The Psychology of Social Sharing: How and Why People Share Content


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 20, 2023

5 min read


The Psychology of Social Sharing: How and Why People Share Content

In today's digital age, sharing content has become an integral part of our online experience. Whether it's sharing an interesting article, a funny video, or a thought-provoking quote, we are constantly sharing content with our friends and followers on social media. But have you ever wondered why we share? What motivates us to hit that share button?

According to a study by CoSchedule Blog, people are more likely to share content based on their personal relationships rather than their relationship with the content creator. It's all about the connection they have with others. When we share content, we are essentially saying, "Hey, I found this interesting or valuable, and I think you will too." It's a way of informing others about products we care about, changing opinions, or encouraging action.

Sharing content also allows us to define ourselves to others. It's a way of giving people a better sense of who we are and what we care about. By sharing content that aligns with our values and interests, we are shaping our online identity. In a world where we are constantly trying to find our place and be seen, sharing content becomes a means of self-expression.

Additionally, sharing content helps us grow and nourish our relationships. In a survey, 78% of respondents stated that they share information online because it allows them to stay connected with people they wouldn't otherwise keep in touch with. It's a way of maintaining relationships and staying updated on each other's lives.

Self-fulfillment is another reason why people share information. By sharing content, we feel more involved in the world around us. It gives us a sense of purpose and belonging. When we share information that resonates with us, it allows us to contribute to conversations and be part of something bigger than ourselves.

Furthermore, sharing content is a way to support causes or brands we care about. When we believe in a cause or feel passionate about a brand, sharing their content becomes a way to spread the word and show our support. It's a form of advocacy and a way to make a difference in the world.

Interestingly, some users share content as an act of "information management." They believe that by sharing information, they are processing it more deeply and thoughtfully. It's a way of enhancing their understanding of the topic and organizing their thoughts. Sharing becomes a way of engaging with the content on a deeper level.

So, how can content creators encourage more sharing? The key lies in producing great content consistently. When content is valuable and entertaining, it instantly becomes more shareable. Remember to provide value and offer an entertaining experience to your audience. This will increase the likelihood of your content being shared and spread to a wider audience.

Now, let's shift our focus to the art of conducting user interviews. User interviews are a powerful tool for gaining insights and understanding the needs and preferences of your target audience. To conduct effective user interviews, it's important to follow a few guidelines.

Firstly, prepare a discussion guide. Keep your questions concise, under 20 words, as interviewees have limited short-term memory retention. A discussion guide will help you stay organized and ensure that you cover all the necessary topics.

When conducting the interview, there are several things you should do. Put yourself in the mood and create a welcoming atmosphere for the interviewee. Building rapport is crucial for obtaining honest and insightful responses. Start with easy questions to ease the interviewee into the conversation. Ask about specific moments in the past to trigger memories and provide real-life examples. This will help interviewees recall their experiences more vividly.

Open-ended questions should be prioritized to encourage in-depth responses. Asking for extremes and specific details can enhance the richness of the interview. Observing behavior during the interview can provide valuable insights into user preferences and actions.

On the other hand, there are certain things to avoid during user interviews. Don't ask leading questions that may influence the interviewee's responses. Avoid filling the silence and allow the interviewee to take their time to think and respond. Refrain from drawing attention to specific issues or biases. It's important to remain neutral and unbiased throughout the interview process.

Resist the urge to ask interviewees if they would buy your product. This can create bias and lead to skewed responses. Additionally, avoid answering the interviewee's questions. The focus should be on gathering insights from them, not providing information.

It's important not to judge or educate the interviewees during the interview. Your role is to listen and understand their perspective, not impose your own opinions. Finally, refrain from expressing your own opinion during the interview. This can influence the interviewee's responses and lead to biased insights.

In conclusion, understanding the psychology of social sharing and mastering the art of user interviews can greatly benefit content creators and marketers. By tapping into the motivations behind why people share and conducting effective user interviews, you can create content that resonates with your audience and drives engagement.

To make the most out of social sharing, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Focus on building personal relationships with your audience. When people feel connected to you and trust your content, they are more likely to share it with others. Make an effort to engage with your audience and create a sense of community.
  • 2. Prioritize value and entertainment in your content. Create content that is not only informative but also enjoyable to consume. By providing value and entertainment, you increase the chances of your content being shared and reaching a wider audience.
  • 3. Practice active listening during user interviews. Allow interviewees to express themselves fully and avoid imposing your own opinions. By truly understanding their needs and preferences, you can create products and content that resonate with your target audience.

By incorporating these strategies into your content creation and user research processes, you can enhance the effectiveness of your efforts and drive more engagement and sharing. Remember, producing great content and understanding your audience are the keys to success in the digital landscape.

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