Word of Mouth Tip #26: Ask fans to rally their friends

If your supply (or time or resources) is limited, use that to your advantage to develop some fan-generated demand.

When planning your next tour, where to roll out your new product, or where to host your next event, try putting it to a fan vote. If you do it right, your fans will be rallying their friends to help lobby you to head their way.

How a word of mouth supergenius does it:

When determining where to host early screenings of “Paranormal Activity,” Paramount let fans vote — or, more accurately, demand — for their cities to host a midnight showing.

By hitting the “Demand” button on a simple website, fans could vote for a local screening. And not only were the votes used to determine which cities hosted early showings, but also at what point the film would receive a wide release. Once the demand ticker hit 1,000,000 votes, Paramount began rolling the movie out nation-wide.

It all resulted in lots of fans recruiting their friends, well over a million “Demands” for the movie, and Paranormal Activity being one of the most popular topics on Twitter — and all in just a few short weeks.

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