This article originally ran on PR Daily in November of 2016.
Understanding the psychology of shareable content is crucial to succeeding in online marketing.
What makes people pay more attention to certain articles and ignore the rest? What makes them click “share”?
One of the most interesting areas of psychology focuses on emotions. A powerful force that encourages people to share content is emotional engagement.
How can you strike an emotional chord with your readers? Are there tricks to seeing more shares, “likes” and comments?
Here are a few to consider:
Help people express themselves.
Social media offers great opportunities for brand managers to share their ideas, interests and identity. It’s important, though, to share information that others can relate to.
Many brand managers share their success stories, political comments and pet photos. The first key to developing shareable content is to craft posts that cater to the interests of your audience.
If you see an article, picture or video that reminds you of someone you know, do you immediately share it with that person?
Making “social connections” with your audience is an important step to online engagement.
Nearly 80 percent of social media users share content to connect with important people in their lives. Keep that in mind when you craft content. Catering to specific people’s interests can encourage their sharing.
Create positive content.
Psychologist Rick Hanson says our nervous systems react to negative events more intensely than to others. We remember negative events for longer periods of time, which makes us more susceptible to anxiety and fear.
For many consumers, sharing is impulsive. Various studies reveal that most consumers prefer to share positive content. People don’t often want to hear sad stories; they prefer to be entertained and share laughs, smiles and good feelings with their friends.
Shareable content is useful.
Content that helps your readers solve problems can often prompt them to share.
Practical pieces of advice can be attractive to people who are looking for ways to cope with their difficulties. Show your readers how they can easily apply your tips to their own lives. Be as interactive as possible.
What other tips would you add to this list, PR Daily readers?
Veronica Hunt is an education technology expert and freelance writer. A version of this article first appeared on Spin Sucks.