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Author: Jonah Berger
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 03/05/2013
Synopsis from Goodreads: New York Times bestseller and named Best Marketing Book of 2014 by the American Marketing Association
What makes things popular? Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?
If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?
Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He’s studied why New York Times articles make the paper’s own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.
Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread – for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.
No, this book is not my normal genre of reading. I’m not really much into non-fiction as you can probably tell by the majority of the books I’ve reviewed here. But this particular book was assigned to me for my Social Media Explored class and since it was also available as a review option on NetGalley and I already had the book, I figured why not? To be honest, the book is actually quite interesting.
We’ve all seen it – this video or that blog post takes off and suddenly it’s got 100,000 views or 2,000 shares on social media. But why? Why does this video or that blog post take off when others don’t? Believe it or not, there’s actually a science behind making things catch on. Jonah Berger doesn’t write like he’s speaking to a bunch of professionals, he writes like he’s speaking to the average person. Like he’s speaking to you and me.
He tells stories. Things that seem at first like just interesting anecdotes become lessons in how to do things – or not to do things in a couple of cases. This book is simply an invaluable tool for any business, YouTuber, blogger, etc. If you want your blog, YouTube channel, business, or whatever to take off, this is a book your really ought to get a copy of, read cover to cover, and keep handy. I can say with all certainty this is one “text book” that I am not selling back!
I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.