What Makes Us Like And Share Online Content?

WhatMakesUsShareUnderstanding what makes some messages more likely to be shared than others is the key to creating better content. Jason Li, Facebook’s Lead Strategist with Global Creative Solutions, presented the four principles driving online sharing in a Hootsuite University learning webinar.

The four principles driving online sharing are:

  1. Make my life easier.
  2. Build relationships.
  3. Help others.
  4. Craft my identity.

Make My Life Easier
You’ve probably done this. You may have been looking for a babysitter on the west side, a recommendation for the best running shoes, or a seafood restaurant in Halifax — so you send out a tweet or a Facebook status update asking for comments. Don’t you find your friends usually have something to say? Or maybe you found a recipe for the best chocolate cookies ever so you posted it on Facebook for your friends and they shared it with the rest of their network.

Build Relationships
We send birthday wishes, commiserate with friends having a tough day, share funny photos… all to build relationships and connect.

Help Others
Have you seen messages that go out about cats and dogs in need of adoption, or support initiatives for families going through a difficulty? We like these. They’re a big part of social media. Have you ever shared safety messages or warnings? This is all part of helping others.

Craft My Identity
These messages touch on who we are, how we want to be perceived, or who we aspire to be. They could be motivational quotes, photos of our dream car, or a beautiful vacation spot.

How These Principles Translate To Your Brand

The next time you sit down to craft status updates or tweets, ask yourself which of the four principles your messages appeal to. Mix it up. Poll your followers on their favourite smartphone app (principle #1). Personally thank followers for liking or sharing content and respond to all comments on your blog (principle #2). Share human interest stories (principle #3). Think of your brand in terms of lifestyle and not literal product or service (principle #4). And, of course, keep marketing messages to a minimum.

6 Replies to “What Makes Us Like And Share Online Content?”

  1. Thank you Susan – lovely principles there, it is important to be giving value and helping others when using social media – and not just marketing.
    Getting that balance right is not always easy, and crafting ahead on social media, does give the chance to introduce a variety to the mix, touching emotion seems to be the key ..
    I’ll remember those 4 principles 🙂


    1. Hi Jacs — So true — that balance between providing value and marketing our business is important. Do you have a ratio or a rule of thumb that works for you?

      Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment. I appreciate it.


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