Jonah Berger is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. This smart fellow and his publisher know how to get our attention at the bookstore: Contagious stands out from all the competing volumes with its orange cover. What does orange signify in the house of colors? It is the color of adventure and social communication. Orange is optimistic, sociable, and extroverted. Contagious came out on March 5, 2013, and is already #201 on the Amazon bestselling list.

In this peppy work, we are treated to an overview of why certain products, ideas, and behaviors catch on while others are usually dead in the water. Let's get right down to it: here are the Six Principles of Contagiousness:

1. Social Currency (the art of making people feel like smart insiders).
2. Triggers (daily reminders and various stimuli to keep an idea or product foremost in people's minds).
3. Emotion (tapping into people's desire to share an experience with others).
4. Public (make the most of things that stand out and sell themselves).
5. Practical Value (capitalize on people's desire to share useful and helpful information with others).
6. Stories (carry a story with your idea or product to get people hooked).

If you are trying to get more attention or word-of-mouth about your nonprofit organization or a service idea that you want to vigorously push, take some time to ponder these principles. They are based on Berger's 10-year study of the science of social transmission.

Wanna make a big splash via social media? Come up with something creative or practical that is scarce and exclusive. This will appeal to people's yearning to feel like privileged insiders. Learn about the successful marketing of Cheerio's, a luxury steak house, a video about a blender, Mars bars, and the most e-mailed lists at The New York Times.

We were not surprised to see that the reason that Susan Boyle's first appearance on Britain's Got Talent tallied up 100 million views in nine days — it was "awe." People yearn to be emotionally touched, inspired, and uplifted. And they love to share something positive!

Funny content is widely shared on social media because it is a high-arousal emotion. Sadness and contentment, on the other hand, decrease arousal.