If you don’t live under a rock like Patrick (in the popular cartoon Sponge Bob) and you happen to be active on social media for the past week, there is no way you could have missed “the Kalyppo craze” where by people take selfies holding the Kalyppo juice in the process of drinking it. This began after the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, was pictured sipping the fruit drink.
To some, posting the Kalyppo selfie was in an effort to show support to Nana Akufo-Addo, for some it was just for the fun of it. Everybody was doing it right? Why not?
In actual fact this particular activity of sharing or taking part in viral content is a principle termed “social currency” which simply means we share things that make us look good. Why do we share cool photos, videos and witty jokes on social media? Because it makes us look good. We don’t share stories that are boring because people will just think we are boring.
Jonah Berger wrote a book “Contagious why things catch on” explaining 6 principles that provide a formula to creating content that will most likely become viral;
#1. Social Currency – ‘Appearances matter.’ Give your product and its owner social status by making it – and those who own/talk about it appear REMARKABLE (interesting, exclusive, distinctive, attractive, successful).
#2. Triggers – Top of Mind, Tip of Tongue.’ Associate your product with ideas and activities in peoples lives (moments – Kit Kat = break, colours, Coke = Red, music, words
#3. Emotion – ‘When we care, we share’. Focus on what really matters and be ‘awe-some’ by asking the ‘3 Whys’ (Why is this product important, why is that important, and why is that important) and striving to evoke ‘awe’ – the sense of wonder and amazement that occurs when someone is inspired by great knowledge, beauty, sublimity.
#4. Public – ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’: Make adoption and use, publicly visible and copy-able.
#5. Practical Value – ‘News you can use’ should be useful – in a short, straightforward, and simple way – for you, and for who you share it with. For example this article has practical value.
#6. Stories – ‘Once Upon a Time’ – Your product should be wrapped up/communicated in a shareable (human) story or narrative – e.g. Subway – Jared Fogle story, went from 60″ waist to 34″ eating Subway sandwiches. But ensure your product is an integral part of the story (many people forget the product that is advertised in story-based ads/word of mouth)
Definitely a book that every marketer should have.
Now what happened with Kalyppo is pure luck. But sales have rocketed to the extent where by vendors are running out of stock. It is every company’s dream that their product/service would experience a fraction of the publicity experienced by Kalyppo. But its no longer rocket science. Jonah Berger has provided the road map to virality. Grab the book and perfect your craft.