digital and social media | March 24, 2014

The "Noble Pursuit" of Going Viral: Upworthy's Sara Critchfield in New York Mag

Sara Critchfield is the Editorial Director of Upworthy, the massively popular website that curates highly sharable, social-issue driven content. A recent New York Magazine piece profiled the site and its key players, including Critchfield, and the innovative way they have built an enormous, active following. How do they credit their viral success? Critchfield, who the magazine characterizes as "tall, sharp, confident, and friendly, a firm handshake of a person," is confident about their approach. “I’m not making a fashion statement here,” she says. “I’m trying to get shit done. We could hit the next big thing in testing tomorrow, and then completely reorient and change.” 

"The site’s mission is to 'draw massive amounts of attention to the topics that really matter'," NY Mag explains, and "the things they collect become...Gangnam-style viral-smash material, leading millions of Americans to spend a few extra moments pondering meaningful societal issues." It's a "noble pursuit," says Critchfield: "In the service of doing something good for humanity, I think [marketing] is pretty great.”

There is a definite mystique behind what Upworthy does, and the article paints an eloquent picture: "Amid all the wonky discussion of traffic metrics, Facebook algorithms, and testing tools, you detect a collar-tugging fear that these guys have, like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, seen into the drizzle of numbers that hides behind virality and are now able to bend it to their will." But "going viral" isn't unknowable—there are identifiable components to virality and a toolkit that can get you there, as Critchfield explains in her talks. It's not a trendy marketing buzzword, it's a tried-and-true method Critchfield and her team stand behind and are constantly pushing to improve.

Most people don't know the true definition of virality, or how to recognize it, measure it, or improve it. In her talks, Critchfield provides hands-on knowledge that can help drive sales, increase brand awareness, and grow your social following. To book Sara Critchfield as a speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency.

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digital and social media | March 19, 2014