From Complacent to Contagious: Where is Your Brand on the Spectrum?

Why do some ideas spread like wildfire while others don’t? The Wharton School’s Jonah Berger has examined hundreds of baby names, thousands of New York Times articles and data from millions of YouTube videos to break down the elements that make things go viral. Here, the best-selling author joins the Engagement Project conversation by giving a glimpse at his findings on how brands can shift their thinking to create engaging, contagious content.

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How to Make Your Content Go Viral

Here’s my recent post on Mashable

If you asked Google a few years ago, “What makes things go viral?” you would get a simple answer: It’s luck. No one can predict what will go viral. You might as well buy a lottery ticket.

And that’s a great theory — except for the fact that it’s completely wrong.

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What Are Your Three Types of Ice?

Getting attention for you and your message is tough.  You need something that cuts through the clutter and shows rather than tells.  Here’s how to do it.

A few blocks from my house is a drinking establishment called Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company.  To call it a bar, or even a lounge, would be an understatement. Franklin Co. is part of the recent wave of craftsman drinking establishments that serves a range of artisanal cocktails.  No vodka, no red bull. Franklin Co.’s drinks are carefully designed to stimulate the palate. Organic egg white, apple butter, and Hibiscus Syrup are just a few of the specialty ingredients that make up some of their delightful potions.

But in case this isn’t enough, Franklin Co. has something else going for it: Three types of ice. Read More

The Secret Science Behind Big Data And Word Of Mouth

Here’s my recent piece from TechCrunch

Why do some companies, products and services get more word of mouth than others? It’s not luck. There’s a science behind it. Social media gurus always preach that no one talks about boring products or boring ideas. So you would think that more interesting products and brands get talked about more. Surprisingly, they don’t.

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Do You Call it Soda or Pop?

How does where we’re from shape who we are?

Last week, one of the most viral things on the internet was a few simple maps. Created by statistics graduate student Joshua Katz, the maps show regional variation in language. If you were asked the generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage, for example, what would you call it?

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Is Word of Mouth Better Than Advertising?

People often wonder whether word of mouth is better than advertising. The answer? Yes. But not always.

great deal of research finds that word of mouth is more effective than other types of marketing. Whether compared to traditional advertisingmedia mentions, or promotional events, word of mouth is more useful in creating new users and customers. Indeed, McKinsey suggests that “word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising in categories as diverse as skincare and mobile phones.”

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3 Ways to Avoid Decision Quicksand

We often get sucked into trivial decisions. Here are 3 ways to avoid this painful phenomenon.

Have you ever agonized over which restaurant entrée to order? Which shade of white to paint the kitchen? Which flight to purchase? If so, you’re not alone. You’ve been caught in something my colleague and I call “Decision Quicksand.” Not only does it lead to wasted time, it also makes people unhappy and less satisfied with choice.

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My Best Mistake: The Upside of Getting Fired

The best thing that ever happened to my career was getting fired.

During my sophomore year in college, I ran a small business on campus. It was called the Concert Network and brought live music to campus throughout the year. Everything from big acts like Jack Johnson and Cake to small coffeehouse shows.

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How to Trigger Word of Mouth

There’s a science behind word of mouth and why things go viral. Six key principles. Here is the second one.

Last week I wrote a post about the secret science behind viral that went, well…pretty viral. Many emailed to ask about Social Currency, but also wanted to know about the other five principles (i.e., Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, and Stories, or STEPPS). Here is more information about the second principle, Triggers.

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Viral’s Secret Formula

Want to know why things go viral? Why some products get more word of mouth? Let me tell you a secret. It’s not luck.

Viral has become marketing’s Holy Grail. From the Harlem Shake to the Rutgers basketball coach abusing his players, hardly a week goes by without some video or news story going viral. And word of mouth and virality have a huge impact on businesses, large and small. Blender company Blendtec’s sales shot up more than 700% a few years ago after videos of the CEO blending things like iPhones spread like wildfire. But what makes something go viral?

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