What is it exactly that makes online news and entertaining content go viral? What and why do people share? Finding the key to what people share and why, and adapting your branded content accordingly, might just open the door to that much wanted online brand advocacy. Sarie Robijt and Ike Picone (VUB, “When news goes viral: a user-oriented approach to news shared on social networks”) analyzed over 1000 profiles and came up with 4 sharer profiles to keep in mind when posting on social media.
The social sharer is highly active on social media and rather self-confident online. For him, sharing is not so much about personal branding, but all about staying in touch with others. His primary audience consists of friends and family.
For the reflective sharer, making a good impression and gaining status is equally important as staying in touch with others. More than other types of sharers the reflective sharer is active on all kinds of social media channels: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs… The reflective sharer focuses not only on friends and family, but shares with a wide and professional network as well. This is the kind of sharer you should want to reach.
The uncaring sharer rarely shares anything. He still turns to e-mail most of the time when sharing something with friends or family. The uncaring sharer scores low on the self-presentation as a sharing motivator and is more worried about privacy than the social and reflective sharer.
The moderate sharer is on all levels moderate. He scores only average on self-presentation and social connection as a motivation for sharing posts. The moderate sharer likes e-mailing and is not too keen on technology. No need in trying to reach him, since he will not share with a large network anyway.
So, next time you are creating content for social media, think about this: What is the goal of your post? What kind of people do you want to reach? Keep in mind these 4 sharer profiles and their motives for sharing when developing your content, and you’ll be fine.Like