After suffering from sharing fatigue on what I did try *sharing* online, I decided to try and do some research on what do we want to share online socially in our own avatars and not as anonymous trolls. And I don’t mean just personally creating new photos and posts, but also on other people’s posts- which ones do we want to share further and like, re-tweet, react to. I started thinking about this in my last post on stories that make us emotional or even cry. However, I realised clearly I am not the only one who was asking this question.
So, research shows, we like polarities. This means, we like very sad or very happy. We do not necessarily like the in-betweens. Additional research shows, we also like happy far more than sad. In fact what makes us laugh or be awed gets shared 42% (and that’s quite huge, no?). I am going as far to claim that I think, this even restores my faith in our optimism as humans! What a sad thing it would be to promote just sadness?
And, as shown by Berger and Milkman, it is contrary to our common wisdom (at least while talking marketing or consumer behaviour) that people tend to share negative views (or reviews) more. In fact they are happy to share positive hopes. The chart below really also shows another aspect that I am really buying into a lot these days. People share what *they* find useful and productive. I like the sound of that. It makes me feel, I do not need to be Coca-Cola before I can trend on Twitter :P. Not that, finding something exceptionally useful is easy too :). I mean, I do wish what I found useful became a trend though, I could be a Japanese hipster never focusing on the midway-ness :)!
Quite strangely, I got a natural opportunity to test this out. I wasn’t testing, but it became a natural case study. I was working on MIEF and we have a monthly feature there called the inspiration of the month. This one time we shared the story of a 31 year old who had overcome a medical crisis to a state of awesomeness. This one blog post which people really engaged with, organically. We do not use any paid promotion. For a page that has only a few hundred likes (it’s an NGO, we do not have funds to do paid promotions), the engagement (including likes, shares on Facebook alone) saw a week on week raise of 2700%. And not with a zero base. We saw an engagement of a few 100s when usually it is a few tens. The post click rate grew by 800% reaching up to a few 100s which was much greater than the total likes on the page. Over 5000 people saw the post on one day (including all networks) which is usually a few hundreds. And again, it is not a brand but a small NGO, and it was not paid. Here are my reasons on why it worked:
- Personal growth, story of hope. David wins over Goliath.
- Pictures (Amit just looks crazy good diabetic or not)
I just like this idea of happy sharing a lot. 🙂 I mean if we are what we share, then I am glad I have a proof of research in what do we want to share online. Maybe it means nothing to people, but I do think what we like (even for fun) says a lot about who we are.