The internet has become the new way of life for many people to get the jobs, book airline tickets, do research for school projects, check out the weather condition and seek out potential love partners. Viral marketing typically starts out with the marketer creating an electronic content (such as a video or a mini-site) for the purpose of brand building. If the users pass on the content, it has the potential to reach large group of Internet users at exponential rate.Understanding user’s motivation in forwarding an online content is extremely important as the decision to pass it is completely voluntary. In other words, marketers do not pay the users to pass along the online content.


The need for inclusion refers to the need to be recognized as the participants in human interaction which could refer as “togetherness” or “belong”. The motivation that drives users to share information with others is the desire to connect and sharing. As more people rely on internet as the medium of communications, we tend to share our media experiences particularly if they anticipate future discussions.

The only way we all have to get good information here is for those who have it to share it. We relied on others to give us updates when they had info and we do the same for others. I feel extreme frustration when I couldn’t get information myself. Once I was able to get online again, I shared whatever knowledge I had.


The need to be different

Self-image motivates word of mouth communication. Recent study (Chung & Darke, 2006) found that individuals were more likely to engage in word of mouth products closely aligned to one’s self-image that is the content tell others about who you are. Individuation is defined as the willingness to stand out or be different and people who are high in public individuation are more willing to voice their opinion in a community.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others”.

-Tony Robbins


The need for personal growth

The interpersonal need for personal growth relates to feelings of competence, achievement, influence and accomplishment. People in this need not only want to make a difference in their social environment, they also want to have some say over how it happens. People with high curiosity enjoy the experience of learning and therefore are more likely to consume online content.

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