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Viral Content: The Psychology of Social Media Sharing

What motivates people to share on social media? What are your strategies for attracting attention to your brand? According to psychology, it is not that difficult.

What Are the Benefits of Social Sharing?

A study conducted by The New York Times Insider Group discovered that there are five key reasons people share with others. There is an opportunity for marketers who want to grow their audiences revealed by this study. You can analyse your own content to see if it can sustain blog traffic and growth by understanding why people share.
We’re going to show you why people share on social media.

There’s Only One Thing That Matters: Relationships

People buy (and share content) from those they like, trust, and know. As it turns out, sharing depends mostly on the personal relationships you have with your readers. The likelihood of your content being shared depends more on the relationship your readers have with others than their relationship with you. Let’s examine the findings of this study.

Psychology’s Top 5 Reasons Why People Share

  • 49% of respondents say sharing allows them to inform others about products they care about and, potentially, change opinions or encourage action.
  • Shared to give people a better sense of who they are and what matters to them: 68%
  • We share information online to grow and nurture our relationships: 78% share information online to stay in touch with people they might not otherwise stay in touch with
  • Sixty-nine percent share information to feel more involved in the world as a result of it
  • Spreading awareness of causes or brands: 84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about

Sharing Personas on Social Media

There are also different types of sharers according to the New York Times study. Their personalities and reasons for sharing are broken down into these six categories.

Altruists: People who share content that benefits others. – “Sharing enriches the lives of those around me”
Boomerangs: People who share content in order to get a reaction and to be perceived in a certain way. – “I try to share information that will reinforce the image I wish to convey.”
Careerists: People who share content about their professional niche. – “I share content related to my industry when I believe it would be helpful to other professionals.”
Connectors: Those who share content that helps them connect with others. –  “I like the conversations my shares generate. It isn’t worth sharing if it doesn’t have that connection.”
Hipsters: People who are comfortable with sharing and consider it a part of their personality. – “Sharing is in my nature.”
Selectives: Those who share content selectively to select groups of people. –  “I like to let people know that I am thinking about them, so I share content that they will appreciate.”

So there you have it. The reasons people share on social media are clear now.

Creating great content that resonates with your audience, and making it easy for them to share and interact with your brand, are the key to all of this.