Do You Need a Taiwanese Susan Boyle to Be a Social Media Guru?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you’ve probably seen a clip or two of the social media superstar du jour, Lin Yu Chun.

 The 24 year old from Taiwan is creating such a stir with his jaw-dropping version of Dolly Parton’s classic song “I Will Always Love You”, that he’s now being called the “Taiwanese Susan Boyle”. Views of the unorthodox crooner’s performance on a Taiwanese singing contest have skyrocketed into the millions.  

 I love quirky TV performances as much as the next person, so I had to check him out for myself. Here’s the scoop. Lin Yu Chun sings like a girl, has a Beatles-like mop-top, and is wearing a tuxedo with a red bowtie. It’s definitely weird stuff. But millions of downloads? Wow! He must also be a marketing genius.

 This all got me pondering how I manage social media for my clients. If I could get a Lin Yu Chun or a Susan Boyle, would I be golden in the eyes of my clients?  It is definitely a numbers game when it comes to blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but how do I find that someone or something that is so memorable that it spreads like wildfire across the Internet.

 I always try to write interesting and entertaining content that is relevant regardless if it’s for my personal blog or for a client. And, I carefully monitor the stats of what I write. Some posts and articles do better than others, and the results are often unexpected. Things that I think are witty and up-to-the-minute relevant don’t always get a tremendous amount of interest. And, some of my less inspired pieces have had thousands of hits. But I have never even remotely received the type of traffic that the wannabe Whitney Huston from Taiwan has received with his three minute video.

 Has the Internet become so cluttered that audiences need a completely shocking video to pique their interest? Maybe. Or, are we all starved for seeing something other than super cool, overly branded marketing campaigns? I think both are true.

 Businesses that use social media can’t simply post typical business-related content about their products or services and expect sales to come rolling in. Success with online marketing requires a much higher level of creativity. There are certainly lessons that all of us marketing/pr people can learn from Lin Yu Chun, Susan Boyle, or whomever the next YouTube Wonder may be. Here are a few that I have picked up that I’m going to use to amplify the “wow” factor of my social media efforts:

 Don’t Assume Anything

No one would have thought that someone who looked like Susan Boyle would ever have an album that went platinum, but she did! The less I try and guess what readers want to read, the more likely I’ll be able to come up with something creative and unexpected.

 Take Some Risks

Branching out from the typical tips and tricks articles can set businesses apart from their competitors who are writing the same types of posts. Why not put out a video of a sales manager singing a Whitney Houston song or post an homage to loyal customers in a haiku? It will get attention, and that’s the objective.

 Be Really Good

If Susan Boyle or her Taiwanese counterpart couldn’t sing really well, there wouldn’t have been any interest. So exceeding expectations with posts, videos, as well as with products and services is fundamental to building an online following.

 Bring It Back Down to Earth

And, if the two YouTube superstars looked polished like typical pop singers, there also wouldn’t have been a story to tell about them. The fact that they looked down-to-earth, real, and even a little homely makes them that much more endearing. We’re bombarded by slick advertising and beautiful people on the Internet. Looking a little rough around the edges has become refreshing and attention-getting.

 Creating buzz when it comes to social media is becoming an increasingly difficult task. But, from the result of Lin Yu Chun’s video, online audiences are craving something new and different.

 I’m certainly hoping that the next bizarre singing sensation falls in my lap for me to promote. But in the meantime, I’ll be working on ways to jazz up my writing, give my readers a fresh perspective, and help my clients get noticed in a positive way.

 Now for your viewing and listening pleasure:

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