How do you get your followers to share your content? It is a simple question that lacks a simple answer.
However, it is not as complicated as you think. Let’s understand the psychology of social sharing.
If you have not read part one of this series on how email marketing can improve your engagement with your followers as well as grow your follower base, I suggest you to go through it before continuing with this article.
Part 2: Understanding why people like, comment and share social media posts.
In an interesting study conducted by The New York Times Customer Insight Group, it was discovered that there are five key reasons people decide to share something with others. This study on the psychology of sharing and word-of-mouth movements uncovers an important opportunity for you as an influencer who wants to do a better job growing your audience.
By understanding why people share, you can better assess your own content, and its ability to result in sustainable growth and traffic to your blog as well as social media channels.
These important insights may be all that you are missing in growing a high-traffic to your social media channels.
(a) To bring valuable and entertaining content to others. 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action.
(b) To define ourselves to others. 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about.
(c) To grow and nourish our relationships. 78% share information online because it lets them stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with.
(d) Self-fulfillment. 69% share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world.
(e) To get the word out about causes or brands. 84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about.
In addition to the 5 above, 73% of respondents said that they process information more deeply, thoroughly and thoughtfully when they share it. You would not share something then realise it is the wrong thing to share right? After all, your online reputation is at stake when you share the content that backfires.
So, what do you do with all of this? How do you actually apply it to your content? There are four big ways to do it.
1. Bring Value To Your Readers – Every Time
A common mistake for bloggers is creating content that resembles a press release. Or products reviews that sounded more like hard selling rather than, useful information such how-to, what-if and other content angles that have better relevance to your audience.
Options you might consider:
Entertaining content is easy to share and easy to love because it brings delight and surprise to your readers. You don’t go online to make you frown right?
Above all, always remember that the value you provide and the entertainment you offer can instantly make your content more shareable.
2. Help Your Readers Define Themselves
I love online sports, but I frequently miss sweating out on the court competing for the win.
There is something about the physical intensity and the adrenalin rush of sports that I that defines who I am. They are important indicators of how I define myself. Similarly, so does the content I choose to share.
This is an important reality to consider. I mean really, when is the last time you asked yourself how your content would help your readers “identify themselves.” Probably never, but yet it is one of the most common reasons people share content with their friends.
For example, this post by Optimizely is a great example of how users can identify themselves with your content. In the post, the author offers an opportunity for the reader to discover if they are, in-fact, a data-driven marketer.
This identity dilemma gives readers a direct opportunity to define themselves to others by reading the post, and then sharing it with their own audience. By sharing it, they very well could be defining themselves as a data-drive marketer, and if that’s the case it is good motivation for them to tell others.
Of course, to do this well you need to make sure that each piece of content you create has a single specific takeaway or point that your readers can focus on.
Without focus, it will be difficult for your audience to identify with your content in a direct way.
3. Connect Your Readers To Others