1. This is absolutely true. Content that goes viral almost always plays on our emotions—tugging at our heartstrings or arousing our anger. An emotional two-by-four is a prerequisite for virality.
2. The danger here is that your content actually goes viral. That is, you’ll have so stirred up people’s passions that when you reach the tipping point, they begin to question your data and your assumptions and even your good faith. (This is what happened with the Kony video.) If you’re embarking on a potentially viral campaign, make damn sure your facts are watertight.
3. For a social media marketer, the trick is to engender reactions that are emotional but not exploitative. This is a delicate balance for which there’s no single recipe.
4. When something goes viral, a backlash inevitably ensues. Rather than ignoring negative comments as part of a mob mentality, respond strategically. You need not engage someone who’s shouting and cursing, but you need to show that you’re listening and taking seriously constructive feedback. You need to show passersby that there’s a human being behind the video, who values his viewers’ input.