How to Force an Article to go Viral
Your natural tendency when visiting a site is to find what I’m looking for, and move along. What do I need to do to get you to take a moment and share this post with your following?
Violate Your Schema:
Sounds dirty. It’s not.
When I say, “Violate your schema” what I really mean is, “Make you rethink what you thought to be true”.
A schema is an outline or model of things. It’s short for schematic, which is a blue print of something. Everything has a schema. For example, our schema for soup is a liquid or semi-liquid with vegetables or sometimes meat in it. Our schema for work is getting up early, traveling to an office and helping a company make money for 8 -10 hours. Our schema for driving a car, in the US at least, is to drive on the left side of the road.
When you violate a schema, you no longer follow the blue print. If a car drove itself, it would violate our schema of driving. That’s why Google’s driverless car is so fascinating. It makes us rethink our concept of driving a vehicle. Our schema is broken, and we need to form a new one. To do that we usually look for trusted input from others, which prompts conversation and dialog. After we create a new schema, we have an urge for others to adopt the new schema as well, so we tell others about it.
A Few Examples:
- What would you do if you saw a homeless man trying to give away money?
- How about a company who cares more about employees than profit?
- A world champion sumo wrestler that weighed 100 pounds?
You would probably tell others about it. Any type of content that violates a schema has the potential to be shared. The more extreme the violation, the more people will talk.
The Right Headline is 90% of the Battle
Consider the headline I used for this post, “How to force an article to go viral”. It in itself violates a schema. You can’t “force” content to go viral. But you clicked on it, because I created a gap in your knowledge. I claimed that you CAN force content to go viral, and I promised to show you how.
Unanswered questions are painful. Even if you don’t care about Kim Kardashian, if someone says, “Did you hear what happened to Kim Kardashian?” You’re going to want to know. There’s a gap in your knowledge, and even if the knowledge itself isn’t important, the fact that there is a gap in it is bothersome. We long to find answers to unanswered questions. Hence, we click.
There you have it:
Force content to go viral by violating schemas and enhancing your headlines by creating a gap in readers knowledge.
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