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Unveiling the Psychology Social Sharing

Ever wonder why people can't resist hitting that share button? Well, grab a virtual seat because we're about to spill the tea on the psychology of social sharing. At dameSpeak, we diving deep into the 'why,' 'what,' and 'how' of content sharing on your favorite social media platforms.


Sharing is Human

The age-old saying "sharing is caring" takes a digital twist in the context of social media. The New York Times, in collaboration with Customer Insight Group and Latitude Research, conducted a study that delves into the psychology of sharing. The study's first revelation is that sharing is a fundamentally human act, inherently enjoyable. Below are the five main reasons behind people's inclination to share online:

  1. To bring valuable, enlightening, and entertaining content to others.

  2. To define themselves to both others and themselves.

  3. To establish and maintain connections with others.

  4. For self-fulfillment, seeking acknowledgment for shared content.

  5. To support causes and brands they believe in.

Ultimately, these motives boil down to a single overarching theme: nurturing relationships with others.


Content Shared on Social Media

Another enlightening study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies shed light on the various types of content people share. From pictures and stories about friends and family to informative blog posts and music videos, the range of shared content is diverse.


Descending into the shareability hierarchy, here's the lineup:

  1. Family member or friends' news (81%)

  2. Family pictures or videos (80%)

  3. Gut-busting funny videos (63%)

  4. Coupons or discounts (54%)

  5. News articles and blog posts (53%)

We categorize social content based on customer lifecycle stages and decision styles, ranging from entertaining to convincing. Then we scale customer lifecycle stages from awareness to purchase, as well as decision styles from emotional to rational. The four main content categories are:

  • Entertaining

  • Inspiring

  • Educational

  • Convincing

For example, this blog post belongs in the educational category which is in both the awareness and rational lifecycles. This content lands in the beginning of the customer lifecycle which helps move users closer to a purchase.


Generational Social Sharing Differences

Recognizing that one size doesn't fit all, you need to understand the generational nuances in content consumption. Fractl and BuzzStream collaborated on a survey, "The Generational Content Gap," comparing Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers. Their key findings were:

  • Timing Matters: Baby Boomers consume content in the morning, while Millennials and Generation Xers prefer late evening consumption.

  • Preferred Content Types: All three generations favor blog articles, visuals (images, videos, and memes), and comments.

  • Content Categories: While all groups enjoy entertainment content, Baby Boomers lean towards world news, Gen Xers embrace healthy living, and Millennials are tech enthusiasts.

Additional insights included

  • Millennials and Generation Xers exhibit striking similarities in online content consumption.

  • Baby Boomers showcase distinct preferences, emphasizing the need to tailor content for diverse audiences.

With Millennials poised to dominate the job market, it's important for businesses in the digital landscape.to understand their online habits.


In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, grasping the intricacies of the psychology of social sharing is a competitive advantage. As a digital marketing agency we encourage you to leverage these insights to create content that not only resonates with your audience but fosters meaningful connections. Remember, in the world of social media, understanding why people share is the key to unlocking digital success.


If you are looking for help with your social content, look no further! Our social media management services start at just $500/month so contact us for more info or to get started today.

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