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What Makes Brands’ Social Content Shareable on Facebook?  An Analysis That Demonstrates the Power of Online Trust and Attention

A December 2015 Journal of Advertising Research article by Tania Yuki, Founder/CEO of Shareablee, analyzes which psychological drivers might increase the likelihood of social sharing of brand content on Facebook.  She feels that such sharing is an indication of genuine interest and advocacy by those consumers, and that the shared content is valuable to the development of brand equity. Yuki believes that few brand marketers fully realize the value of consumers sharing brand content on Facebook.  To the author’s knowledge, there has been limited research on what actually makes content shareable and on the psychological drivers that prompt sharing.

Yuki’s methodology involved replicating an earlier framework that outlined ways to increase virality of content. The author tracked the 2,000 most-shared social posts over a 12-month period on Facebook and then surveyed more than 10,000 social-media users about what might drive them to share that content online.

This paper concluded:

-there are clear psychological drivers that affect sharing of brand content on Facebook: social currency, emotion, usefulness, and content that tells a story.

-these drivers vary by users’ age and gender as well as by brand category.

-these differences should inform the ways in which marketers craft their social content to inspire their audiences to share their content and, thereby, generate word-of-mouth and earned media recognition.

Brand marketers who understand the significant drivers of shareable content can use these insights to develop their social content and to design their posting strategy on social media channels.

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