Content sharing functions as the building blocks for our digital landscape. Understanding what we share and how and why we share can make navigating the digital world much smoother.
Liking, saving and sharing seem to be the building blocks of our digital world. Everyday millions of people interact with various types of content on multiple of platforms. Social media and digital marketers use content sharing as a way to market and push their products to the forefront of your feed. It’s been around since the dinosaur ages of digital marketing, beginning with an email chain and now working it’s way up to your Instagram Stories.
Why do we share anything at all? Why are companies betting on the fact that we do? These questions have more answers than you think.
To break it down, content sharing essentially refers to the strategic distribution of content across relevant social media platforms. With content sharing, intention matters. The goal for many is to create connections, share useful resources, or even build referral traffic. . It’s basically the holy grail of marketing.
While it’s used in multiple different capacities today, content sharing has its roots in psychology. Our marketing landscape is customer-centric meaning everything tends to revolve around the consumer. Still, beyond that the majority of our culture is self-centered. No, this doesn’t mean that we are all selfish, it just means that we typically engage in activities that have a personal benefit — even if we aren’t aware we receive it.
The reason why we share fits into the notion of being self-centered. When we share we satisfy a variety of needs such as the need to be heard, understood, seen, etc. Marketing companies work to creat content that satisfies these needs.
Social media marketers harness psychological power to create a content marketing plan that will reach their relevant audience and produce traffic. Think about the need to feel understood. We have all seen those ads that have that relatable moment and think to ourselves about how that product could serve us. These ads are the ones that stick because they address a specific need.
However, there are reasons why we share beyond marketing. There are many different psychological motivations as to why people share on a daily basis. For starters, many of us wish to define ourselves to others. According to a New York Times survey, 68% of online users say they participate in social sharing to give others a sense of what they care about.
Even beyond this, many share to grow and nourish relationships. This makes sense, of course. After all, being online is one of the primary methods of connecting with others in today’s world, so it is no surprise that the content we share also serves the same purpose. Remixed Foundation Marketing surveyed a general online population and found that 73% of online users share information because it helps them connect with others who share common interests.
Lastly, we share for self-fulfillment. This idea fits right in with the psychology that our digital world is centered around the idea of oneself. Getting comments, likes, and seeing interaction with posts makes people feel seen and valuable. These are basic needs that are being fulfilled. Branding is also a major factor in sharing. Many influencers, businesses, and even everyday users share pieces of content to promote their brand and make it seen.
What we share is just as important as why we share. Today, the type of content we share online really runs the gambit. Photos, articles, news, and videos can all pop up on our feed at any moment. Still, there seems to be a trend in what type of content is shared the most.
An incredibly popular form of content to share is ephemeral content. This is any type of content that is available for a limited amount of time. For example, Instagram Stories are a very popular form of ephemeral content. In fact, platforms that use this content like Instagram Stories and Snapchat have about 250 million active users. Alongside the fast appearing and disappearing content of Instagram Stories, breaking news also makes the list of shared content. In fact, 31% of Americans regularly get their news from Facebook and around 59% regularly source news from Twitter. Lastly, we couldn’t talk about popular content without talking about paid advertising. In fact, 928.5 million people can be reached by paid ads on Instagram making paid ads a large bulk of content being shared online.
Of course, what we share can be traced back to why. We share what is relevant to us and what helps us fulfill basic needs. Whether it is connecting with others, being seen, or self-promotion, what we share fits right into the content sharing picture.
The way we share fits perfectly with what we share as many social media platforms are optimized for types of content we like to see and post. Many people will post their own content or circulate the posts of others. Commenting, liking and tagging are all ways that users frequently engage with content sharing. Businesses and marketers know this too. The basic psychology of needs is the reason why we share online and why content sharing on the part of social media marketers works so well. It makes sense, content sharing is useful for large and small businesses alike. Even social media influencers and small brands use it on a daily basis. The way we share matters as certain methods and strategies have better impact than others.
The methods in which we engage with social media can have direct rewards for brands such as promoting awareness, lead generation, SEO improvements, engagement, and a boost in sales. Sharing content in a way that is high quality and relatable makes your business appear trustworthy and personable. In the end, this can increase sales, views and so much more, leading to organic growth. THe following are the main ways people share content online.
List the type of content people typically share and have a small summary below it describing the type of content
With the multitude of social networks out there it is easy to get lost in the nitty gritty. When looking for the sharing platform that is right for you, it is important to consider what type of content you are sharing, whether or not the platform is popular for that type of content, and how many users typically engage with the platform and content type. Below is a list with some helpful tips about everything a particular social media channel can offer you on your content sharing journey.
Content sharing built the internet and digital space we know today. Through the creation and posting of videos, blogs, photos, and more, the digital world has cultivated an ecosystem of sharing, posting, and reposting. It is a fundamental building block of our digital landscape and now is the perfect time to get involved. With the right platform and choice of content type, building traffic, and a strong following is easier than ever.
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