Take a moment to consider the last story you’ve shared through one of your social channels. Why did you share this specific story and not another one? Chances are it affected you in some way or another. Although it’s clear that there’s no secret formula for the creation of sharable content (if only there was, right?), there is a certain art to it. The art of shareability. Mastering this art is not a question of skills, but of understanding the way people are consuming and amplifying content today, and the drivers behind this process. To Dao Nguyen, Publisher at BuzzFeed, some of the main drivers of shareabilitu are identity, emotion and conversation.
Identity – people share content they recognize themselves in. One could argue that there are two sides to this process: on the one hand there’s the content you identify with. Relatable stories in which people recognize themselves – this is so me! – which triggers them to share it with their peers. On the other hand, consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact the content they share has on their digital footprint. Driven by this awareness, people will share content that adds value to the online identity they wish to create for themselves.
Emotion – people share content that touches them. Sharing content is sharing emotion. When a piece of content elicits a certain emotion, sharing that piece is like expressing this feeling. Nguyen even takes it one step further and claims that sharing this type of content is like giving an emotional gift to your friends, your network. Especially when a content piece triggers a positive emotion – Hey, the world doesn’t actually suck as much as I thought it does!
Conversation – people share content to start a conversation. Because: how else could you explain thousands of shares of #thedress? Solving the whole issue probably didn’t add value to anyone’s life or the world as a whole. But nonetheless: the internet was going nuts over it. It’s simple, really: we all love adding our five cents, expressing an opinion and if necessary even defending it. About topics that matter, obviously, but at times even about issues that… matter a little less 🙂
When applying these drivers to your content creation efforts, one should of course keep in mind that their value lies not in a general interpretation, but the application to your specific business challenges and the audience that matters to you. What is that audience like (or what do they want to be like), what touches them and what do they want to talk about? Mastering these questions will go a long way in mastering Your Art of Shareability.
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