PRs and marketers create online content for a number of reasons. Increasingly today a primary goal is to drive engagement and conversations, attract traffic and raise awareness through social media. But how much do we in PR agencies or content marketing teams actually think about what motivates social sharing among our audiences when we create content? A new study by creative digital agency Fractl explores this issue.
Based on a survey of 1000 US consumers, the research suggests that people’s social sharing is linked to reinforcing parts of their own identity. The study talks of people wanting to share in order to support their relational identities (to promote their “relationships” and be a “good friend”) for example. Personal identities (sharing to back up their inner beliefs and values) and social identities (a need to be popular and to get a reaction from others) are also rated as key aspects of social sharing psychology.
When it comes to concrete reasons, the top motivator for sharing according to the research is a desire to entertain (44 percent). Trying to educate (25 percent) and wanting to “share something that is a reflection of who I am” (20 percent) were reasons two and three.
I think most PRs and content creators do have these motivators at the back of their minds when creating content – but it’s interesting to see them stated explicitly in this study.