contagious why things catch on

#Book — Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Part of our jobs, as social media managers, is to engage with our online communities.

Make people interact with what we post.

Like. Comment. Share.

The big question is “How?”.

The answer

In order to answer the how, we first need to understand the why: why do some products and ideas get talked about more than other?

In Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger may very well have found the answer.

contagious why things catch on cover

Hint: it all comes down to six fundamental principles, or “STEPPS“:

  1. Social currency — We share things that make us look good.
  2. Triggers — Top of mind, tip of tongue.
  3. Emotion — When we care, we share.
  4. Public — Built to show, built to grow.
  5. Practical Value — News you can use.
  6. Stories — Information travels under the guise of idle chatter.


Contagious: Why Things Catch On will tell you why $100 is a good price for a cheesesteak, why a NASA mission boosted candy sales and why hikers talk about vacuum cleaners.

Most importantly, this book will teach you why customer service is better than any ad, and give you tons of ideas to make your social media content more “viral”.

Bonus 1: in this article from Fast Company, Jonah Berger explains “Why cats always go viral—when more people love dogs”.

Bonus 2: if reading is not your thing, here is a cool video where Jonah Berger explains his findings.

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