The Importance of Sharing
We want to publish work that people share. All things being equal, people are most likely share practical and useful information. Useful, helpful content is most likely to “go viral.”
A study by the New York Times split the motivations for sharing into 5 main categories:
- To bring valuable and entertaining content to one another. 94% of respondents carefully consider how the information they share will be of use to other people.
- To get the word out about causes they care about. 84% of respondents share because it’s a good way to support causes or issues they care about.
- To grow and nourish relationships. 78% of respondents said they share information online because it enables them to stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with.
- For self-fulfilment. 69% said they share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world.
- To define ourselves to others. 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about. (Note – I think this is under-reported)
The Buffer blog put together a great post about “The Science of Shareable Content” that’s well worth reading.
Insights of What People Share
- It helps people prove an existing opinion (ie, it’s important for kids to spend time in nature)
- It’s useful and makes readers look smart or cool by sharing it. (30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of “How Was Your Day?,” 5 Phrases That Can Help Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse, 5 Steps To Raising A Viking Child)
- It makes readers feel a profound emotion or surprise. The Free Time My Husband Doesn’t Realize He Has, Eleven Is the Old Age of Childhood