Writing Content People Share
What is the value of customers sharing content?
When people share your content on social media, they are helping you to expand your brand reach and your reputation. When you distribute content that you wrote online, you promote it to all the people who follow your brand. When some of those people then share your content themselves, suddenly your brand is in front of all their connections as well. Not only are more people exposed to your brand, but since the content is promoted by their connection, this new audience is also more likely to trust the information. According to Nielsen, recommendations from others, such as friends and family, are one of the most trusted forms of advertising.
What types of content do people like to share?
The New York Times did a thorough study to try and uncover what motivates people to share certain content. They uncovered five key factors that were important in determining the likelihood that content would be promoted:
- Content that helps people connect with each other instead of just being a sales pitch or otherwise focusing on the brand
- People feel they can trust the information in the content
- The content is communicated in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way
- The content appeals to the reader’s sense of humor
- The content has a sense of urgency
The study also found that people sharing content centered around relationships. The content people preferred was that which helped them define themselves to others and remain connected. There were also a number of people in the study who had an altruistic aspect to their sharing-- they reposted content they thought others might be useful.
How do I create content that people will share?
- Know exactly who you are writing the content for so you know what appeals to them.
- Decide how you are going to appeal to your audience. Do you want to have a sense of humor? Do you want to provide them with information that they will find valuable and want to share?
- Use your various platforms to directly engage with your audience. Ask them about the types of content they enjoy reading and the topics they would like to see.
- Monitor the success of your efforts by looking at social metrics to see how well you are understanding the sharing motivations of your audience.
- Monitor how well your social metrics contribute to the growth of your brand, including Share of Voice, conversions rates and engagement rates.
Getting people to share content is an important goal for many brands. It is a way to expand your audience and encourage more people to enter your sales funnel. Understanding the motivations people have for reposting your content is an important step in tapping into this phenomenon.