how he keeps doing it.

  • ES

    Eric Sornoso

    over 5 years ago #

    Here's a cool growth hack that I will share with the community:

    Reddit is a good place to find content for your start-up, business or clients. It's filled with golden gems.

    The top Reddit posts have been validity by its community since each goes through a voting process. Therefore, by using Reddit search and looking for content that have high karma points you are finding content that should perform well in other platforms.

    My favorite spot to find content on a niche is http://www.reddit.com/r/askreddit

    Ok, let's say that you work for a dating start-up, and need help with your content marketing efforts. Let's look for the top Reddit post on "love."

    Reddit love search: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/search?q=love&restrict_sr=on

    Here's a top one:


    My metrics based on previous experience for golden gems in this subreddit: 2000 karma points and over 200 comments.

    By looking at the Reddit post you see amazing stories that could be used within a blog post, an image, or a video.

    Story 1:

    My wife loves pickles. They are her favorite food in the world. When she buys pickles, she buys two jars so that there is never the possibility of running out. If we run out of pickles, it is a BFD.
    When we first started dating, back before I learned about her pickle obsession, I stole the last slice of pickle from her plate. I pulled the "HEY, Whats that over there?" and pointed wildly. YOINK. Pickle gone. She was LIVID. Absolutely furious that I had eaten the last pickle in the house. For WEEKS, every day she mentioned the pickle. Years passed, and she'd still make comments along the lines of "Well atleast you didn't eat the last pickle. OH WAIT." etc.
    It's been 9 years since the pickle debacle . My wife, being 9 months pregnant has been having insane pickle cravings. Yesterday, she gave me the last slice of pickle in the house and said "I love you this much".
    TL;DR My wife loves me enough to give me the last pickle.

    Story 2:

    We've been dating for five years and we have always gotten Cherry Coke as a drink if we are sharing. A few months ago we went to the movies and he came back, as per usual, with Cherry Coke. I said I was glad that we both loved that soda the most and he replied "I actually don't really like Cherry Coke but I get it because it's your favorite and you like to share."
    I can't wait to call this man my husband next September.

    Story 3:

    Whenever I do something goofy she makes this one face where her dimples sort of scrunch up and her eyes light up.
    She knows I like to drink coffee out of dark mugs so she always tries to give me those ones.
    She'll randomly hug me from behind.
    She plays with my hair when I'm tired.
    She'll put her hair up because she knows I think her ears are adorable.

    Here's the AWESOME part. I posted 3 comments. This post has 6122.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    over 5 years ago #

    Awesome article by Morgan Brown! Hadn't heard of Neetzan Zimmerman, but now I have.

  • DL

    Dylan La Com

    over 5 years ago #

    Really great read Morgan! I'm curious to know if you think Neetzan's system is something that can be replicated and distributed among a team, or rather it's something more complex that only the right type of person would be able to learn and apply effectively.

    • MB

      Morgan Brown

      over 5 years ago #

      Thanks Dylan,

      I think his system of identifying what's up and coming is certainly something that could be replicated. By building a viral seismograph, theoretically you could identify things that are gaining steam and then jump those to leverage some of the viral wins.

      What you'd need to develop is the seismograph to monitor, and then the pattern recognition that he has now, to guess what is going to go on vs. what is going to flame out. That seems to be something that is learned, and needs time.

      The hard part of course is building the distribution for the content. If you're ID'ing viral content and have no audience to share it with and propagate it through, then your efforts are going to be unrewarded.

      You need to build an audience who is primed to share, such as a Facebook fan base, some connected audience who can easily propagate the message along.

      I think there is a lot to learn from him though. I think the content identification can have major implications for all types of businesses. If you can ID topics that are gaining traction you can curate them and/or newsjack them for your own good.

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