Motivate Your Audience to Share your Content


Most would acknowledge that the content we put online would be more powerful if more folks shared it.

The more folks who share it, the more folks who are turned on to your content and, by association, your brand.  And turned on people are more likely to listen to you.

But how do we know what content to put out there?  How do we know what’s worth sharing?

Sharing is, obviously, the essence of “word-of-mouth” in the digital age.  But what are the keys to motivating sharing?  Why, in other words, do people share?

That was the question in a recent study by The Customer Insight Group (CIG) at the New York Times.  The full (and very good) presentation is available for download here, but the key elements were summarized in this piece in SocialMediaToday.

The CIG find is that there are five types of motivation:

  1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others

  2. To define ourselves to others

  3. To grow and nourish our relationships

  4. Self-fulfilment

  5. To get the word out about causes or brands

Use these rules-of-thumb as you make your decisions about what to post on your sites.

So give them something valuable or entertaining.

Give them something that makes them look good when they share it.

Give them something that helps them be better friends to the people they share with.

Give them something that helps them lead a better life.

Give them a piece of your brand that they can proudly share with others.

And remember that it’s not just about why they share but about how easy you make it for them to share.  As Gil Edwards spelled out in our recent conversation, make sure that everything is easy to access, easy to share, easy to search, easy to consume, and trimmed down to “only the good stuff.”

Your audience will do your marketing for you, but only when it’s easy and spreading the word benefits them at least as much as you.

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