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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:
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 Daddyapproves.com 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!