How to go viral.
The term 'going viral' has a mystical quality to it. The term refers to content being shared by those outside both our immediate and extended networks. In other words, viral content is content that is shared by strangers.
There is a huge element of chance involved in going viral. This doesn't mean there isn't anything that can be done to increase your content's chances of going viral
In his book Contagious, John Berger explains the six characteristics of viral content:
1.) Social Currency
We are more likely to share content that makes us look good. This also includes information that makes them appear knowledgeable or up to date with the latest trends.
We are also more likely to share content that we can easily relate too. Triggers refer to information that is top of mind, and that people are immediately able to connect with.
Emotional messaging sticks. Content that appeals to a strong positive or negative sentiment is far more likely to cause a reaction and to be shared.
If people see someone reading something then they themselves are far more likely to share it. The concept of being public means two things:
- Being easy to find
- Being easy to share
5.) Practical Value
Human beings love helping others. If an article, video or story has usable information, then we are far more likely to share it.
Good stories survive for generations. Content that is about a wider issue, or has a human element to it is easy to relate too, and therefore is a lot more likely to be shared.