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4 Tips from #PattiPie to drive your Business Social Media

November 17, 2015

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s entirely probable that you will have a sweet potato pie at your dinner. It’s less likely, though, that you’ll have one of Patti Labelle’s pies on your table.  That’s because the ‘Moulin Rouge’ singer’s pies are selling like, well, hotcakes as a result of a very spirited (warning: NSFW language) youtube video showing this fan’s review of the pie.  The review has been viewed more than 8 million times in less than 4 days and now the pies, which cost $4 at Wal-Mart are selling for $45 on EBay. Good luck finding one in time for Thanksgiving!

Labelle has the power of an entire industry behind her and no, doubt, she’s churning out more pies as we write this, but what about small business owners and nonprofits? What happens when they go viral and how can they use it to their benefit? In the (admittedly rare) event that your company, product, or video ends up becoming as popular as one of Patti Labelle’s delicious pies or the ALS ice bucket challenge, you can’t afford to sit around. There’s money to be made, reputations to be burnished, and a social media audience to engage. So, here’s what you need to do:

1. Say Thank You!

In the case of #PattiePie, Labelle did not miss out on the most important first step of taking advantage of virality. She called the (now infamous) YouTube star, thanked him for his review and encouraged him to be himself. Whether your virality is a result of one person (Labelle’s reviewer)  or your marketing team (see: ALS ice bucket challenge), make sure that you thank everyone involved. The YouTube star who made the review is on an absurdly hilarious press tour, and the fact that he now has a personal connection to Patti Label has added a heartwarming aspect to the story.

2. Utilize Social Media For Business

You’re going to be flooded with a deluge of requests and comments on social media. Now is the time to make sure that your social media is more on point than it’s ever been. Consult with your social media team to make sure that they’re prepared to speak for the company in a consistent voice. Make sure that your profiles are all up to date. This is not the best time to find out that one of your links is not working. Seize upon your hashtag and share it widely and frequently in the first 24 hours. Encourage your followers to share and email your client list. Once that’s set, you’ll be in pretty good shape.

3. Check your email

The web traffic gained by viral videos allows for advertising revenue. Did you know that YouTube can tell whether your video will go viral with as few as 10,000 views? It’s after that point that they reach out to the account holder to discuss monetization. Remember ‘David After the Dentist’, the priceless viral video taken by a father of his small kid’s reaction to anesthesia? It seemed innocuous at the time, but that father now has an extra $100,000 thanks to YouTube monetization. So, check your email and make sure you’re on the lookout for an email from YouTube.

4. Enjoy It

Lightening rarely strikes the same spot twice and the same can be said for going viral.  There’s only going to be one #PattiPie moment, just like there could only be one ALS ice bucket challenge. Enjoy your time in the spotlight because once it’s gone… it’s not likely to return.


  • How are you going to give us, that GREAT article and then “Shoot Us Down” Bang Bang?! Take away our HOPE! LOL!
    #ANYTHINGISPOSSIBE. “It’s not likely to return”. That’s SO NOT TRUE! It could TOTALLY happen again. “Data” may tell you it won’t…but that’s just numbers. Life is so much more than numbers. But you should definitely “Enjoy It”

    • Jen, thanks for your great comment! You’re right, anything is possible. The most important thing is to strike while the iron is hot!