It's catchy. It's funny. It might already be overplayed. It's the latest meme craze: The Harlem Shake.
The Harlem Shake originated less than two weeks ago and has spawned over 40,000 versions uploaded to YouTube, totaling more than 200 million views. If you haven't seen it yet, just go on YouTube and watch one. It is much easier seen than described. Basically, someone starts dancing in a room of otherwise normal activity and then the scene switches to everyone dancing/ going crazy. So what turns such a simple and silly concept into an Internet sensation? Let's take a look at three things companies that are looking to engage customers through social media can learn from Harlem Shake!
Harlem Shake Characteristic: Length
The videos average about 30 seconds in length. This makes viewing them, and possibly viewing multiple in one sitting, very easy for the average YouTube visitor. They can also be viewed in the entirety as part of a conversation or showing one to a friend on a mobile device.
Lesson: Keep it short: You have to capture attention quickly! No one is going to read through pages of material or watch a half hour long video.
Harlem Shake Characteristic: Easy to Create
It is easy to see how there have been so many versions created and posted as the videos are technically quite simple to set up, create and edit. They typically are one static camera angle and just require one cut from that camera angle. This simplicity implies that just about anyone can make a version without much planning or effort.
Lesson: Keep it simple: If you want engagement, keep it simple for the customer!
Harlem Shake Characteristic: Open to interpretation
The theme is so loose that it is easy for viewers to imagine their own "creative spin" on the Harlem Shake. Think of the armed forces version, the Swimming Team version, or the senior citizen version. This lets viewers feel part of the craze and inject their own creativity into the concept.
Lesson: Keep it creative: Give your customers space to make the interaction unique and personal to them!
Take away any other lessons from the Harlem Shake? Let us know below!