Five Reasons People Share Content, And How You Can Harness This

Five Reasons People Share Content, And How You Can Harness This
SHARE
THIS



Rather than focusing too narrowly on creating ‘shareable’ content, perhaps as marketers we should be looking to connect more deeply with people’s emotions, argues Lisa Collins, public relations manager at social media agency We Are Social.

What makes people share content?

I’m not the only person to ponder this question. The New York Times conducted a study ‘The Psychology of Sharing: Why People Share Online’ with a group of self-proclaimed heavy online sharers, who revealed what motivates them to share with others.

  • 85 per cent say reading other people’s responses helps them understand and process information and events
  • 73 per cent say they process information more deeply, thoroughly and thoughtfully when they share it

So we could conclude that as humans the act of sharing helps us to comprehend more deeply, but the question still remains…why?

The study concluded that “sharing is all about relationships” and “trust is the cost of entry for getting shared”. According to the research marketers should “appeal to consumers’ motivation to connect with each other — not just with your brand”. They recommend that we “keep it simple…and it will get shared…and it won’t get muddled” and we should “appeal to their sense of humour” and “embrace a sense of urgency”.

But how does this really help us when it comes to creating content that motivates people to hit the ‘share’ button?

Perhaps a study by the University of Pennsylvania can help unlock the puzzle. For six months researchers studied The New York Times list of most emailed articles, checking it every 15 minutes. The study revealed that readers preferred to share positive rather than negative articles and upon deeper analysis researchers concluded that there was an element of ‘awe’ that seemed to permeate the shared articles.

The Penn researchers defined the quality of awe as an “emotion of self-transcendence, a feeling of admiration and elevation in the face of something greater than the self”.

They used two criteria for an awe-inspiring story: Its scale is large, and it requires “mental accommodation” by forcing the reader to view the world in a different way. “It involves the opening and broadening of the mind,” writes Dr. Berger a social psychologist and a professor of marketing at Penn’s Wharton School and Dr. Milkman, who is a behavioural economist at Wharton.

So is it possible to inspire awe in our audiences? Perhaps that is a lofty ambition, however, there may be something to be learned from these studies.

In his analysis of The New York Times study social media guru Jeff Bullas claims there are five reasons that we share content with others:

1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others

2. To define ourselves to others

3. To grow and nourish our relationships

4. Self-fulfilment

5. To get the word out about causes and brands

Rather than focusing too narrowly on creating ‘shareable’ content, perhaps as marketers we should be looking to connect more deeply with people’s emotions. If trust is indeed one of the core values we need to foster with our audience, then it makes sense to spend time developing sincere relationships with our communities.

As we know, developing trust takes time but the benefits can be huge. By helping communities develop their own sense of identity we can hope to share their emotional motivations and tap into the fundamental nature of ‘awe’ – that “feeling of admiration and elevation in the face of something greater than the self”. If we are less focused on ourselves and more focused on earning the respect of the group we may just become awesome and in doing so, become eminently shareable.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Australian Chinese Community breast cancer cure The Smith Family

Latest News

Bangkok Thailand - August 31 2017 Facebook App on iPhone with computer laptop background closeup male hand hold social network on smart device concept.
  • Media
  • Opinion

Young Australians Will Abandon Facebook If It Doesn’t Do More To Combat Hate Speech

In this guest post, founders of The Daily Aus Sam Koslowski and Zara Seidler discuss why in order to stay in the game and keep its user, social media giant Facebook needs to do more to combat hate speech… For young Australians, Facebook is on the decline. Unless the platform better responds to its user’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Baskin-Robbins Australia Awarded For Stranger Things Campaign
  • Media

Baskin-Robbins Australia Awarded For Stranger Things Campaign

A brave move has paid dividends for Baskin-Robbins Australia who recently announced they won the award for Best Digital Initiative at last week’s QSR Media Awards. Baskin-Robbins Australia’s Master Licensee, Palm Oasis Ventures took a risk in launching a digital winter campaign targeting a new millennial and Gen Z demographic when it partnered with Netflix to launch season 3 of the streaming giant’s most popular show, the sci-fi horror series, Stranger Things.

TikTok Turns On Trump (Again)
  • Media

TikTok Turns On Trump (Again)

TikTok has turned on Trump once again. As yet, no one brave enough to speculate it's the work of the Chinese government.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA JULY 1, 2018: Entrance to Adobe San Francisco office location in historic Baker and Hamilton warehouse
  • Media

Convert Digital Awarded Adobe’s Magento Gold Status

Leading eCommerce website development agency, Convert Digital, has achieved the coveted Magento Gold Status from Adobe. This accomplishment has been reached following the agency’s continuing work with the Magento 2 platform - platform that is incredibly robust and offers unrivalled flexibility and scalability.

Influencers Raise $95k For Starlight Children’s Foundation In Do-Good Campaign Via Born Bred Talent
  • Campaigns

Influencers Raise $95k For Starlight Children’s Foundation In Do-Good Campaign Via Born Bred Talent

Influencer marketing agency Born Bred Talent has partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to mobilise their talent roster and support the Stream Raiser campaign, contributing over $95k in donations thanks to virtual fundraising efforts.  With a combined reach of 6.2 million across Instagram, TikTok and Twitch, 9 Australian influencers contributed 76% of the $124k raised […]

UNICEF Set To Launch ClickforCovid Relief Gaming Stream
  • Advertising

UNICEF Set To Launch ClickforCovid Relief Gaming Stream

In 2020, the ‘new wave’ of youth consumers have inspired the world with their activism and fundraising, so eGEN is proud to have partnered with UNICEF, Loserfruit and friends to help gamers fight COVID and help the world’s most vulnerable children. The world’s most famous strawberry will be joined by her Click crew for a […]

Silverbullet Achieves Adobe Audience Manager Specialisation
  • Media

Silverbullet Achieves Adobe Audience Manager Specialisation

Silverbullet Data Services Group (Silverbullet), has become one of only four businesses globally to achieve Adobe Specialisation in EMEA for Adobe Audience Manager. Adobe Specialised Partners are acknowledged as the most skilled technical practitioners throughout the global partner ecosystem. Specialisations are earned after organisations achieve a level of certified expertise in an Adobe solution and […]

Businesswoman hand connecting jigsaw puzzle, Business solutions, success and strategy concept
  • Technology

General Mills Partners With Zyper To Build Virtual Superfan Communities

Food company General Mills has partnered with Zyper, a marketing platform that connects brands with their superfans, to build virtual fan communities for General Mills’ brands. As part of the agreement, General Mills will use Zyper’s software to initially identify the Betty Crocker and Fibre One brands’ top one per cent of fans on social […]

Facebook Pledges $500,000 To Group Admins Across Australia
  • Technology

Facebook Pledges $500,000 To Group Admins Across Australia

Facebook is continuing its Facebook Australia Groups Impact Fund, today announcing $500,000 in funding for the program. The grant was originally designated for bushfire recovery groups, however, has now been extended to local communities across the country who might be facing hardship. Facebook said it is on the lookout for groups that have a positive […]