You may have seen a fun viral going around these past few days about an intern who quits her job using messages on a whiteboard. Indeed, the tale of “Jenny” has been shared somewhere in the region of 240,000 times on Facebook and 31,000 times on Twitter!
The story has become a little more interesting today when photo website TheChive.com, who originally hosted the photos, revealed that it was all a big publicity stunt to drive traffic to their site.
If their claims are to be believed, it sounds like the stunt has been a roaring success with traffic jumping up from 15,000 unique visitors to 440,000 in the space of an hour. This certainly reflects the social traffic that a lot of people saw first-hand on Tuesday.
HOPA and Glory
But what’s really interesting is that, in the interview, Editor John Resig explains that “We came up with a hoax that was completely relatable. It wasn’t spread by TechCrunch and Reddit. It was spread by Facebook and inter-office email.”
The important role that email played in this ‘internet meme’ is fascinating. In the initial seeding of virals like this, email is still one of the most natural and effective ways to distribute content, especially considering the element of authenticity it brings in this case. As long as the content is worth sharing, people will naturally take the next steps for themselves.
So when you launch your next viral campaign, don’t forget to seed it with email and make sure you include lots of social network sharing links where possible.