What Makes an Idea Go Viral?

Viral marketing is a hot buzzword these days. It’s a simple enough concept – get others to spread your idea and before too long, thanks to the beauty of exponential math (“I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on.”), you’ve reached a lot of people.

The challenge is, how do you get people to want to tell two friends? Or two hundred? Or two thousand?

Seth Godin shared 20 ideas on this on his blog yesterday. Here are a few of my favorites:

I spread your idea because.

.because I feel smart alerting others to what I discovered.

.because there’s a financial benefit directly to me (Amazon affiliates, mlm).

.because both my friend and I will benefit if I share the idea (Groupon).

.because if everyone knew this idea, I’d be happier.

.because I care about someone and this idea will make them happier or healthier.

.because I’m in awe of your art and the only way I can repay you is to share that art with others.

14 more at Seth’s Blog

Why do people spread your idea? What compels them to tell two friends, and so on? If you can’t answer that, don’t expect them to.