High Five – Starting a Social Media Wave with a Rave

From Bob GilesHigh Five from Handshake 2.0:

At Virginia Tech home football games, the “wave” starts spontaneously.  A single column of people stand, raise their arms, then sit, then an adjoining column immediately does the same until the whole stadium – or one team's fans – have rippled a wave through the crowd.

A wave has no special meaning; it is a social act.

David Scott, author of World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories, notes that actually only one or two people in a stadium get a wave started. Emphasizing how businesses can increase sales, he argues that a “rave” is equivalent to a “wave” as a message that sweeps through the enormous Internet society from a very small start.

Scott offers a new way for business people (and others) to thinking about getting the word out about their enterprises, products, or ideas. Scott says that the new work in public relations, marketing, or advertising is to tie online information about products (stories, problems solved, events, things to talk about), not to tout products.

Done as Scott suggests, people will want to share the new content with their friends, colleagues, and others.  He says that advertisers need to be little involved with the company description, the product details, the standard ad message. They should not be involved with begging newspaper and  magazine editors to write about them, and … (this has to be controversial) to stop breaking the bank with expensive advertising. He favors telling interesting, catchy stories directly to interested markets via myriad Internet options.

Businesses seek the positive, creative enterprise event that gets passed through the blogosphere, the Twittersphere, the LinkedInsphere – the social media space – like the good joke, the revealing image, the stupid-crook story. The successful business rave will occur when there is a rapid fill-in-the- blank response by hundreds or thousands of people to "Have you heard about Company X's _____?!" 

What's in the blank space will have be a trigger for a Rave, a new idea that makes us all part of a new social act - we know something special together.


Robert H. Giles, Jr. writes High Five for Handshake 2.0, a business news and Web 2.0 services enterprise of Handshake Media, Incorporated, a member company of business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks.  The opinions Robert Giles expresses are solely his own and are not necessarily shared by Handshake 2.0 or its clients, sponsors or advertisers. 

You can follow Robert H. Giles, Jr. on Twitter @Bob_Giles

Robert H. Giles, Jr. is a Virginia Tech Professor Emeritus with a vision for a rural land management system.  He writes two blogs, The Survivalists and Faunal Force. 

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  1. Thanks for writing about my new book and for using the great “stadium wave” analogy.

  2. Thanks, Mr. Scott.
    I’m enjoying your book. Stimulating. I think you’ll like the next few posts on Handshake 2.0’s “High Five.” I hope I’m reading you right and will welcome corrections and advice.

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