Today, we live in a world where we can share more content with more people, faster than we have ever been able to before. Let’s be honest – a huge reason we share content isn’t just because it may be awesome, but also because we want to engage with other people. The use of social networks has made this task easier than ever and has fostered the idea of group mentality. We are able to learn from and in return be recognized by our peers.
Think about the last time you posted something on Instagram. Did you constantly check it waiting for the “likes” to come in? It’s like we rely on those double taps to boost our confidence and prove that we really are as cool as we think. (Guilty- hey, what’s wrong with a little confidence booster?)The majority of social media sharing is motivated by selfishness – sharing something funny or informative improves your social capital, which is the esteem others have for you and your reputation. We rely on them for a sense of belonging.
This isn’t to say that sharing is a bad thing, in fact, quite the opposite. The age-old saying “sharing is caring” couldn’t be more true. When we share content it can bring awareness to important issues, encourage a change in behavior, or flat out just make us laugh. Aren’t those all things a good friend should do?
The New York Times Customer Insight Group’s study, The Psychology of Sharing, found that people share to:
- Bring valuable and entertaining content to others
- Define ourselves to others
- Grow and nourish relationships
- Market causes or brands
- Achieve self-fulfillment
So in an effort to make your content more “share-worthy” here are some tips to improving your content.
Easy isn’t always sleazy
Make it easy for people to share your posts. Use social share buttons and better yet, use them where readers will find them. The easier it is to share the more likely it will get shared.
We’ve all had “that friend” who you do everything for and they don’t return the favor. Those relationships don’t last very long. If you’ve never commented, liked, or shared other people’s content, don’t expect yours to get shared. By building some goodwill online, you’ll increase interaction with your content, including shares. Help others share their awesome content before you ask them to share your own and you’ll find that more people will be willing to do it.
Think About Your Audience
This seems like a no brainer, but we may overlook this when sharing our content. Who does your audience want to be? What do they want to do? Will sharing this content help them enhance their online image? Whether you offer a service or a product, you might want to think if the content you’re publishing will help your audience achieve their “possible self.” After all, we wouldn’t want to be associated with something that might hold us back.
There are a lot of different reasons behind why people choose to share or not share some content. If we try to understand the motivation behind why someone might share our content then we are heading in the right direction of having it actually be shared. Don’t be nervous if nothing happens right away, just like anything in life, it may take time… and momma always said the best things come to those who wait. In the meantime, think about caring for someone today and share some content.