I first came across the “Daaaaaaamn, Daniel” videos about 2 weeks ago (early February).
I was casually scrolling through the ‘Explore’ tab on my Instagram and I caught one.
Clips of a young dude complimenting one of his friends on his outfit – and his white Vans.
“Daaaaaaaaamn, Daniel! Back at it again with the white Vans.”
Snapchat loops made into Instagram vids & tweets.
Funny for like 2 seconds. I chuckled.
Days passed and I started seeing this everywhere – hashtags, videos, re-makes…
Then it started blowing up – WAY, WAY, WAY UP.
ESPN used it in a social post for Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers, Clorox used it to post a sponsored tweet, Vans used the free promos to increase its brand …
Yeah – ELLEN.
Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I am not a hater. I applaud everyone getting their 15 minutes of fame and shining.
Two kids messing around with each other goes viral, gets multi-billion-dollar businesses to promote them and gets on Ellen?!
While I’m over here busting my ass putting together great, valuable, viral-ready content and getting crickets?!
Lol, OK – hater moment over.
After I was baffled at this for like 2 minutes, I backtracked.
As a digital marketer, one of my goals is to go viral as much as I can – with posts, ads, content, videos, anything.
I’ve achieved this feat a few times and I’ve come to the conclusion that it ‘just happens’. There’s no legitimate formula for it.
But back to the case at hand – 2 kids messing around goes viral quick.
A novice marketer or casual viewer will see this and either laugh, love on ’em or hate on ’em – like I did at the beginning.
A great marketer or brand manager will see this and jump on the trend ASAP – use the hashtags, phrases and skits to his or her advantage for attention…like I’m doing now.
Something that Gary Vaynerchuk said in “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” that has stuck with me is, “A smart entrepreneur, or open minded brand manager will head over to a new social media, see the bikini shots and ask ‘how can I do better?,'”
@GaryVee is also a big advocate of ‘going to where the attention is online and marketing there.’
Now, why does all of this matter to us as marketers and business people? Why are “stupid social trends” that will last 24 hours important?
While we may have our personal opinions over what’s going viral (like me with #DamnDaniel), there is ZERO argument when it comes to the fact that there are millions of eyes and ears on that phrase RIGHT NOW.
Regardless of what I think, what you think, what my mom thinks, what President Obama thinks, that’s what’s hot – that’s where people’s attention is.
And (like I mentioned above), a smart marketer will see this – quickly – and ask, “How can I jump on this seamlessly and use it to my advantage?”
That is our job as educated marketers.
To take the bikini shots (in this case, someone complimenting their friend on their shoes), make sense of them, and gain some attention toward us.
Now, let’s be clear – quick trends like #DamnDaniel pop up every couple days.
Off the top of my head I can rattle off these recent “Stupid Social Trends”:
- Slim-thick challenge
- The Dab
- The Whip
- The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge
- Michael Jordan crying meme
- Put ‘Em In A Coffin
From first look, these are just teens goofing off.
But these things are going viral.
Multi-billion-dollar businesses are investing in jumping on these trends – and it’s getting these trends on big-time shows (shoutout to the producers of The Ellen Show for being open-minded enough to ask these kids to come in!).
What does that tell us as marketers, social media users and business people?
It tells us to pay attention and get in on the attention!
If you take nothing else from this blog, take this:
The next time you see a dumb Vine, Instagram video, Tweet, meme or Facebook post – and it’s going viral – strategize how you can jump on the ‘attention train’ ASAP to get in on the action.
Social trends change quickly, so act fast – the best marketers are the ones that pay attention to where the attention is at and go & attract some.