The viral post formula revealed

Having a post go viral is like liquid gold for a business. To reach the same number of people, a business would have to spend millions of dollars in advertising.

But making a post go viral is easier said than done.

For example, in the recent federal election, the best media minds in Australia were recruited to both sides of politics with the solid purpose of creating viral social media messages to reach the younger voting demographics.

More often than not it seems the posts that do go viral are almost random. However the results of a new study claims to have identified common attributes in viral posts.

The research was carried out by UCLA psychologists Matthew Lieberman and Emily Faulk, and identified the brain regions associated with the successful spread of ideas or viral “buzz” – a scientific first.

The study titled “Creating Buzz: The Neural Correlates of Effective Message Propagation” mapped the brain centres associated with ideas that are likely to be contagious and in the future, these brain maps could be used to forecast which ideas should be successful and who is likely to be effective at spreading them.

The scientists found that increased activity part of the brain’s ‘mentalising network’ was associated with an increased ability to convince others to get on board with their favorite ideas.

Small business marketing expert Rhondalynn Korolak said the process of ‘mentalising’ will in the future, help predict which messages will go viral on social media.

“The positive implications of this research for marketing executives and advertisers is substantial. Significant company resources are allocated to the production and launch of TV, video and social media campaigns every year but so many fail to produce a return on investment,” Korolak commented on the study.

“Being able to predict which messages may go viral has major implications for brands, allowing them to successfully tap into the enormous global social media audience,” she added.

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