Motivations: Why We ‘Share’ Online

Here’s how to make your blog, your tweets, your Facebook page, and even your LinkedIn profile more effective.

Just check out this new study from CIG and The New York Times.

This new research suggests 5 key motivations for sharing online (they apply when we share offline too).

  1.  To bring  valuable and entertaining content to others – 94% carefully consider how the information they share will be useful to the recipient.
  2.  To define ourselves to others – 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about.
  3. To grow and nourish their relationships – 78% share information online because it lets them stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with.
  4. Self-fulfillment – 69% share because it allows them to feel more involved in the world.
  5. To get the word out about causes or brands – 84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about.

For people and brands who want to optimize social media, the research is clear. It suggests that you…

  1. Make your ‘content’ matter. If it’s not ‘valuable’, almost no one will forward it.
  2. Make it easy for people to share their causes and what they care about.
  3. Let them nourish their own relationships – don’t try to manipulate them to ’share’ their friends.


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