Thanks to WhoisHostingThis.com for posting the original infographic from above.
Why do certain internet sensations go viral? What makes us share things online? An infographic based on Jonah Berger’s book “Contagious” lays out the psychological reasons why internet content goes viral.
Essentially, the greater emotional response a person has when reading or seeing online content, the more likely it is to become viral. In fact, Jonah Berger in partnership with Katherine Milkman proved that content that can invoke one emotion will have an average of 2.9 additional hours spent being viewed and shared. The emotional reaction a reader has is based on a few factors including: how interested they are and how quickly the interest appears, how quickly the emotion comes to them, the length and topic of the content, the amount of user engagement and which emotions being felt.
The level and speed of the interest is based on the fact that most people don’t read past a headline of an item. The speed of the emotional response will depend on how simple and straightforward the content is to understand. The length of the content has an effect on how often it’s shared – longer is better. Also the content matters. Scientific content tends to be the most popular. The amount of engagement the reader feels is about how self-focused the content is, since most social media is extremely self-focused. The particular emotions have an effect on popularity as well, with positive emotions becoming more viral.
People tend to share things that cast themselves in a positive light on social media. Therefore, the emotions you want to evoke should be positive.
By linking the content to a daily trigger, essentially a reminder think about it every day, you will be further ensuring that the content goes viral.
People are going to share things that cause arousal. This could be rage, wonder or comedy, but it is all about the degree of strength in that emotion which will cause them to share the content.
Creating a highly-visible and consistent logo and branding style will go a long way in helping people find your product.
Viral content is useful and quality. Deals, coupons, discounts and information articles are sure to be passed around as people try to share helpful information with each other.
Linking the product with an interesting storyline ensures that people will want to talk about it and learn more.