Lots of people are talking about cross-platform, transmedia, wave-of-the-future projects. So what? Without an audience, you’re just spinning your wheels. There are other products out there, being seen by millions of people.
But just how are these things getting exposure? Can a person figure out why things go viral? How? Can a savvy producer (or said producer’s marketing team) “make” something go viral using known formulas?
Short answers: networks, yes, network theory, and kinda-sorta-not-really.
When I say “network,” most web citizens will think social media. Which is not (entirely) what I mean. I’m talking about the mathematical analysis of networks–how they develop, their various structures, and how those structures affect the mechanics of interaction between individuals within them.
But how is this specifically a transmedia thing, as opposed to a film thing (or a music thing, or…)?
It’s not. Specifically. And yet it is. Also specifically.
“WTH?” you may be thinking. So let me clarify: while using network theory to help you in your marketing modeling and analysis is a good idea for all projects, a multi-platform project can benefit even more by specifically tailoring said marketing to each and every platform you use. To wit: content consumers use their phones differently than they use their laptops, which is different than they use their TVs. Even within social media, this is true–using Facebook as an app is not the same experience as using it on a web browser. How users interact with their social networks on each of these platforms affects how they find and share content–your content. Knowing the mechanics behind these differences will give you insight into why some things work brilliantly well on one SM platform, but falls flat on another.