How You Can Use Math & Split Testing To Go Viral
What Does Going Viral Really Mean?A piece of content (whether that is a video, an image, an article, a petition, or an app) goes viral if it is circulated rapidly on the internet.Going viral includes the use of pre-existing social networking services and other technologies to try to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses.
Measuring Virality through K-FactorK-Factor: a measurement of the growth rate of websites, apps, or a customer baseIf i is the number of invitations (or messages, in the case of viral content) sent out by each customer or user, and C the percent conversion rate of each invitation, then K is the product of the two. (Richard Fong)K is equal to i multiplied by C
I x C = KK-Factor < 1 = not going viralK-Factor > 1 = reach of content is growing\Example: If you start out with 10 people who saw and shared your content to 10 other people each and successfully converted 20 percent, then your resulting K-Factor will be 2. In other words, your initial 10 customers were able to reel in two new customers each or an additional 20 people were introduced to your content bringing your total to 30.
Engineering Your App/SaaS To Go ViralIncrease in invitations + increase in conversion rate = GrowthFour key metrics when it comes to viral content:
1. Number of monthly unique users (MUU)2. Monthly authenticated users (MAU)3. Daily authenticated users (DAU)4. Daily authenticated users who publish shareable events (pDAU).
Engineering Your App/SaaS To Go ViralBoost ratio between MUU and MAU:Offer one-click social sign-in instead of username/password sign-inGrow ratio between MAU and DAU:Promote automatic log-inProvide useful notificationsSend out regular e-mailsFoster growth between your daily DAU and PDAU:Employ a system for lightweight event sharing (Spotify, Flickr, etc)Leverage passive sharing (share activities automatically with user's permission)Make your content shareable across devices
Six STEPPS to Encouraging The Share1. Social CurrencyContent that makes a person sharing it look knowledgeable
2. TriggersContent pertaining to topics that are current are more shareable
3. EmotionNegative and positive emotion; as long as it triggers high forms of psychological arousal (joy, anger, outrage, etc.)
Six STEPPS to Encouraging The Share4. PublicPeople naturally join bandwagons whenever they can; people want to the same things as successful individuals
5. Practical ValueContent that proves to be useful gets shared
6. StoriesPeople love sharing stories; viral content usually flows as a story and sometimes begins as an anecdote
Making a Piece of Content Go Viral1. IncentiveContent that promises a premium has a high change of going viralExample: Dropbox grew in popularity because of its referral program.
2. One-Step SharingEmploy a sharing scheme with one step; make it easy and simple for your users to share your content
3. EgoContent that makes users proud of their accomplishments gets sharedExamples: IQ tests and surveys
Making a Piece of Content Go Viral4. Trigger an Emotional ResponseAwe: Your content should display something remarkableAnger: When people are angry, they want to talk, especially on social media.Anxiety: If you make a person uneasy, he or she is likely to talk about it and share the content.Joy: Positive, inspiring and uplifting content garners a lot of shares. Lust: Lust doesn't always mean physical pleasures. People can lust for money, results, etc. Content that tantalizes readers with potential results gets shared. Surprise: Content that goes against expectation is highly shareable. These pieces challenge assumptions and prove readers wrong.
TL;DRGoing viral isn't a game of chance.Virality is based on the science of Psychology and Mathematics.Improve the virality of you content involves hitting the right buttons with your audience's psyche and convincing them to share.By improving the conversion rate between impressions and shares you can engineer viral growth.