Why People Share on Facebook – The Honest Reason!
There are probably more people on Facebook every day than there are watching TV or listening to radio. My wife for instance is on it as soon as she wakes up in the morning and then when i say goodnight, she once again reaches for the phone to check her Facebook timeline…not to mention the times throughout the day that she checks she hasn’t missed anything.
I too, am guilty of checking this strange social world throughout the day and liking and sharing seemingly unimportant information. But why do we do it? and why do we share things? What do we share? and what does it say about us when we do like or share posts?…And more importantly how can we use this information to make others share our posts in order to create business for ourselves.
We Want to feel Special..
Deep down inside us at a psychological level there is a very important reason why we share things on Facebook. It is because we want others to feel we are in some way special or worthy. We want to feel popular and have others think that we are “one of the Gang” “Funny” “important” and all other things pertaining to what we want others to think about us.
Think about it…when was the last time you shared a post or liked one on Facebook?..the chances are that it may have been that hilarious video of a cat!..or that image that made you laugh..it was probably something that made you laugh or cry and so by sharing it. it makes you feel better about yourself and makes you look good in others eyes by association with that image or video..and this is how we work at a psychological level..deep down inside us we all just want to be liked.
The most important person is ones self..
A while ago i read the book “How to win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, if you haven’t already read the book i strongly suggest you do as it has a wealth of information in it. Although the book was published in 1936 it still has ideas that are as useful today as they were back then.
An interesting part of the book is when Dale talks of being invited to a dinner party and the host of the party went on to talk about himself for a long period of time to Dale, who just sat listening. After the party the host commented that Dale was a great conversationalist and speaker.
This illustrates the point that people in general are very much interested in themselves. Think about yourself..are you someone who tends to dominate a conversation or are you more interested in other people.
I have always been a bit of an extrovert and after reading the book decided that I should try and listen a bit more around other people. I wont go into it now but the results were great and I even found I enjoyed socializing more when I’m not being the center of attention…I also took this advice into my business and the results were fantastic!
So what does all this have to do with Facebook and how can you apply it to business…
Lets look at a couple of points that we have learned and see what we can do with them in our posts on Facebook to enhance our product or brand.
1: The most interesting person in anyone’s life is themselves (so to speak…and yes yes I’m sure there will be a few people who disagree, but just stick with me)
2: People share things that make them feel good about themselves
3: Associating with a post that evokes an emotion in some way makes you look better in others eyes.
4: People tend not to share things that do not have an emotion associated with it.
Now here is the fun part. We can use this information to create posts that people will share. So the first thing we should concentrate on is an emotion. There are two forms of emotion that people react well to. One is something really Happy or Funny and the other is something that makes you feel really sad or angry. Anything in-between can be considered a kind of non emotive post.
If you can come up with a post about your brand or product using either of these then you are well on your way to having people share your post.
An example of a bad post that people will feel indifferent about would be something like “Today at Mycoffee we have 50% off”..Ok so they have a deal but it doesn’t really incite an emotion…A better thing to do would be to say something like ” This old lady Rita has been coming to our shop for the past 10 years and has a coffee every day..we learnt that Rita’s Husband used to be a firefighter and had attended a fire in the building that this coffee shop was turned into. It turns out that Rita’s husband Mike had died in the fire as he was saving a young girl’s life..Rita comes here every day to feel close to Mike…as a celebration of his life today we are taking 50% off all our coffee..please like and share”
Ok so i know it’s a bit dramatic but it illustrates the point..you are much more likely to get people to share the second post because they can connect better with it and it incites an emotion..they will then feel better about themselves by sharing the post..Add to this that you would post with a nice big picture of Rita and you are on to a great post….Remember people Share if they Care!
Another great book that I would recommend reading is The psychology of selling by Robert B. Cialdini, ph.d. In his book he talks a lot about click whirr responses. This in essence is an automatic response that is programmed in us from an early age. This makes us do things almost involuntarily when triggered by someone’s action or command. I will leave a lot of this information for another post as it deserves a post of it’s own but for now lets just say that you should always try and ask for people to like and share your post or comment on it.
By asking people to like and share they are instantly made aware of what you want them to do and the chances are that they may do the action you ask of them..particularly if the post is emotive in some way as discussed earlier.
I will be sharing more on Facebook posts on the future, but I hope this has shown you why people share on Facebook and how you can utilize the reasons behind the shares for your own benefit.
If you have any comments i would be pleased to hear them and if you liked this post then please feel free to like and share on social media ( see what i did then? ha ha)..if you would like to see how to set up a Facebook page for business then take a look at my post here
Thanks for reading.