The importance of accuracy in viral spread

When starting campaigns, trying to ignite a viral spread, exposing people to the (supposedly) viral agent is the first step. It is important to get people to pay attention. Today, this isn’t easy.

As the title or headline of some content often creates the first impression, the first step is to create a title that spurs curiosity and draws people in. It is tempting to hype the content, to exaggerate a bit.  But, to create viral spread, accuracy of the claims are maybe just as important. The classic formula…

Outcome - Expectations = Satisfaction

… is just as valid as ever. If the content doesn’t hold what the title promises, if the outcome doesn’t live up to expectations, there is a risk the subsequent viral spread is harmed. Titles have to accurately reflect the content. It is the content that creates viral spread, and if the content is good enough to get a viral spread, the title is usually relatively easy to come up with. There is no need to exaggerate.

Kristofer Mencák has a M.Sc. in Business Administration from Stockholm School of Economics. He is a consultant, author and lecturer on social media, viral marketing and word of mouth. He has also recently been travelling the world teaching the dance kizomba.

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