“Contagious” – Jonah Berger

contag“Contagious” by Jonah Berger takes apart the DNA of shared messages, and discovers 6 triggers that get us to share something.

1 Social Currency – People share to perpetuate an image – as a guide, as a mother, as an insider – what does someone look like when they share your message?

2 Triggers – Subtle environmental cues associated with your product that influence decision.

3 Emotion – When we care, se share.

4 Public – Is your product being conspicuously used in public. Does it advertise itself?

5 Practical Values – Offer value clearly, help others

6 Stories – People relay info naturally in narrative forms. How is your business creating compelling stories worth sharing?

Most fascinating to me personally was this bit about addressing your messaging to broad audiences, rather than targets. . .

“You might think that content that has a broad audience is more likely to be shared. A piece about football should be shared more than one about water polo; a review of a new American restaurant should be passed on more than a review of a new Ethiopian restaurant.

The problem with this assumption, though, is that just because people can share with more people doesn’t mean they will. In fact, narrower content may actually be more likely to be shared because it reminds people of a specific friend or family member and makes them feel compelled to pass it along. And because it seems so uniquely perfect for that person, you feel you HAVE to share it.

From the flap – –
 If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, “Contagious” explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share.

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