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Why Do Facebook Users Share Content?

by | Aug 5, 2015 | Brand Management, Content Marketing, Social Media | 1 comment


What happens when you post new content to your company Facebook page? Do you see it redirected five, ten, 20 times over, shared by user after user, spreading like wildfire across different newsfeeds?

Or does your own company Facebook page feel an awful lot like a graveyard—posts that were all dead on arrival, receiving few likes and no real shares?

Sadly, a lot of small business owners fall into this second category. That’s not their fault, either. Getting shares on Facebook is tough, and getting tougher all the time. Algorithmic changes within Facebook have made it difficult even to get your content seen, much less shared. Meanwhile, as more and more companies produce content, it’s a challenge to make yours stand out.

The Psychology of Sharing

To complicate matters further, you can’t trick your readers into sharing content. Bribery seldom works, either; sure, you’ll get some shares if you offer a $100 giftcard to your top brand ambassadors, but who has the budget for that?

Ultimately, the reader must make the decision to share your content—and the reader will make that decision based on one thing and one thing only: How the content reflects the reader’s personality, and how it will be perceived among the reader’s friends.

Think of your Facebook followers as content curators. Everything they share on their own Facebook newsfeed is a reflection of who they are, and what they’re trying to do is cultivate an accurate and compelling mosaic of who they are, or who they want their friends to think they are. Each piece of content they share has to fit into that mosaic.

Sharing for Different Reasons

Of course, Facebook users share content for different reasons. Sometimes, they are simply trying to entertain others. Sometimes they are looking to grow relationships, or else to define themselves in terms of a particular brand, style, or cause.

The first step toward getting more shares is to understand exactly what motivates people to share—the psychological factors that might compel a reader to make your company’s content a piece of his/her mosaic. Some of the big reasons why people share content include:

  1. It makes them look smart. Studies, high-quality blogs from industry publications, professional how-tos, glossy “think pieces”—some content just has an air of intelligence to it, and your readers may well want to be associated with that air.
  2. It lets them be useful. Some of the most successful Facebook pages we’ve seen have been—for lack of a better term—pages attached to mom blogs. Why? Because the content offered is 100 percent practical—tips, recipes, parenting strategies… stuff that you can share and know that it will be actionable to the people reading it.
  3. It makes them seem cool. Sometimes, people just want to post something with a provocative headline or an “inside info” vibe to it, because it makes them appear hip. There’s nothing wrong with that!

So how do you get social shares? There isn’t a trick to it. It all comes down to how well you understand these psychological motivations—and write content that plays right into them.

That’s where we come in. Reach out to Grammar Chic’s ace content writers today: Call 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net.