What Makes People Share Content?

Posted on in Marketing

socialAs a business owner, understanding what motivates people to share your website content is vital to your success in the online marketplace because sharing is used as a metric for search engine ranking. Most business owners promote content sharing through social media marketing. While this is an effective approach, it helps to gain some insight into what makes people share content.

There is no sure formula to creating viral content. However, knowing what motivates people to share content will help you increase the odds that your content will be shared. According to a recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies:

  • 81 percent share news about a family member or friends
  • 80 percent share family pictures or video
  • 63 percent share funny videos
  • 54 percent share coupons/discounts
  • 53 percent share news articles and blog posts

Based on the information in the study, people like to share news, pictures and videos of family and friends. How can businesses get people engaged on a personal level? One way is to encourage your social media followers to submit photos of their family using your products. You can compile these photos in a post and share it on your social media outlets. Users will naturally want to share it because their photos have been featured.

For example, say you are a kayak outfitter. Ask your users to submit pictures of their latest kayak outing featuring a piece of your gear. Once you’ve received all your submissions, you can do a post featuring all of the submissions. Another option would be to run a contest on Facebook to see whose picture gets the most “likes” from fans. You could give away a piece of gear to the user with the most “likes” to promote the contest.

People also enjoy sharing videos that they find funny or entertaining. While you may not want to share funny videos on a regular basis, it doesn’t hurt to break up your content with an entertaining video from time to time. Be creative, but stay true to your brand when creating funny videos.

Coupons and discounts also enjoy a high percentage of sharing on social media. Again, you aren’t going to be running content with special offers all the time, but on occasion, you may want to offer a coupon or a discount. To increase the incentive for users to share these offers, you may want to make them exclusive social media offers. In other words, create a special offer just for sharing online.

While the other types of content can be useful in promoting content sharing, the bulk of your content will be news articles and blog posts. Fortunately, a large percentage of people share news articles and blog posts they find useful or interesting. Therefore, if you want to promote content sharing on your website, you need to consistently generate engaging content. Ask yourself what visitors to your website want to know and create content specifically for them.

A final consideration is to make sure your website is optimized for social sharing. Work with your website designer to ensure that users can easily share your content with their social networks. Making it easy for people to share your content is important and easy to overlook when you’re busy focused on creating high quality content.

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