By Sara Staffaroni
The Hoffman Agency, San Jose
Not too long ago, when we wanted to find the “buzz” of the day, we would go on Facebook to see what our peers were talking about. Now, whenever we need to feel connected with the outside world, we turn to BuzzFeed, where we are sure to find the latest on entertainment and sometimes even “real” news.
There are a number of steps you need to take in order to master the digital domain. Here’s a quick look at what they are and how BuzzFeed conquers them:
1. Join the conversation where it already exists
Buzzfeed’s Answer: The Buzz Bank
BuzzFeed founder and CEO, Jonah Peretti (previously co-founder of the Huffington Post), had a brilliant idea: provide people with a “one-stop-shop” where they can find all social media viral content across an array of subject areas. In other words, he leveraged the pre-existing social media trend of sharing content to draw people to his website.
2. Identify the current trends and foresee what the next trends will be
Buzzfeed’s Answer: Pictures, videos, pictures, GIFs – and did I mention videos?
If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say that 90 percent of BuzzFeed’s content is visual. People want concise, appealing and easily shareable content, and BuzzFeed provides its readers exactly that. A great example is the website’s clear obsession with Jennifer Lawrence.
3. Give the people what they want, with a twist
Buzzfeed’s Answer: The “OMG, is that true?” “That is just wrong,” “LOL,” and “Awww”
I truly believe that there is something for everybody on BuzzFeed.
Whether you want to know what is trending in politics, are looking for something shocking to send to your “too up-tight” mother-in-law, or just want laugh and get all warm inside, you will find it on BuzzFeed.
4. Once establishing leadership, take conversation into your own hands and lead the trend
Buzzfeed’s Answer: You know you’ve made it when …
The publicist of superstar Beyonce’ Knowles asks you to remove “unflattering” pictures of the singer from your website.
In February 2013, BuzzFeed published an article showing 33 photos from Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl that were not very flattering. This article received 1M+ views. Soon enough, the singer’s publicist reached out to BuzzFeed asking to remove the photos. This only drew more attention to the website, and the news went viral, and was even covered by the UK publication, The Telegraph.
Clearly, BuzzFeed is recognized as highly influential, which transformed itself from a website dominated by curated content, to a place where readers go for its unique original content.
5. Never stop engaging
Buzzfeed’s Answer: You have been re-tweeted!
BuzzFeed actually engages with its social media followers. For instance, I have tweeted articles from the site, and had them re-tweeted by BuzzFeed within hours. What better way to keep your readers happy than showing recognition?
To increase its engagement with readers, the website recently added a new BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can create and suggest a post to the BuzzFeed editors, and if selected, it will be included in the BuzzFeed Community page.
I would not be surprised if soon other news sites recognize BuzzFeed’s digital media leadership and start following its lead.
I will leave you with an “old saying,” as BuzzFeed claims:
“If you can make it big on BuzzFeed, you can make it anywhere on the Internet, is the old saying that people definitely say.”