Viral Marketing & How To Craft Contagious Content Course Summary

Sofia's Learning Summary: Viral Marketing & How To Craft Contagious Content
Credit to Coursera: Jonah Berger, Associate Professor of Marketing, Wharton University of Pennsylvania

Creating Shareable Content

Contagious: How things catch on:
4 Drivers of Social Epidemics
1) What makes some things stick in memory
2) How does one person's decision influence another
3) Why do people share word of mouth about some things rather than others?
4) How do social networks shape spread on information and influence

Making messages stick:
1) Variation
2) Selection
3) Retention

Make it simple:
1) Analogies help
2) Find the core
- Pick 2 to 3 top idea units
- If listeners walked away with 1 thing, what should it be?
3) Leaves people wanting for more when it is simple (the curiosity gap)

Make it unexpected
1) Violate expectations by breaking a pattern
2) Surprise gets attention, but to make something really sticky you need to hold attention (open a curiosity gap - a mystery where people want to know the answer)
3) Be careful about repetition, it dull surprises

Urban legends use concrete details
Make it concrete - it makes things more memorable
1) Can you see it (visualise)?
2) Help people see what you are saying

Make it credible - things believe what we say/write
~ Make comparisons
~ Testable credentials

Emotional stories - make people care - evoke emotions - play with people heartstrings
-Concrete ideas generate more emotion
Use the 3 WHYs
Ask again and again - Keep asking until you hit something core
1) Why do people use Google search - because they want to find information
2) Why do they want to find information - because they want to accomplish something
3) Why do they want to accomplish that thing - to connect with others, make their lives better

You can get your hands on the book Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath to understand more

Power & Psychology of Social Media
-Social influences affect all sorts of decisions
-One way social influence affects us through conformity (imitation) ~ more likely to do something if others are doing it ~ monkey sees, monkey do. Why? Due to informational influence and shortcut to judgment

Normative Influence
-Fit in, attain rewards and avoid ostracism

Using Social Influence to increase Success
- Social influence increase inequality ~ popular get more popular
- Also made success unpredictable ~ winner in one version almost last in another
- Herd or bandwagon effects

When social influence is anti-social

Conformity or divergence

Promoting Positive Buzz in Marketing and Advertising
Word of mouth - targeting - turning customers into advocates

Six Key Steps
1) Social Currency
2) Triggered
3) Emotion
4) Public
5) Practical Value
6) Stories

Social Currency
- How can we make people feel like insiders? Smart, special and in-the-know?
- Find the inner remarkability

- Top-of-mind means tip-of-tongue

- Positive
- Negative

- Built to show, built to grow
- Social proof

Practical Value
-News you can use
-Content Marketing
-Rule of 100 (% or numbers can be better depends on the content/motivation) ~ how we frame that information

Stories - Drive people to action

Leveraging Social Media and Sharing
Ties are not random - people tend to be friends with others like them - called homophily
a) Biased interaction
b) Biased tie formation

Network effects - the value of something depends on the number of other people using it

Sprinkler vs. Waterfall Strategies
- Simple vs. Complex contagions
~ Simple (a piece of news, job info, articles) - fewer dose of influence - sprinkler (spread in different areas/demographic/geography/social group)
~ More complex (adoption is costly or risky) - multiple doses of influence - waterfall (focus in one area/demographic/geography/social group)

Social ties - describes the frequency of interaction and influences what we share
a) Strong - family and friends
b) Weak - acquaintances, others (these are more)

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