Having attended some great sessions at Dreamforce 2011 last week, I wanted to share a few nuggets of info from one of my favorite speakers, Dan Zarella (@danzarrella).

Dan calls himself “The Original Social Media Scientist” (“don’t be fooled because I’m not wearing a lab coat,” Dan added as a disclaimer during his introduction. He’s hilarious, by the way). He also works at HubSpot (and has no affiliation with Gleanster).

Oh, and he is a unicorn-hater that keeps it real.

In his latest book, Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas, Dan works to dispel myths about viral marketing and social media, referring to the truisms that are frequently thrown around about but aren’t supported by repeatable, dependable real-life results as “rainbows and unicorns”.Things like “engage in the conversation” and “be yourself” are examples he gives.

One of the myths he aims to shatter: While most marketers are under the impression content is shared more often during the week, Dan’s data shows that more retweets occur during the weekends. Dan admits correlation is not the same as causation, but one explanation he throws out there is people have more free time to sift through their social media stream on weekends. Makes sense.

Timeliness, especially during a crisis, is key when it comes to engaging your audience on social channels. But relevance is more important when it comes to the viral spread of content.

Problem is, it’s pretty much impossible to predict what content will take off in the social sphere. In a recent survey, Gleanster discovered that 94% of marketers cite creating viral worthy content as one of the top challenges in social media marketing and engagement.

Until Dan Zarella develops a creative-content automation engine (he has some other cool tools available at Having attended some great sessions at Dreamforce 2011 last week, I wanted to share a few nuggets of info from one of my favorite speakers, Dan Zarella (@danzarrella). Dan calls himself “The Original Social Media Scientist” (“don’t be fooled because I’m not wearing a lab coat,” Dan added as a disclaimer during his introduction. He’s hilarious, by the way). He also works at HubSpot (and has no affiliation with Gleanster). Oh, and he is a unicorn-hater that keeps it real. In his latest book, Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas, Dan works to dispel myths about viral marketing and social media, referring to the truisms that are frequently thrown around about but aren’t supported by repeatable, dependable real-life results as “rainbows and unicorns”. Things like “engage in the conversation” and “be yourself” are examples he gives. One of the myths he aims to shatter While most marketers are under the impression content is shared more often during the week, Dan’s data shows that more retweets occur during the weekends. Dan admits correlation is not the same as causation, but one explanation he throws out is people have more free time to sift through their social media stream on weekends. Seems reasonable. This theory dispels other marketing truisms such as the rule against sending email blasts on Friday. Timeliness, especially in a time of crisis, is key when it comes to engaging your audience his blog), listening to your social media followers to find out what makes them tick is a good first step to developing content they’ll want to share.

What are some “unicorns and rainbows” you’d like to dispel?

Thought Leader: Amanda Forgash (3 Posts)