Sharing is caring (coffee aside!) aka: why people share online content

Today’s #RainyBrandingTuesday echoes what we said a while back about storytelling. In other words:

Why do some brands attract more people and are more successful – in the practical sense, sell more or create more hype about themselves – than others?

With social media on our side, it’s clear that it’s all about engaging the audience and make sure they choose us over a competitor.

But… How? Well, they have to care for us.

The reasons why people share are very much connected to psychology and relationships – aka: caring.

Sharing is caring

Sharing is caring

Think about the recent Share a Coke campaign straightforward, right? Yet, by replacing the usual branding with 150 of the UK’s most popular forenames, proved to be one of the most successful ever.  The Guardian talks about what we can learn: 
Since the UK campaign was launched on 29 April, its proven to be just as big a hit in the UK. From a social perspective, Coca-Cola has seen itsFacebook community grow by 3.5% and globally by 6.8%. The hashtag has also been used 29,000 times on Twitter (Brandwatch, 2013).We’ll have to wait and see if sales have increased, but the lessons we can draw from this campaign are:
  • Personalisation 
  • User-generated content
  • Mass market penetration
Infographics from http://coschedule.com

Infographics from http://coschedule.com

But ultimately… why do people share?

We can find hints on the blog of CoSchedule:
  1. 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
  2. To define ourselves to others. 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about
  3. 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
  4. Self-fulfillment. 69% share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world
  5. To get the word out about causes or brands. 84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about
As read on E-consultancy
As consumers can now create and share their own content too, via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, they can help to increase engagement and build a community around brands online.

So, how can we freelancers do this to make sure our business and brand have the wow factor and engage more?

Remember: good content comes with a high entertainment factor. Rather than a generic stock image, you could go for custom graphics that present your content differently and in a fun way. And it’s unexpected, and visuals always work as a hook.
Thumbs up!

Thumbs up!

My tips:

  • be relevant: that does not mean you cannot share random motivational quotes if you feel inspired but make sure they have an underlying meaning relating to your business.
  • bring value: the value you offer is directly proportional to the amount of shares.
  • be specific: your content should represent your style and what you offer in some way.
  • make your tweets or communications short and to the point (so they’re easier to share).
  • create focus: try and create content with single specific takeaways for your readers to focus on and possibly discuss further.
  • invest in good design and photos.
  • have a plan! If you know what you’re sharing and how to achieve what, your plan will go to plan 🙂
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