THE SECRET OF YOUR POPULARITY
February 24, 2020

Startup

The secret of your popularity

By Alexander Sergeev

The popularity is expressed in terms of how often people talk about your product. It is not directly related to the quality or price. Although people can talk about the quality and the price, they have a lot of other topics. Hence the conclusion: the high quality or low price is not a guarantee of popularity. The guarantee of popularity is the human interest in your product. Moreover, it is such an interest when one person always wants to share information about you and other interested people get this information. No matter how good your product is, if buyers do not want to tell others about it, it won’t become popular.

How do people share information?

Marketing consultants in social networks will say: “Social networks are a powerful channel to attract customers! People share information several times a day with hundreds of friends! This is a gold mine!”. They are right, but only partly. In fact, people are talking about products and services more often. American researchers from the “Keller Fay” calculated that only 7% of the recommendations come from the Internet. So, if you want to become popular, people should talk about you as often as possible. But they need a reason.

Why do people share information?

There are six reasons why people share information about products and services:

  1. This makes them better in the eyes of others. Gives them social currency.
  2. The conversation is provoked by an external cause – trigger.
  3. Information about the product or service activates strong emotions – joy or anger.
  4. A person notices that other people talk about this product and follows the majority.
  5. Information about the project has practical value.
  6. Information about the project is “packaged” in a fascinating story.

All these reasons are complementary. The stronger each component, the more opportunities for the product virality.

In today’s article, we will talk about the four most interesting factors virality.

Social currency

People want to be important, interesting, smart, cool, useful, necessary in the eyes of others, to be involved in something big and interesting. And finally, to be loved and recognized. Internal psychological mechanisms guide people to share their merits and achievements. And even slightly exaggerating them:

When you’re in Barcelona, be sure to visit “El Paso”.

This is solid advertising. But people do not communicate to advertise goods, they want to show that they are well versed in something, know the secret, own special kind of information, communication and taste. It is the conversation you need.

People have come up with the mechanisms which help to earn social currency:

Private clubs and secret sales

Fashion stores that sell branded goods at large discounts to club members only is a deal mechanism for growing customer base through personal connections. One girl tells another where to buy fashionable clothes at discounted prices. She tells her friends. There is no better advertising than to know a secret from a friend.

When you possess secret knowledge, you can’t but share it with others – otherwise, how will they realize that you are cool and clever?

Platform for self-expression

It isn’t interesting for a person to do something for himself. He wants to do something and show it to others to get feedback.

Nightclubs are empty from Monday to Thursday. But ask any hungry to success rock band to play on Tuesday, and be sure that they’ll come with their friends, parents, and friends of friends. Or gather a festival of young bands and they will bring 130-140 people or more. Not bad for a Tuesday evening.

Give people a platform to express themselves and give them a reason to be proud of what they do – and they’ll bring their friends. Social currency is the most powerful engine of all conversations about products and services.

Triggers

Two U.S. colleges conducted an experiment: one of them hung a poster “Eat vegetables and fruits” and another “Vegetables and fruits on each tray”, meaning trays in the dining room.

The second announcement was on the third effectively: it contained a trigger, which reminded of vegetables at every contact with the tray in the dining room.

To make people talk about your product or service as often as possible, associate it with the commonly used trigger.

Emotions

We are much more emotional than we think. And much more dependent on our animal nature. Our emotions and physiology affect behavior imperceptibly and inevitably. Some of them stimulate conversations, others – suppress. It depends on the degree of physiological activation that occurs when we experience emotions.

Such emotions as rage, anger, delight, and joy are highly active and provoke conversations, likes and reposts. When something infuriates a person he will definitely report about it.

Such emotions as sadness, depression, serenity, peace, and contentment, on the contrary, inhibit the activity.

To make people talk about you, use active emotions: rage, anger, delight, and joy. It’s impossible to build popularity on a quiet joy.

Herd instinct

The idea is that people are much more focused on others than they want to admit. Herd behavior operates on an instinctive level, and the person uses vast resources to overcome it.

Most often, however, he fails to overcome it. So if you live in an American suburb and three out of four your neighbors have bought “Subaru” in summer, then with a probability of 75% you’ll also buy “Subaru” until the end of summer – proved American sociologists.

It allows us to make a conclusion: a person tends to do what people do around him.

The key point is to give the person an opportunity to see what others are doing. When a new “Subaru” is parked on the neighbor’s lawn, it is visible. And his new toothpaste is not visible, so you won’t speak about it.

It seems rather easy for producers of goods: they need to make a ​​recognizable, bright product and it advertises itself. But what about those who provide services? They should create an outward sign, which can be  provided services:

  • Sticker on a laptop, phone, car window
  • Holder for bank cards
  • Desktop calendar
  • Rubber bracelet
  • T-shirt
  • Hoodie with University symbol
  • Wall poster etc.

Ideal viral product or service:

  • Attracts attention because it breaks stereotypes;
  • Is connected with a strong and frequently used external stimulus (trigger);
  • Causes strong active emotions (joy, delight, anger, rage);
  • Is the outward manifestation visible and understandable to others (car, clothing with a logo, sticker on the computer, rubber bracelet);
  • Has practical value and is embedded in a fascinating story.

Remember the most important thing: people want to share information about the product because it helps them to become more valuable and interesting in the eyes of others.

Another thing is that such a product or service should not disappoint the buyer. You can create a perfect viral product, but if people will be disappointed, the hype will end quickly.

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