Find and seduce the sneezers | Social Media Tips for Mumpreneurs

One of my favourite lines from marketing supreme Seth Godin’s book The Purple Cow is “Find and Seduce the Sneezers”

Although the Purple Cow was published in 2003 and wasn’t really referring to social media “sneezers” the word of mouth principles are perhaps more relevant today than they were when he penned his book.


Social Media Tips Memory Gate


What is a sneezer?

I would recommend you read (or as I did listen to via Audible) The Purple Cow for Seth’s full explanation but basically its people who launch and spread an “ideavirus” by telling their colleagues and friends about a new product or service that they’re knowledgeable about.


I would define a sneezer as not just someone with lots of followers on Twitter or numerous fans on Facebook but someone that has real influence and most importantly gets excited about your services and/or product.


I don’t believe a sneezer is someone with lots of followers who sells their influence at 140 characters a time. That’s no different than TV advertising and you could argue that an appearance on a mid afternoon chat show where you can express the enthusiasm you have for your product is far more effective than a couple of mid afternoon ad spots.

You don’t see many television adverts for books but look what success Richard and Judy’s book club brought to novelists. In fact Judy herself is now a best selling author. This success was certainly helped by plenty of sneezers and Richard and Judy are of course themselves very influential and enthusiastic sneezers.


But a sneezer doesn’t have to be a celebrity. In fact it’s most likely that your best sneezers are your regular clients that you have not only impressed but given them a reason to want to promote you.


Finding your sneezers might not be so easy unless you really know (and I mean REALLY KNOW) your target clients.

Who do they listen to? What do they read? Where do they shop? What social networks do they use and what groups are they active in?


Have a look back at your last few weeks of social sharing. Who is sharing and commenting on your content the most? When you receive a lot of traffic and interest in your content who is the driving force behind it?

Find those people and look after them. Thank them, reply to their comments and share the content they are creating. Ask their opinions on new content, services or products but don’t overdo it.

There are always influential people that you should search out that you might not have had contact with. Search for keywords relating to your area of expertise and identify people of influence. There are also tools like Klout and Kred which can help you with this process.


Seducing your sneezers could be even harder. I recently received a Nokia Lumia as a trial and soon after were introduced to a whole host of Nokia converted tech sneezers on Twitter.

Nokia tried to seduce me with a free trial but to be honest it was the sneezers that seriously made me consider a move away from the iPhone. If you know me then you’ll know that I am a total Apple geek and don’t even bother going into the Apple Store anymore because I actually have everything! A move away from the iPhone would take a lot of influence (plus of course I would need to be suitable impressed by the product).

Nokia sent out an inspired tweet based on an email I sent.


Here’s what Nokia tweeted


Nokia Connects ?@Nokia_Connects 10 Jun
Guys, Michael is tempted to switch from his iPhone to the Lumia 720… Any advice for him? @MemoryGate What’s stopping you Michael? 🙂 ^PC


This got about 30 responses and I was offered not only encouragement in switching but recommendations of which of the phone model I should use as a photographer.

You can’t buy advertising like that and it is only possible if you successfully seduce the right people to become advocates of your brand.


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