Social media networks provide channels of distribution to share information and content that marketers have realized can be very powerful in speed and spread.
Brands are constantly working with their marketing teams and agencies crafting creative concepts to spread their message and content.
So how do create that contagious content on social networks and make it go “viral”?
“Going viral” is every marketers dream but what makes content go viral?
What qualities should your content have to induce sharing?
Practical and utility articles such as “69 secret tips to make your blog rock” are well known to induce sharing but emotion is quite often not given enough priority by the creators of content to ensure that their content is shared on Facebook and Twitter and other social media channels.
Researchers at Penn’s Wharton School (Jonah Berger and Katy Milkman) discovered from their study of 3,000 articles from the New York Times that the more emotional stories were shared the most.
They found that the emotion of “awe” was one of the strongest drivers of sharing.
They defined awe as
“an emotion of self-transcendence, a feeling of admiration and elevation in the face of something greater than the self.”
In essence …the feeling that the world is a broad place and I am so small.
There are two criteria for an awe inspiring story
- Its scale is large
- It requires mental accommodation by forcing the reader to view the world in a different way.
If you cannot write something awe inspiring to share then the researchers found that five other emotional factors that promoted sharing were
These of course are not all the emotions that you can tap into to create virality but were highlighted by the research.
Here are some of the top stories on social media networks today that create some of those emotions.
“I Almost Killed My Family This Morning Making Pancakes” (This is an image)
“Father and Sun Send iPhone Into Space and Record Incredible Video” (VIDEO)
The old newspaper adage that “if it bleeds it leads‘ is still true. You need to invoke emotion.
What did intrigue me about the research was that it did mention that positive emotions were more effective for making contagious content but apart from “awe” there was not any significant observations in the research document on what they were.
So the online content providers need to pay greater attention to the emotions their content creates as this will lead to maximizing revenue for placing advertisements or pricing access to content.
So design content that is likely to be shared as this will increase your page and YouTube views.
So what emotions could you invoke when creating content?
Image by Sterin