Appeal to people’s emotions to drive content sharing


  1. Focus on feelings.
    Focus on the underlying emotions that motivate people to take action rather than harping on features and facts. If you want people to care about global warming and rally to change it, talk about polar bears dying or how their children’s health will be affected. It’s not enough to just list statistics or point out how big the problem is; you have to tug at people’s heartstrings.

  2. Select high-arousal emotions that drive people to take action.
    If you want to evoke positive emotions from people, excite people or inspire them by showing them how they can make a difference. Meanwhile, if you want to evoke negative emotions from them, make people mad, not sad. Make sure the polar bear story gets them fired up. Simply adding more arousal to a story or ad can greatly impact people’s willingness to share it.

  3. Time your audience for when they’re already fired up.
    If arousal induces sharing, then any physiologically arousing experience will drive people to share stories and information with others. For example, displaying your ad at the gym, where people are already excited, can cause them to talk more about your product to others than if you caught them in a more relaxed place like the spa.


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