In order for a message to go viral it must first and foremost be powerful. Much like a biological virus the message must have an ability to penetrate its host in order to replicate. The conditions for the manifestation must be optimal otherwise the virus will be overpowered and discarded as waste. The more infectious the message the further it will spread.
The message has to be transmittable. The mode of transmission must be accepted by its host. It is advantageous that the message is relatable to the messenger. People instinctively reject ideas, messages, products and services that do not relate to them. The message must appeal to its intended audience for transmission to initiate.
The Host: The Messenger
For a virus to inoculate a host it must have an entry point. Often the sender of the message has an affinity to the messenger. A susceptible host allows the virus to infiltrate and multiply. In terms of marketing there is an influential messenger that introduces the message to a group of others who pass it on. The process of dissemination increases the message’s vitality amplifying its virility.
Transmission: The Environment
Once the act of transmission has unfolded the message is able to replicate itself in the proper environment. It may start as a status update on Facebook, transform to a tweet on Twitter, forged as a comment on G+, a blog on WordPress and then finally pinned on Pinterest. The flexibility of the message gives its super virus capabilities. Fashioning it to prevail through multiple networks will ultimately be its key means of survival.
Viral marketing relies on its message to be memorable & malleable, its sender to have the ability to reach a multitude of people and that the message is passed on.
Pass it on!