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The psychology behind social media sharing may be holding you back

Social media shareability is increasingly complex as digital goes mainstream, but if your efforts are falling short, check out what’s making people share these days.

social media

social media

Why your social media efforts may be falling short

If your social media marketing isn’t working, it could be because your content isn’t shareable. Researchers with the Wharton School of Business studied shareable content from The New York Times to see which articles got shared. Although you can read the study, save your time and look at the infographic. Essentially, it lists the reasons why people are sharing social media posts, from just plain entertainment to supporting a cause in which they believe.

Once you know why people share, it’s time to put your own posts to the task. Content that evokes a strong emotion is more likely to get shared. Another key finding in their research indicated that your content should have a surprise. This is why so many posts have the phrase, “you’ll never believe what they did next.”

Social media sharability is also related to positivity

People want to share positive news. There is so much negativity all around us, which means that most of us want to provide some sense of relief on Facebook or Twitter. Think about how many stories about puppies and kitties get passed around on your own feed. It makes you stop and go, “how sweet.”

Sharable content needs to be practical and useful. You have to stay within your brand’s message while doing that. One way you can be proactive is to give your customer something to do. You’ve probably heard of this as being a “call to action.” But it doesn’t have to be a call to action to buy your product or service. Get your followers involved. Ask questions to get them to comment. Have a survey. Find out what your customers need and want.

Think outside of your box

Although you need to stay true to your brand, don’t be limited to your own industry. The old catchphrase, “think outside your box” may be outdated, but the idea isn’t. Get creative people outside of your field to help you create better content. And don’t wait until the last minute to create your content. Some magazines have an editorial calendar dated one to two years out. Although you probably don’t need to think that far ahead, you do need to be prepared for different seasons.

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We’ve said it before that social media is a great marketing tool. If you aren’t seeing the results you want, you may not be using the platform to its best use. You have to put forward your best efforts to meet your goals.


Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

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