How to Make People Joyful and Get Viral Success

What’s the secret to success of the laughing chewbacca mask mom’s video on Facebook Live? This article explains that it is creating emotion filled content, in this case joy. 

By now, you have probably seen the laughing Chewbacca Mom who posted a Facebook Live video last week. If you haven’t seen the video yet, its still early on Monday morning. Someone is going to talk to you about it this week. Someone is going to talk to you about it because its ridiculous and what’s more ridiculous is that it somehow garnered over 135 MILLION Facebook Live video views. While ridiculous in the sense that that is a lot of video views: it is not surprising.  This video succeeded because every single person who watched it felt joy.

Joy is among those very elusive emotions to produce on social media and yet, when done well, brings with it virality. A friend, behavioral scientist Jon Levy, talked to me recently about the need to create wonder to create deep connections with your audience. Wonder creates new neural pathways in your brain. Joy, I would argue, lights up your pathways and pulses endorphins through your body. The thing about feeling joy at watching something is that you also want to share it with others. You want to spread happiness.

By sharing the happy content, you share happiness with others.

There’s a body of interesting research around why human beings share content.  It argues that there are essentially five reasons that people share content.

  1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others.  49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action
  2. To define ourselves to others. 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about
  3. To grow and nourish our relationships. 78% share information online because it lets them stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with
  4. Self-fulfillment. 69% share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world
  5. To get the word out about causes or brands. 84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about

The first bullet explains exactly what I have addressed above. Sharing the Laughing Chewbacca woman brings valuable and entertaining content to others because it brings joy.

What lessons can you take from this when thinking about your social sharing strategy? In the Social Works(Out) System, we tell you to spend one day a week creating social media content that drives emotion. The reasoning being that we want you to deliver emotion to inform others, entertain them and create deep connections.

So this week as you work on your social media content strategy, use Candace Payne as an example of how a simple emotion filled video piece of content can drive a big and exciting cycle of news and engagement in social media.


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