People always ask me how to make messages “go viral.” Every business needs to get the word out, every leader wants her ideas to spread more. So I talked with Jonah Berger, the leading word-of-mouth scientist, to get answers. Berger, a Wharton professor and author of Contagious, gave me a six-step method to drive people to spread the word. Here’s what he told me:
1. Social Currency
People love to talk about things that make them look good. The promotion they received, how well their kids are doing in school–or the time they got upgraded to first class. So make them feel like insiders, or give them remarkable information, and they’ll tell others in order to make themselves look smart and in the know.
Top-of-mind means tip-of-the-tongue. Ever wonder why people talk so much about the weather or what they had for breakfast? The more people are thinking about something, the more likely they’ll be to tell others about it. So link your product or business idea to prevalent triggers in the environment–objects, ideas, or topics that come up frequently in conversation anyway.
When you care, you talk. If you’re excited about a piece of news, angry about a decision, or amazed about a discovery, you’re much more likely to tell others. So focus on feelings rather than functions. Find the strong emotions behind any message you want to take viral.
Continue reading the rest of the story on INC.