Power of Viral: Rachel Jeantel takes the stand

Rachel Jeantel, Social Media, Trayvon Martin, Sanford, Florida, Viral, Conversation, Trends, Facebook

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON EXAMINER

The Power of Viral strikes yet again! Many people still doubt the effect of Internet Marketing and Social for businesses and brands. NEVER underestimate the Power of Viral!

If you have been scrolling Facebook for these last two days, you have probably have witnessed a feed full of content surrounding the George Zimmerman case. Most of these statuses have responded to the witness testimony of Rachel Jeantel, the friend of Trayvon Martin who witnessed the whole situation leading up to his murder via telephone call.

Through all the comments and remarks about her speech, appearance and action, as being questioned by George Zimmerman’s defense attorney, you also see people asking where they can also tune-in to witness the trial, themselves.

Here, you see the Power of Viral take effect, as people are directed to multiple streaming outlets via the Internet and/or local television stations. While people are dissecting this young girl’s character, no matter how much older she looks than she truly is, these web outlets are receiving new traffic and converting awareness to long-term consumers (provided their content is “sticky”) across the United States.

For the past few days, I have witnessed solely Orlando residents speaking about the case and making comments about the “star witness.” Today, I am watching friends in California, Pittsburgh, New York — and even London — speaking about the case and inquiring where to find it Online so that they can join in this “what-has-now-become-social” event. It’s interesting how widespread the case has become, and even more, the content of it.

Together, we are watching the live streaming trial. Many of us may never be watching anything simultaneously again (other than sports)! However, we all will continue to share in the conversation in real-time based on what we are witnessing.

Many people are at work at the moment, and they still watch via mobile or Internet. Many cannot watch it now, but they will follow through to the websites, suggested by friends, for archived streams. Referrals are the most trusted form of Brand Awareness and what leads to effective Viral Marketing. Referrals by friends and family members are trusted over referrals by a company that stands to “make a buck or two” over it.

Orlando is known for some of the most intense cases. Unfortunately, the “in-demand” material is highly sought after, and people are critically watching and speaking. Can the Power of Viral damage the “City of Orlando” brand through this, or can it show the world that “If you mess up in Orlando, you shall be dealt with?”

Does content like this continue to heighten racial tension? Maybe it helps detract it a bit. Why? Because while there are some racists joining into the conversation, Social Conversation can “combat negative reactions.”

People can speak on matters of the heart and society. Stereotypes can be broken, leaving stereotyped remarks left to “look stupid.” While many are downplaying the character of this young girl, it gives them the “go ahead” to speak freely about a stereotypical character that continues to portray a mainstream “ideal” of certain groups of people. Others grouped in this category are proving these ideals wrong! So, while her character has brought in traffic to these streams and opened a negative conversation, positive results may take place from it within our world.

As I write this article and listen to the live feed, I hear a segment about Social Media by one of WFTV Orlando’s Legal Analysts, Bill Sheaffer (who is also an Attorney), speak about Social Media. I am unable to play back the direct quote. So, I apologize if it isn’t an exact quote and/or a bit out of order, but he states (and I think it is important to add):

“Social Media is always there. It’s a new world… with an emphasis on the importance of Social Media… Going back to the Casey Anthony case… her home computer was a vital piece of evidence in the case with her daughter. Twitter wasn’t back then what it is now, recording every moment of our daily lives. Even when deleted, it is always there. You can’t just scrub it away…”

And, this content always stands the chance of becoming viral in our World, just as it has for Rachel Jeantel.

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