Viral Campaigns Have 8 Motivational Triggers

Viral Marketing Strategies

These eight motivational triggers are those identified that trigger sharing.  There are more but these are the most important and the easiest ones to implement withing a viral marketing campaign

1. Status is the major reason that people participate with many programs.  Gaining or maintaining status is a major one. The terms “belonging,” “prestige,” “respect,” “scarcity,” and “in-the-know” can also be used to describe it.

People frequently make an effort to demonstrate this by connecting with other prominent individuals. If you notice people in Social Media groups tend to respond more readily and in larger numbers to celebrities or high profile individuals within the group.

2. Identity Projection. People tend to share information that will prove helpful to their neighbors.  If they find a cheaper item, one that proves useful or helpful, we share it. There is a need to share something we feel is useful to others.

Give your users the language to explain the usefulness  of your product in a clear and compelling way,

This small fix to your language will 10x the word of mouth results. It’s the difference between saying “access an online rideshare marketplace” versus “get a ride in 3 minutes

3. Being Helpful “We are compelled to share things that we find useful because we want to be perceived as helpful and nurturing to our tribes,” writes Currier. 

4. Safety “Fear.” “Compliance.” “Prevent harm.” “Security.” Fear is embedded in the most primal part of our psychology. If we sense danger, our brain has evolved to pay attention.

People will share with their neighbors and friends when they consider something a threat. This threat can come in the form of a physical, financial or emotional theat.  This is a powerful motivator and a primary reason that individuals will share this type of information

5. Order “Organize.” “Collect.” One of the Big Five personality traits is conscientiousness — people can be segregated into two personality types that like one that is highly organized and efficient and the others who are disorganized and messy.

6. Novelty “Entertainment”. Who doesn’t want to explore the new flavor of the month? This is a personality trait identified as part of the Big Five: the willingness to be open to new experiences.

7. Validation “Positive.” “Happy.” “Smart.” People have a tendency to share the positive and happy items that they see online 

We want to be perceived as good, smart and worthy.  Everyone wants to feel good about themselves and carbe out their own positive perception online.  

8. Voyeurism: This personality trait explains the popularity of video and graphic sites like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Voyeurism is a powerful motivation for why people share. Another unfamiliar term used is “Schadenfreude.” “Access.”

Schadenfreude is a combination of the German nouns Schaden, meaning “damage” or “harm,” and Freude, meaning “joy.” So it makes sense that schadenfreude means joy over some harm or misfortune suffered by another.

People want others to live vicariously live through them, whether it’s showing their food or latest vacation spot or sharing a product unboxing on YouTube. To read the article in its original form please go to



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