Join Jonah Berger for an in-depth discussion in this video Six STEPPS to getting people to share, part of Jonah Berger on Viral Marketing.
What makes things viral? And why do people talk about some things rather than others? Well a few years ago, if you went on the internet and you typed in, what makes something viral, the answer you would get is very simply, cats. The theory out there was that people loved sharing cat stuff. Cat photos. Cat videos. Any sort of cat content you could find. In fact, the theory sort of goes if there were no cats, there would be no internet. What would people have to share in the first place? Twitter would fall apart. There would be no YouTube. No cats, no internet at all.
And as you can tell, while that's a really great theory, it's completely and utterly wrong. It doesn't tell us anything about why some cat things succeed and other cat things fail. It doesn't tell us anything about the thousands of pieces of content that have nothing to do with cats. So I'm sorry, if you thought this segment was going to be all about how to make cat videos a hit, you're going to be a little bit disappointed. So rather than talk about cats, let's talk about science. I spent the last ten years with an amazing set of collaborators studying why people talk about and share things. We looked at thousands of pieces of online content, tens of thousands of brands, and millions of purchases across the United States.
We've done dozens of studies at universities like Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford. And again and again, we saw that the same six principles kept driving people to talk and share. It wasn't random. It wasn't luck. And it wasn't cats. There was a science behind why people passed things on. Whether we're talking about ideas, physical products or even initiatives the same six psychological drivers were causing people to share. I put those six key steps in the framework in fact it's called STEPPS. It starts with social currency, then triggers, emotion, public, practical value and stories.
And in each of the video segments moving forward, I'll explain why these concepts work, the psychology or science behind them, and how can, you can apply them to make your own ideas take off. We'll show you how to craft contagious content, how to build messages and ideas that are more likely to spread from person to person just like a virus might. But the craft word is really important. It's not luck, anyone can do this if they understand the principles of how it works. Because again, if we can craft contagious content, we can make our own products and ideas more successful.
- Summarize the advantages of word-of-mouth advertising.
- Identify the six STEPPS to getting people to share.
- Explain the effects of a trigger.
- Describe the function of social proof.
- Recall the most effective strategies for spreading a marketing message.
- Recognize two components in a story meant to help spread a business message.