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Have you wondered why certain things online go viral? Why do we share each other’s blogs, links, and video content? Think about it. Is it because you want to promote a brand? No. Is it because you follow a user religiously and want to share everything and anything they post? Nope. 


People share content because it makes them look smart/insightful/funny/..etc. In fact, back in 1966 Ernest Dichter’s study on Word of Mouth reveals 64% of sharing is about the sharer, themselves, desiring to:

  • gain attention
  • show they have inside info
  • help
  • reach out
  • show friendship
  • show humor
  • provide information

Only 33% has anything to do with the actual product or brand experience.

Sharing online content is an integral part of modern life. People forward newspaper articles to their friends, pass YouTube videos to their relatives, and send restaurant reviews to their neighbors. Indeed, 59% of people report that they frequently share online content with others (Allsop, Bassett, and Hoskins 2007), and someone tweets a link to a New York Times story once every four seconds (Harris 2010). Emotional aspects of content may also affect whether it is shared or not. Many people discuss their emotional experiences with others and customers report a greater word of mouth if they feel their level of customer service they received was extremely satisfactory. Remember that Publix woman that shared her experience at a local store? 


Angus Nelson, founder of states, “You and I share out of our own self-interest. The goal is to cause followers to feel powerful ...about themselves. On one level, this may seem like you're feeding people’s narcissism. However, on another level, your brand has an incredible opportunity to generously serve and help others. And it’s this very perspective that makes all the difference in how your content is perceived.”


Why do you think we share certain things and not others?

Post your thoughts in the comment section below!

Views: 201

Tags: Content, Marketing, articles, blogs, media, social


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Comment by Ketty Colom on November 21, 2012 at 7:48am

Most of the things I share on my personal FB page is things I find to be funny or something that makes me just go WOW. 

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 21, 2012 at 6:57am

Good post Ketty! I think it depends on the Facebook page (personal or business) and if it's business related, the model. 1/3 for an actual product or brand, makes sense to me. Facebook is a digital playground for the most part, but even that 33% holds a ton of power. Pinterest is what interest's me these days. Buying power and the buying power of women.

Comment by Kim Essenmacher on November 21, 2012 at 6:46am

I usually share posts to broadcast news in my industry that will help others. It saves me time from researching it myself. Also, I share posts that are humorous to build a rapport and friendships.

Comment by Roosevelt Gist on November 20, 2012 at 6:25pm

To educate and inform but not be out done.

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