The old saying “Sex Sells” never gets old, even in the world of social media marketing and Digg.com.
Recently I’ve been noticing a trend on Digg that when a story is submitted, especially a tech story, with a little spin about sex, that story attracts much more Diggs than it usually would.
Take today’s most popular story on Digg for example, entitled Gmail Users are Younger, Richer, Good in Bed.
The genius behind the title of this story, by Pete Cashmore of Mashable.com, is that his blog post is simply the restating of facts from a Hitwise study on GMail usage and user behavior. When comparing GMail to Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, the study shows that users of GMail are younger and have higher incomes.
The study says absolutely nothing about sexual performance, which Cashmore addresses in his post; “As for performance in the bedroom – well, we kinda lied. In fact, the stats show that solitary Gmail users are far more likely to Google themselves.”
Cashmore is instead using the old trick of writing sexy headlines to gather more reader interest. Mashable’s ‘internal’ readers are used to this approach, as Peter routinely talks about sex in his headlines, which draws more interest and comments from his RSS subscribers.
But the after effect is the Digg popularity. Digg is a breeding ground of young horny geeks and in the same fashion that Marvel Comics uses in making Jean Grey or Mary Jane sexier and bustier from year to year, Cashmore does the same in his Mashable titles.
Furthermore, Mashable.com has a positive reputation amongst Digg users, which lets Cashmore get away with the posting of these misleading titles, without getting buried or comment bombed by Diggers (although Pete does not submit these stories himself).
So, if you’re going to try to use Sex to sell your site, get you on Digg.com or attract more links; be careful, be original, be thoughtful and most importantly, be sexy.