How to Use Psychological Triggers to Go Viral

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If you haven’t seen the political quiz website ISideWith, you really should give it a look. It won’t change how you’re going to vote in November, but it is a perfect case study in great viral marketing because, as Rand Fishkin points out, it has two important psychological triggers.

First, sharing is simple and obvious. They have made it easy for you to share the quiz on almost any social site with bright and attractive buttons. They even tell you how many people have taken the quiz because of your sharing. Showing how your sharing has influenced others plays on your ego and the desire to know how many people care about what you share.

Second, they ask you how your results made you feel. When you give them feedback, they create a ready-to-share Facebook post for you. By allowing you to not just share your results, but customizing it with your own reactions, ISideWith plays on the way people use Facebook to share how they feel. People don’t always share what they are doing or interested in, but most people share how they feel. Capitalizing on emotions is a smart way to make people want to share your content.

The site isn’t perfect – no site is – but it takes advantage of the emotions people invest in politics to make their content as shareable as possible, thereby maximizing the chances of going viral. By knowing the psychologies of your audience rather than just their activities, you can make them want to share your site with the world.


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