What BuzzFeed can Teach Brands About Being Social


Founded by Jonah Peretti in 2006, BuzzFeed is a news media site. They call themselves the “first true social news organization,” and create stories about anything from cute puppies to the ISIS crisis in the Middle East. Buzzfeed is famous for its creative and relatable lists, like 11 Signs Your Sibling is Your Best Frenemy For Life. Buzzfeed’s success rests on their ability to create viral content. Their main site acquisitions come from social sites, rather than search engines like Google. This highlights their understanding of consumers internet preferences. The following lists is ways brands can mimic BuzzFeed’s success, and be more effective on social platforms.


1) Forget about the Platform, focus on the content. Buzzfeed consistently serves readers the content they are interested in. From this, brands should focus on bringing consumers in with what interests them, or satisfies a need for them, not to push their brand/product.

2) Make it global, make it local. Buzzfeed attracts a varied audience because their content offers some kind of emotional connection to people across the country. They balance this, with also spreading content that is locally focus. For brands, this will make consumers feel special, and will be more likely to interact.

3) Not everything is a joke. Buzzfeed shares some of the most adorable gifs of kittens the Internet has ever experienced, but have also branched into more serious journalism. They understand consumers have more than one emotion, and not every post from a brand can be about adorable baby animals.

4) People live in culture, not categories. Instead of looking for a perfect formula for viral data, Buzzfeed journalists dedicate time to exploring Internet trends. This allows them to know exactly what people what to hear, and the more in tune a brand is with its consumer’s online presence, the more effective they will be.

5) Ads don’t have to shout. Buzzfeed has become extremely successful without a single leaderboard ad. They have implemented native advertising: promotional content that is similar to the brand supporting it. For example, Virgin Mobile sponsors stories highlighting embarrassing texts. Brands who choose to adverse online will be more well received if their placement is naturally flowing with the content of the page.

6) Find a voice and stick to it. Buzzfeed miraculously maintains the same tone across topics, and they do so with hundreds of writers. Brands need to make sure teams in charge of social maintain a consistent tone. This can be difficult, especially if multiple people manage accounts. Companies should decide their brand’s online personality and make sure there is complete training to anyone with access to brand accounts.

Norris, Ciaran. “7 Things BuzzFeed can Teach Brands About How to Be Social.” Marketing Land. Web. 16 Oct 2014. http://marketingland.com/7-things-buzzfeed-can-teach-brands-social-72969


One thought on “What BuzzFeed can Teach Brands About Being Social

  1. Jennifer says:

    I love how relatable some of the articles on Buzzfeed are. They do a good job of sparking emotion in people when they read an article about their childhood or what they’re currently experiencing in life. When they go viral on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter they create a sense of unity among people. I definetly agree with you that brands can use this to their advantage. I like point #5, that ads don’t have to shout. Buzzfeed does a great job of camoflauging ads into what consumers think is just another article or quiz.

    Liked by 1 person

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