3 Awesome Insights on the Psychology of Social Media Sharing

Social media is often the key to reaching your ideal audience. When we doubled an insurance agency’s web traffic and boosted their lead generation, social media was a key component to our strategy. The trick is convincing your audience to do the work for you by creating highly shareable social media content.
 

Psychology of Sharing Digital Media Posts

Creating shareable content is often as simple as matching the format to your viewer’s tastes. For example: only 17% of people like to share video clips on social media but 43% of people like to share pictures. Resting between these two extremes 26% of people like sharing links to articles.
 
It’s critical to consider your platform, too. On Facebook, people prefer to share pictures and articles. Tweets, on the other hand, tend to be more personal as a higher percentage of people prefer to send out status updates.
 
Finally, you need to consider your general audience. Older users gravitate towards Facebook, while younger users gravitate towards Twitter. On Snapchat, 60% of the audience is 24 years old or younger.
 

The Triggers That Generate Shares

Now that we understand the psychology of the types of people that share information on social media, it’s important to understand exactly what drives them to press that button to repost, retweet, or share. The fact is that different people share content for different reasons.
 
A recent study, however, found that these are some of the most common reasons users share social content:
 

  • Value and entertainment
  • Promote causes
  • Nourish relationships
  • Self-fulfillment
  • Define identity

 
The bottom-line is that you need to nurture your relationship with your audience in order for them to be compelled to share it. As they grow more comfortable with your brand, these ‘share triggers’ should compel them more often.
 

Why Content Goes Viral

Creating a message that goes viral is every marketer’s dream, no matter what type of content they’re creating. There’s no exact formula for what makes a social media post or piece of content go viral, but we were able to develop the following key characteristics that this content shares:
 

  • Social currency – if a reader believes that sharing a particular piece of information will make them look smarter or more unique, they’re more likely to do so.
  • Triggers – a trigger is something that’s instantly connected to your message. If you’re able to put something snappy and memorable in your content, people will be more likely to share it.
  • Emotion – content that can elicit emotion in its audience is shared more frequently.
  • Public – you don’t want your audience to have any qualms about sharing your content. If something is embarrassing, vulgar, or overly niche, people may not want to share it with their friends and family.
  • Practical value – simply put, if people believe something will be useful to their followers, they’ll be eager to repost it.
  • Stories – people connect with a story. If your content tells a compelling story, the retweets will pour in.

 
The above characteristics are a great blueprint for creating content that has the potential to go viral, but it’s no guarantee. In fact, many experts believe that the key to creating viral content is simply ignoring the possibility of going viral and creating valuable, highly targeted content. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. If you create something that matters deeply to even one person, you’re going to get a share. When you strike gold and create something that matters deeply to many people, you’re going to go viral.
 
If you need help defining your audience, creating content, or figuring out how to generate more shares, Ballantine can help you. Click here to learn how Ballantine can help you excel in marketing your business today!

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