Social media is very effective because it manages to tap into the wishes, desires, and other yearns and wants of people – our intrinsic desire to share.
People have their own reasons for sharing: some involve the highly social element or the element of the tribe, while other reasons are not so straightforward and demand a thorough understanding of the human psyche.
Here are some of the most specific reasons why people share and how to use them to produce “viral” content that anyone would like to share.
It goes without saying, but ever since Aristotle and his teacher Plato roamed the Earth, these ancient civilizations knew that they needed each other to survive (hence Aristotle’s famous saying “Man is a political animal”).
In fact, there is a strong desire for both physical and an emotional validation in each and every one of us. What’s more important however, is we often tend to let this social desire overwhelm us and dictate our actions and the decisions that we make. In a recent study named The Power of Likes, the researchers found that people were 32 percent more inclined to upvote a pre-liked comment (hence the explanation why initially popular comments become increasingly popular over time). This is the need for validation exhibiting its power in full force. From here, it’s safe to assume that the popularity of something in a person’s mind directly correlates to how popular is that exact same thing in the group with which that person identifies with.
How can this help you: make your social share buttons (including the share count) clearly visible on the content you publish.
In another study done by Jonah Berger and Katherine L. Milkman, the researcher duo looked at about 7,000 New York Times articles to conclude which ones were shared the most. The results were quite surprising and also a little bit counter-intuitive as well. Positive news had a greater chance of being shared as opposed to sad or negative news. Jonah argued that this was most likely because people want to be the ones responsible for delivering the good news, rather than being “Debbie downers”. The researchers also found that articles that evoked so-called “high-arousal” emotions (astonishment, fear, delight, awe, anxiety) got shared increasingly more in direct contrast to “low-arousal” news dominated by emotions such as sadness.
Additionally, a survey from Ipsos OTX examined the sharing habits of both men and women from several countries, including the United States, Turkey, and more. What they found was that people were more likely to share “interesting” things (61 percent), then “funny” things (43 percent), and finally those who shared “unique” things were doing it at a 29 percent rate.
How can this help you: aim to create reactive content. What does this mean? Well, try to write articles that will elicit positive emotions from your readers. Always be sure to produce curiosity-evoking headlines without them falling into the ‘clickbait’ territory. Include personal stories and practice your storytelling craft to make even the mundane engaging. Amplifr does all of this and more like a charm.
In Berger’s study, he additionally found that the highly shareable articles weren’t just interesting and surprising, but they were also very informative as well. In fact, it was concluded that 94 percent of users addressed the usefulness of the article first before sharing. This falls in line with everything we’ve talked so far, mainly because people like to improve the lives of other users.
How can this help you: make well-researched ‘how-to’ articles that specifically answers the most asked questions of your users. One way to go about this is to do a proper keyword research and then address those queries in a systematic fashion (i.e. one at a time). This also has the added benefit of ranking you higher in the most popular search engines today.
Causes and Beliefs
Users are more inclined to share content that helps them define themselves to others. To this extent, 68 percent of people share to show their character traits and what their interests entail concludes Berger. Users share content they think it’s relevant to their self-image, with a staggering 84 percent stating that they shared because they cared (about issues they thought were valid for them).
How can this help you: share your articles (and infographics, data sheets) in a way that your readers can resonate with who they are. For instance, if your readers are working in the IT sector – putting out relevant data and sharing the latest breakthrough technology can take you a long way towards naturally urging people to share your content.
Social media was “conjured up” as places to find like-minded people. In light of this, we can consider content as a sort of a tool that helps people engage with others. By tweeting certain information – or even tagging a friend in content relevant to them both – users can rekindle old friendships or build new ones at a whim (with those who share the same interests as they do).
How can this help you: share content relevant to the current trending topics in your industry or ones that might inspire a lively discussion among your readers.
Think we missed something? A tip or two of how to make users share your content more? Share your comments below.
1 thought on “How To Create Extremely Shareable Content”
Great post. Content is the king as they say. It is one of the most important part of a blog. For me it is very important to be able to connect with my audience. If I am able to provide some sort solution to visitors, I am sure they will appreciate that and visit me more often. Furthermore, they will pass on the good things to their near and dear ones so that they can also reap the benefits from my post.
Thanks for sharing this informative post. Have a great weekend. 🙂