Why Things Catch On: The Science of Why People Share
Do you want to understand the science behind why people share? During this fascinating interview I explore these very concepts. To learn the reasons why people widely share content, I interview Jonah Berger for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.
Notes that Jonah became interested in what made ideas go viral because of the knowledge that word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
He bases his science of why things go viral on his background in hard sciences like math, chemistry, computer and material science. So he intended to apply hard science to the social science of media sharing because in reading Gladwell's book he noticed that little research had been done.
He started with the idea that some content performs at a much higher level, and it's not because of luck, nor is it merely random. After 10 years of research, Berger's team discovered principles that psychologically motivate sharing:
- Social currency: people like to feel that they are special in receiving an item, an email, or even an idea that others do not. But, the people only gain social leverage if others know they have it. So, sharing with family and friends demonstrates that they received something special and unique.
- Triggers: certain words, smells, sights, and sounds cause people to think of related products. So, the smell of peanut butter might make you purchase some jelly. Or the sound of French music might motivate you to buy French wine.
- Stories: people are moved by and remember stories, so building a brand story makes people more likely to share it. Story is the medium humans use to share information with one another. Compose a good story, and people will share it.
- Emotion: consumers are powerfully persuaded by their feelings, and by tapping into to the right ones, through story, advertisements, videos, newsletters, etc., you make the content more sharable. The emotion does not always have to be a positive one either: anger, used correctly, becomes a powerful motivator for people to share.
- Practical value: consumers are persuaded powerfully by the practicality of a product: ease of use, efficiency, time saving, headache alleviating. If the product is potently practical, people will share it.
Interested? Click the title or image to read on.
Source is SocialMediaExaminer.com
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Before you leave, let us know how you see these motivators used by advertisers. Does the knowledge of this make you rethink whether to purchase and share?