Remember The Ketchup Song? Alex from Target? Ed, the very naughty pony who kept dumping a little kid?

Can you recall which brand was behind the #LikeaGirl campaign? I had to look it up.

Going viral means when a piece of content spreads quickly and widely on social media. It’s the internet version of a high school crush – intense but usually short lived. After becoming ‘the biggest thing ever’, the audience gets bored and jumps on the next thing.

Marketers love virality. But how about conversion and customer retention? I know it doesn’t sound as sexy as a million likes and shares but it’s much more valuable. As in real relationships, that takes time to build.

A successful social media, advertising or PR campaign can put you on the map, but you need to be able to follow it up and keep the momentum going. You’re looking at months, years of work.  

Social media comes with a scoreboard that is easy to understand: likes, reach, shares, followers. It makes it simple but chasing virality can be a distraction from the only scoreboard that matters in business: the bottom line.

Do I want to reach a wider audience and grow my business? Absolutely, but I want to attract those who are going to fall in love and stick around. Not one-night stands.