10 Lessons from Contagious by Jonah Berger: How to Make Things Viral

"Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age" is a book written by Jonah Berger.

This book explores the science behind why certain ideas, products, and services become viral and how to create contagious content. It explains how emotions, social influence, and other psychological factors play a role in the spread of ideas. It also highlights the importance of understanding the context in which an idea will be spread and the potential risks of creating contagious content. 

Contagious is filled with practical tools, strategies, and examples for making an idea more contagious and provides examples of successful word-of-mouth campaigns. It is a useful guide for marketers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, vloggers, and anyone interested in creating viral content in the age of the internet.

"If you want people to remember and share your idea, you need to make it a story" - Jonah Berger
10 lessons from contagious by Jonah berger

10 Lessons That I Learned from Contagious

1.  The first thing to make any idea viral is to understand the psychology of people and why they spread certain things. People spread ideas when they find value in them and they believe that sharing these ideas will impact their own prestige. For example, people would post on social media a great dinner at a 5-star hotel and would happily tag the hotel as it will impact their reputation. This would result in free marketing for the hotel. This is the word of mouth in a digital world. 

2. Emotions play a very crucial role in making things viral. The emotions of satisfaction and contentment may not catch fire quickly, but emotions that exhilarate you physically will stir a fire. If you are extremely happy about a news piece or extremely angry about one, you are likely to share it with people. 

3. Complicated things will not spread so easily. Ideas that are simple and easy to understand are likely to spread quicker and to a larger audience. If you are a blogger/vlogger and you present complicated ideas in simpler ways there are chances that you would be loved by the audience and be shared as well. 

4. Social proof is a powerful tool to make an idea go viral. When a number of people are doing it, many are likely to follow. Just because everyone is doing it does not mean it's right but still it will be followed by many. 

5. If you adapt to an idea early, it will be easier for you to reap its benefits. Learn to identify the flow and it will help you sail farther and faster. The ones who are not quick to adapt to the changing market and atmosphere are left behind in this new age of fast-moving ideas. 

Check this book out: Who Moved My Cheese

6. Understand the culture and the community where you plan to spread your ideas. A soft drink marketing campaign was launched in the USA with 3 images. In the first image was a person who is tired. The second poster had the image of that person drinking a soft drink. The third poster was the image of the same man totally energized and ready to work. The campaign was a huge success but the same campaign when launched in Saudi Arabia was a big failure. May be the campaign manager forgot that Arabic is written from right to left. Jokes apart, when it comes to creating contagious ideas, it's important to think about the context in which they will be spread. Different cultures, communities, and networks have different norms and values, and it's important to take these into account.

7. The power of public commitments should not be underestimated. When people make a public commitment to an idea, they are more likely to follow through on it. If you make a new year resolution, and tell no one about it, it would be easier for you to cheat on it. But, if you announce it publicly, there are more chances of you to see it through since it becomes a matter of public image. You can utilize this concept to make your ideas viral where you can get people to accept them publicly.

8. People are more likely to remember an idea if there is a story linked to it. Stories stick to your memories and hence your idea, product or brand would stick with it. Stires connect to the emotions of people. 

9. Triggers can prove to be a life changing tool for making your ideas contagious. A trigger is something that reminds people of an idea, making it more likely that they will think about it and share it. One of the best ad campaigns based on this campaign is by the brand 5-star. 

10. Lastly, it's crucial to be aware of the potential risks of creating a contagious idea. The spread of misinformation and harmful ideas can have serious consequences, and it's important to consider these risks before trying to make an idea contagious.

10 tips to make things viral



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