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Question Description

Start by reading Contagious, Chapter 1 “Social Currency”(pgs. 29-60).I won’t ask you to admit it in the course discussion board, but do answer this question yourself – which of the techniques described in the chapter have appealed to you before? Is Berger correct – does social currency explain why things go viral?

Read Erich Jaochimsthaler’s 2017 article in Adweektitled “ The Power of Social Currency . ”

Read Pressgrove, Weberling McKeever & Mo Jang’s (2017) piece “What is contagious: Exploring why content goes viral on Twitter: A case study of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” from the International Journal of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Marketing (attached as a PDF at the top of this section). This research article is a fascinating application of Berger’s STEPPS to the ALS case. How many of you remember this event? Did you participate? Which one of Berger’s reasons explains your participation? How does the research line up with your thinking?


Our readings this week discusses ways that messages are popularized in our culture. “Social currency” refers to our willingness to share ideas, brands and campaigns across our social networks because doing so gives us a sense of social “cred.”

Your task for this week is to identify a company or organization that you believe has been wildly successful or a wicked failure at understanding the power of social currency.

Write a 2-3 paragraph post where you identify the company, describe their campaign(s), and explain why you believe it was (or was not) successful. We’ll all be especially excited if:

1. You track down some visual examples of the campaign to share in your post.

2. You do not use examples from the course readings. (It is awkward if you do that – it shows you did not do the reading for the week).

Refer to the course readings from this week to support your claim. As part of your post, it is your turn to start putting these ideas into practice. Propose one compelling headline (campaign tag/hashtag/concept) you believe the organization should add into its social media campaign. Describe where the headline should be used (which platform) and why you believe it will be successful.

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