Going Viral: The Science Behind Online Social Engagement


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Attracting high engagement through online content is tough. With the internet permeating all aspects of modern culture, we’re all too familiar with viral web content. Often times the most nonsensical videos, text posts, blog articles, vines, snapchats etc. are the posts receiving millions of hits. They are five-second videos with silly one liners, humourous antics, and satirical references to older viral material. They are  sentence long text posts that say something profound about the current state of the world. They are meme culture, tumblr fame, instagram fame, snapchat fame, vine fame, and youtube fame. A user’s content popularity wins them world renown if presented strategically. Let’s explore more about what makes content go viral, the emotions behind this process, and how you can increase engagement with your own web content.

The Emotions Behind Viral Web Content

To win increased viewership, content must excite and arouse strong emotions. According to Marketing Land, upon looking at 65,000 articles on sites that allow readers to record their emotional reaction, the articles with the highest numbers of sharing elicited feelings of control, and high dominance. People like to share content that makes them feel good. Stimulating emotional arousal, articles with the most discussion (comments) tended to be politically charged and anger-inducing while presenting a strong claim. A hot topic with high debate will have users flocking to share their opinion. Frame web content using ‘us vs. them’ or ‘good vs. bad’ persuasive energy to inflame passions and provoke controversy. Give your viewership control with feel-good messages and you’ll see the most sharing.

So How Do I Increase Engagement With My Web Content?

The right combinations will spur the right  type of engagement. Happiness, surprise, and dominance make users share your content with practically everyone they know. Positivity is contagious. For example, if you’re a catering company, uploading a video montage of the best marriage proposals will motivate users to transfer the feel-good quality of your post to those they care about. Comments, comments, and more comments bring high traffic to your post. For example, by writing about the inhumanity of killing a gorilla in captivity as an animal care company will have those animal lovers scrambling to have their voice heard. Perhaps you need to present unfortunate, bad news that you know will bum people out. Make sure you present it with a silver lining and users will like, share and comment all day.

Adventure Web Interactive Knows The Ins And Outs Of Viral Web Content

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Source: http://marketingland.com/science-viral-content-certain-emotions-ignite-social-engagement-181267