Why People Like, Comment, and Share on Social Media

The Science of Social Media Podcast Why People Share

Sep 26, 2017 by Emily Gunderson

The fine people at Buffer have a wonderful podcast, The Science of Social Media, that we highly recommend checking out. Today, we're going to share a peek at one of our favorite episodes. We found the discussion so interesting, we just had to share it! And with that, we'll dive right into episode #57:

7 Surprising Facts Behind Why People Like, Comment, and Share On Social Media

In this episode, hosts Hailley Griffis and Brian Peters share their research on reasons why people share content. You may or may not know that humans are intrinsically inclined to share information. According to a study from The New York Times, people take as much pleasure in sharing information as they do in discovering and learning it. Here's a peek into Hailley and Brian's seven reasons people share content:

​1. Emotion

Content that elicits an emotionally response is likely to cause people to share it. According to a study on viral content, the seven strongest emotions that cause us to share are amusing, surprising, heartwarming, beautiful, inspiring, warning, and shocking.

2. To Entertain

People want to entertain, inspire, and be useful to others. When we consume content, our primary thought (consciously or not) is "will others find this interesting?"

3. We Love Talking About Ourselves

Did you know that 3040% of our speech is about ourselves? That number jumps up to 80% on social media. #NarcissismQueens

4. Self-Expression

On social media, we tend to post in a way that reflects our ideal selves. We think about our possible future selves and share posts from and about people we aspire to be like.

5. To Stay Connected with Other People

We stay connected with a lot of people on social media who may otherwise slip out of our lives. For marketers, this means that each person's reach is larger than we think. Through sharing, your content can reach people you aren't targetting and drum up new audience members.

6. Social Currency

When we share breaking news or hyperrelevant content, we gain social currency. 62% of people say they feel better about themselves when people react positively to what they've shared.

7. To Support a Cause

Supporting a cause is the most compelling reason for people to share content. In fact, 84% of people have shared content to support a cause. We do it because we like to feel as though we're making a difference.

Hailley and Brian further discuss these reasons we share and how marketers can use this knowledge in the full podcast, so be sure to give it a listen!

 

 

 

 

 

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