Share on Social: Do You Know Why People Share?

We live in a world of content, from the great to the pointless.

Share on social: three common words in marketing. Why does some content go viral? Why do some posts engage and others fail?

Cue the Psychology of Sharing – a study conducted by the New York Times to  look into why people choose to share on social. The results? They determined there are five primary motivators for sharing content on social media.

Wait, what? We know exactly what causes people to share?! Yes, yes we do.

So here you go, plain as day, the five triggers that cause humans to share information on social media. 

We share to bring valuable and entertaining content to others

Think of how the content you’re sharing is going to enrich the lives of those around you. Give your audience a reason to engage with your content – aim to create content that will be helpful and make a difference in people’s lives.

We share to define ourselves to others

A third of the participants shared material that helped to portray their ‘idealised online persona’ to their network. Brands can take this into account when creating content, appealing to your audience’s interest increases the chances of them sharing your content. 

We share to grow and nourish our relationships

80% of participants said they stay connected through sharing content. Brands can nurture these connections in their social posts. Encourage your audience to tag their friends or share the post with their network using actionable language or incentives to win a prize. 

We share for self-fulfilment

Sharing valuable content that gets noticed and complimented on raises the ego. Create informative content that your audience will want to share with their network in the knowledge that they will get a pat on the back. 

To get the word out about causes or brands

85% of participants agree that they share information on social “as a way to support causes or brands they care about.” Create content that showcases the causes your brand cares about and supports.   

So, knowing that, ask yourself – does my content make people want to share? If the answer is no, well, there you go…

Not getting enough shares? Sounds like you need a social media strategy.