Jonah Berger has put together a highly readable series of insights around what makes people share ideas, packed with examples. The acronym of the book’s ideas is STEPPS.
- Social Currency – insider knowledge you can introduce to your social circle.
- Triggers – part of the idea is closely tied to some repeating event, so it is brought to mind on a regular basis
- Emotion – emotions that trigger the adrenal system (anger, laughter) are better than those that leave the reader passive
- Public – transferring private behaviour (like voting, competition entries) into the public eye
- Practical Value – explaining how to accomplish a task
- Stories – people more easily share ideas that are tied to stories, but make sure the story you’re constructed is closely tied to the brand or concept you’re sharing about
If you’re trying to create a piece of media that you’re hoping will be widely shared, it’s worth considering each of the STEPPS in turn to see if you can make your idea more contagious.