The Power of Social Media Marketing (Case Study)

by Stuart McHenry August 10, 2009

Social Media Marketing can bring in huge numbers of visitors, leads and links.  This post will discuss a blog post / video that went viral via social media websites.  The owners of the video and blog did not pay to get their content marketed.  However, this goes to show you that great content plus having someone active in social media can really increase results.

I often hear that social media marketing cannot be measured or can be difficult to measure. Frankly this is completely not true!  I can show you hundreds of examples of effective marketing campaigns and their results. Some good ways to measure social media marketing are:

  • Visitors
  • Leads
  • Backlinks
  • Tweets (Twitter)
  • Blog Postings
  • News Articles & TV

In order to promote something via social media you need at least two factors:

1) Great Content

2) Social Media Marketing Guru

For our case study we will use the “JK Wedding Entrance Dance” video. You are probably one of the 18,393,159 people that have seen this video online. If not go check it our here.

This video was submitted to a few of the social media websites (Digg, Twitter, etc.) on July 19, 2009. Two days later when a social media guru came upon that video it only had 1,200 views on YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, 1,200 views is nothing to frown upon but imagine that number multiplied 5,000 times! (yes it happened)

The original person that submitted it to Digg was not that well connected and therefore within the first 24 hours the video only received 12 Diggs. This is nowhere near the amount of diggs that something would need to hit the front page. In order to get something “popular” on Digg it has to have somewhere between 39 and 250 diggs within a 24-hour period.

This goes to show you no matter how good the content is if you don’t have a person that is connected in the social media circles your good content will go nowhere.  My analogy of this is landing a spaceship on the moon and you call a press conference and nobody shows up.  Sure, you did a great thing that is news/buzz worthy but you didn’t have the connections to get the media there.  Social media marketing is the same way.

The JK Wedding Entrance Dance video did however get a little traction on Twitter. Outspoken Media did a great blog post called “The Power of the Unexpected” that is about thinking outside the box. They used this video as their inspiration to go along with their write up.

This is where the power of social media takes off. An active Digg User submitted the blog post to Digg and within hours the story and video went popular. (hit the front page)  As you can see the story gained more than 5,000 diggs.  Plus going viral all over the Internet on websites like Twitter, Facebook and Myspace.

Why didn’t the original video make it to the front page by itself? Again, it takes two things to get stories popular on social media websites Great Content + Social Media Marketing.  The original person that submitted the video to Digg has just over 1,200 diggs but less than 10 friends on Digg.  It can be very dificult to get stories popular without more connections.

If you are lacking one of these elements then what you are trying to promote will almost certainly fail.

The true power of social media websites like Digg, Reddit, Facebook and Twitter can be measured. Below are the staticics from the video and blog post.


First and the easiest are the views the video received on YouTube. The first two days it had about 1,200 views and the next two days it went from 1,200 to just over 6,000,000 views. Now the video is over 18,000,000 views.


Backlinks are when other websites link to your website. The blog post from Outspoken Media started that day with ZERO backlinks. As of writing this blog post you can see according to Yahoo that single blog post has been linked to over 1,110 times. Why does this matter? Backlinks are what help your website rank high in the search engines. This blog post is only a few weeks old and it’s already ranking for some great keywords in Google.

If you pay a search engine optimization firm to get you over a 1,000 backlinks this can easily cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Unique Visitors:

We do not have specific numbers of how many visits came to their blog post but you can see that it quickly became their most popular post of all time.


As you can see from their blog post that specific page has been “RT” or Re-Tweeted 841 times. You can also use to gauge how many tweets your URL received.

News Papers & Media:

A few days after the video went viral several news stations through-out the country had stories on the video. This brought in loads of extra exposure for the makers of the video and even a few national TV interviews.

It has been twenty days since this video hit the Internet and both the blog post and video will continue to gets page views.  This is a great example of when you combine great content with social media marketing to achieve outstanding results.

Stuart McHenry
Stuart McHenry is a US-based SEO Consultant focusing on link building, content marketing, local SEO, and reputation management. Follow Stuart on Twitter @smindsrt

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