Just over a month ago, I posted on my LinkedIn page a copy of an unusually aggressive LinkedIn message from an executive in Cleveland, rejecting the connection request of a young job-seeker. I didn’t uncover the story; Kelly Blazek’s note had been widely covered elsewhere, and I happened to come across it on Twitter. I…
Why does some content go viral – while other, possibly equally good content, languishes unnoticed?
For content marketers trying to get their brands known (and loved) on social media, understanding this process is the holy grail. Unfortunately, while it is usually easy to explain in hindsight why some material was wildly successful, it is quite hard to design it with virality guaranteed.
In his new book Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age, Jonah Berger, associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, nevertheless tries to provide a framework. Ideas which get shared a lot, he claims, contain one or more of the following:
1. Social currency. The product / idea makes people feel that they have special insider knowledge and are ‘cool’.
2. Triggers. There is something in people’s everyday routine or environment that consistently reminds them of your product. (For example, KitKat is now associated with coffee breaks.)
If you think it’s this simple, you’re in for a big disappointment.
Bill Myers has recently highlighted a website called http://www.peopleofwalmart.com – not much to this site, just photos of people shopping and a comment about their choice of clothing.But the site caught on, and now gets almost 4 million page views a day.