J.A. Stinger

Words Can Inspire The World

The 18 Responses You Need For Content To Go Viral

Content that elicits extreme positive or negative emotions gets your audience's attention. Once you have their attention, it is easier to get them to share.

According to an article in Inc. there is a way to create content that goes viral. Devra Prywes, from Unruly, an ad tech company that gets videos watched, tracked and shared, says that these are the 18 emotional responses you should aim for, remembering that the positive responses encourage people to share more on social media than the negative emotions. 


These are the 18 you need to elicit:

  1. amazement
  2. anger
  3. arousal
  4. confusion
  5. contempt
  6. disgust
  7. exhilaration
  8. fear
  9. happiness
  10. hilarity
  11. inspiration
  12. knowledge
  13. nostalgia
  14. pride
  15. sadness
  16. shock
  17. surprise
  18. warmth 

Remember that people share on social media to connect with friends. We share content we believe could be useful, for example, a post that alerts others about an event they may want to attend. We share with those who have the same interests as we do.


We are more likely to share if we believe a post is genuine. We like to promote good causes or raise awareness, especially if we are the first to share something about a subject that is changing or trending. We also share to start conversations and to make friends with similar interests. The content we share shows the world who we are and what we care about.  It makes us feel less alone to know that other people are interested in the same things as us.


Many people will not share posts with truly appalling grammar and spelling mistakes. Most of us will not share things that make us look stupid or silly. 


If you are writing a business blog, you want to get your readers to subscribe, or to buy an ebook, or to take a course.  If you can create content that presents a problem by eliciting a response, and then show your audience how to solve it in an inspiring way, you will get the response you need. 


Five Practical Tips For Making Content Go Viral 

  1. Use Images: I still cannot believe the number of blogs that do not have appropriate images for sharing across various platforms. I cannot pin text on Pinterest. A post that converts into an ugly link without a picture on Facebook is not worth sharing. [Read 11 Reasons Why I Won't Be Returning To Your Blog]
  2. Keep It Short And Simple: Remember that this post is about viral content and the majority of this type of content is short. Viral videos range from 30 seconds to one minute. A post of our that went viral is a list: 45 Ways To Avoid Using The Word 'Very'
  3. Use Interactive Tools: Create a quick quiz or a poll. [Read 7 Trends Bloggers Can't Afford To Ignore In 2016]
  4. Use Lists: People love posts that give them ‘10 ways to do…’ or ‘50 examples of…’ or 12 ‘things to avoid when…’ We do not get tired of these lists. 
  5. Create The Best Headline You Can: Catch people’s attention. Give them a perceived benefit. Make them curious. [Read How To Write Headlines That Make Your Readers Happy]