Humans, it turns out, are predictable animals. When it comes to social media, Jonah Berger, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, has made it his life’s work to predict human behavior. He wants to know why you aren’t going to share this post.
Berger and another Penn professor, Katherine Milkman, did an empirical study of almost 7,000 Times articles to figure out what made an article readable and shareable. Two features carried the day: positivity and excitability.
Articles that evoked some emotion did better than those that evoked none—an article with the headline “BABY POLAR BEAR’S FEEDER DIES” did better than “TEAMS PREPARE FOR THE COURTSHIP OF LEBRON JAMES.” But happy emotions (“WIDE-EYED NEW ARRIVALS FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE CITY”) outperformed sad ones (“WEB RUMORS TIED TO KOREAN ACTRESS’S SUICIDE”).
Extreme negative emotions like anger or anxiety could overtake the positivity preference, but in the end, people still liked sharing cute kittens more than dire stock predictions.
What does that mean for you? Isn’t law inherently depressing or boring? Doesn’t it deal with life’s problems rather than its joys? Usually. But remember, articles videos shock or inspire are more likely to be shared on Facebook and more likely to gain viral traction.
You can use this to help you pick topics and change your spin.
First, look for funny, positive, arousing, or bizarre topics within your industry. Maybe it’s choosing an adoption story over a guardianship, or maybe it’s telling about a strange business deal that could have gone horribly wrong. The important thing is to chose something that will elicit an emotional response from your readers.
Next, spin the story around that emotion. If you are appealing to a parent’s fear for the safety of their child, make sure your title feeds into that anxiety. If you are focusing on the joy of owning a new business, be positive and use pictures of smiling professionals.
It can be challenging to write a legal blog that is uplifting and happy. But by remembering to appeal to your readers on an emotional, as well as intellectual level, you can make your articles much more likely to be read and shared.
If you need help writing a compelling blog for your firm, contact ghost writer Lisa Schmidt today.