Every day people start their day by checking in on social media – and before too long the sharing of memes, posts, videos and cat pictures starts in earnest on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms.
What’s driving all that sharing?
Lots of things, probably, but to boil it down to its essence, people share on social media because they come across something that appeals to them and they think it will appeal to like-minded people. They share because they like the feedback they get from sharing. And they share just because it’s fun.
So what does that mean to you and why does it matter to your brand? After all, you’re looking for results! It all boils down to understanding how and why social media users behave the way they do. This information is valuable because if you understand the needs of your social media audience it will help you make decisions that influence those users to act in a way that benefits you or your brand. Let me share (there’s that word!) just a few key points about sharing on social media:
- They’re building their personal brand. Each time a user shares something on social media they are taking one more step in strengthening their personal brand. Yes, you may be surprised to hear that individuals have their own brands, but it’s true. Think about it, you may have some friends that focus on sharing pictures and updates about their fishing and boating hobby while others may focus on sharing humorous headlines, jokes, etc. While the former is presenting themselves as a fishing enthusiast, the latter is positioning themselves as a source of humor. Each of them has their own “personal brand,” which you come to expect on social media. If you’re a boating or fishing company, our first user would be valuable to you – and finding ways to encourage them to make you part of their personal brand through content would be imperative.
- They gain personal satisfaction. Let’s face it, when your post about your daughter’s graduation gets 100 plus likes on Facebook, you get a big dose of personal satisfaction. That’s because these reactions are a reward and your mind sees it as exactly that. Those likes actually trigger a chemical reaction in the mind causing dopamine to be released. The “reward molecule” makes getting likes feel good, encouraging you to post more in an effort to obtain that same feeling again and again. Users know sharing interesting and valuable content gets them more likes, and that content has to come from somewhere. If you’re a brand, you can capitalize on this by ensuring that you’re sharing the best, most shareworthy stuff.
- They’re building their audiences through sharing. When users are building their personal brand through the content they post, and enjoying the euphoria that comes with it, they’re almost definitely going to try to grow their audiences. Just like brands, people also want to have more followers, more friends, etc., but for different reasons. These followers are gained through consistently posting content that represents their personal brand, on the right channels at the right time. Brands like Arby’s have done an excellent job of capitalizing on this desire of users, by sharing content that subtly appeals to many small niches, causing those individuals within them to help them reach more people!
Getting into the minds of social media users is an important precedent for ensuring that your brand is doing all it can to attract and convert your target audience to grow your business.
Make sure you aren’t just looking at social media as an advertising avenue, but also a place to share valuable, appropriate, engaging and entertaining content that will get social media users to make you part of their personal brands and share it so they can get the responses from their peers they desire.
Your brand will benefit – and so will your followers who are the recipients (and sharers) of your interesting and relevant content!
Just thought I’d share that!
P.S. If you’d like professional help getting coverage in the press, or being interviewed on radio and TV, give us a call. We’ve been providing this service to clients for 27 years. We also offer a comprehensive social media marketing program for select clients, where we do it all for you. If you’re interested in our help, please call us at 727-443-7115 Ext. 231.. We’d love to hear from you!
Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.