15th Mar 2017

Content Sharing & Storytelling: The Psychology Behind Online Sharing


One of the biggest elements of social media, is how it allows you to easily and quickly share both your own content and the content of other people. Every second there are people sharing content with each other online, but what exactly is it that makes us stop scrolling for a second and hit the share button? 

The answer might not be as complicated as you would think. 

While there’s a huge focus on measuring metrics and tracking clicks in order to work out the answer, turns out there’s a psychology behind why people are choosing to share content with others on social media channels and blogs. I fact there’s a number of interesting reasons why audiences are sharing content and by knowing exactly what these reasons are, businesses and marketers have an huge opportunity to grow their content marketing strategy and grow their audience.  

5 Key Reasons Why Audiences Are Sharing Online Content 

Researchers have discovered a number of trends in the way that we carry out actions on social media, including sharing content. Here’s a look at 5 of the major reasons people are sharing your content.  

To Entertain & Teach Others 

Sharing often allows people the chance to inform others people about products or information that they think others should know about, teaching them new information or even sharing something that is funny and adds value to their day.  

To Define Ourselves

There are many people out there who use sharing as a way to help define themselves, having this shared content on their platforms can show off who they are and what their interests and values are.  

To Show Involvement 

For some, sharing online content is a way of showing to others and even themselves that they are involved in the world and are keeping up with things that might be happening around the globe.  

To Grow Relationships 

A larger percentage of people are using content sharing as a way to help them stay connected to other people online, sharing content that can create conversation meaning they have a reason to connect with others.  

To Spread The Word

One of the biggest reasons audiences are sharing content with others is as it’s a way to both support causes and brands they care about, as well as help spread the world about any issues that are happening in the world.   

What Can We Do With This Information? 

Knowing exactly why people are sharing content online is only the first step to increasing the amount of shares and even likes and comments your content receives. The next step is actually applying this new information to your content in a way that can increase your audience engagement. 

Bring Value To Your Audience 

If you know that audiences are sharing trustworthy and enjoyable content, then it’s important to offer your audience valuable content that they can appreciate and adds valuable to their lives. By asking yourself “What do my readers get out of reading my content?” you can analyse your own content and determine whether or not it offers the valuable content, that is worth reading, to your audiences. By posting consistent, information packed content, you can offer something others might not, providing valuable content to our readers.  

Help Your Readers Define Themselves 

Audiences share content based on how they define themselves, from sharing articles about their favourite music, their general interests and even the charities or causes they support. This is an important factor to consider, by posting content that can help users identify themselves, such as quizzes, you can create content that offers a takeaway that your readers can focus on. Without a solid focus it can be very difficult for your audience to identity and relate with your content directly and ultimately share it.  

Get The Word Out 

Overall one of the best reasons why your audience are sharing your content is because they genuinely care about what you have to say and what it is that you’re doing. While this type of sharing does have to be earned by providing high quality services and products, once you’ve cracked it, this is a great way to get your content out there. By getting your message out there and posting the best content, audiences will want to share your messages, increasing awareness of your brand and your engagement.  

Creating sharable content can be hard, especially without an understanding of why people are choosing to share certain content. With these insights into how your audience are thinking and with an understanding of how you can use them into your content, there’s no reason you can’t be posting engaging and shareable that generates the best results, today!

Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 15th March, 2017
Categories: Marketing

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