Having your post go viral on social media – getting hundreds of Likes, Shares or Retweets as a response to your efforts – is the one thing that excites every social media administrator. But in order to get one step closer to achieving that, you have to understand what triggers people to share in the first place.
The New York Times Customer Insight Group published a fascinating study called the Psychology of Sharing, and defined 5 top reasons that motivate people to share content with others online:
Twitter offers a chance for brands to actively engage and interact with audiences in 140 characters or less. To say that it’s an effective method of reaching out to people would be an understatement – which is exactly why every business should be constantly looking at ways to boost their reach.
To substantiate this further, there is no other platform in the world offering such active engagement, where consumer feedback can be measured so instantly and with such accuracy. A newspaper ad does not get favourited, a billboard cannot be re-tweeted; TV commercials, even with large viewing figures, do not indicate genuine engagement. You cannot directly and rapidly reply to any of these forms of advertising.
But the way most content marketers use that knowledge to plan is still pretty broad-stroke. We scan a few data sets and think, “That post did really well. Let’s do another one like it and cross our fingers.”
What if we could predict the performance of our future content more precisely? What if we could forecast if articles from last Wednesday’s brainstorm are worth writing – and how well they’ll perform?