As your social media emotions go viral, anger spreads the fastest…?

Prior to reading this post and the associated article, please complete the poll below.

The new study outlined in this article has several interesting findings some of which may sound surprising to the class… or maybe not. Researchers at Beihang University in China concluded the following: 1) Anger is the most viral emotion on the internet. 2) Friends and followers are far more likely to share angry sentiments than messages containing sadness, disgust or even joy. 3) Compared to sadness and disgust, joyful updates are more influential. 4) The more two users connected over social media, the more likely they were to reflect each other’s emotions. If you read this article and think the Chinese sample is not representative, then think again. These findings are consistent with the latest research conducted over the last 3 years or so. For example, the study conducted by Jonah Berger and Katherine L. Milkman of the Wharton Business School in 2010, in their report, “Social Transmission, Emotion, and the Virality of Online Content”.

  1. Were the research findings surprising to you? Why or Why not? View the poll results to see which emotion your classmates thought spread the fastest.
  2. Since emotional engagement is one of the key components of marketing success, how can content marketers put this information to use?
  3. Do you think content marketers can trigger anger to affect the brand positively?

2 thoughts on “As your social media emotions go viral, anger spreads the fastest…?

  1. The research is not surprising to me. I choose anger in the poll.

    I think the the best way for marketers to put the information to use is do NOT stimulate anger against themselves and relieve existing anger.

  2. The results weren’t really surprising to me. We all know that people like to complain about stuff. Social media gives everyone a voice and an audience to do so.

    Considering that people usually complain about everyday things that make them angry, I can see why people tend to share it the most. People can relate easier to anger towards something because it usually involves situations that anyone could be in. Joy, sadness and other feelings are much more individual, and while you can feel good or bad about it, you are not compelled to share it.

    Regarding companies, they can use this new findings by focusing on the anger -things and situations that make people mad – and then offering solutions for that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s