The Psychology of Social Media: Why People Share Social Contents

There are lots of motivations for human behavior. Actions are therefore the product of both internal and external factors.

In the world of social media, people share contents with others. However, there’s no clear reason why people do so. No one knows exactly what motivates social media users to share contents.

Some people claim that motivation behind social media sharing is a combination of several factors.

1. To bring value

One of the reasons why people share contents on the web is value. If the content is valuable (solves a problem), people are more likely to share it. Contents that are shared thousands of times on Buzzsumo are valuable to online readers.

2. To entertain

Hilarious and laughter-provoking contents are often shared. People want to be happy all the time. As a result, they share entertaining posts.

3. To show personal beliefs

People want to share personal views. If they find contents that affirm their personal beliefs they further share them.

Chris Dyson in his article further suggests six personas of people who love sharing online content. Consider the following:

  1. The Altruist: These sharers are helpful, reliable, thoughtful, connected, and use email to share.

  2. The Careerist: These sharers are intelligent business networkers and are more likely to share content on LinkedIn.

  3. The Hipster: Less likely than other sharers to use email for sharing content, these sharers are creative, young and popular. They consume content that is on the cutting edge and care about defining their identity

  4. The Boomerang: These sharers share information to get a reaction and to feel validated. They are empowered by social media and tend to use both Twitter and Facebook

  5. The Connector: creative, relaxed, thoughtful, making plans, uses both email and Facebook to share information.

  6. The Selective: These sharers are resourceful, careful, and thoughtful. They share content that is informative and also use email to share content with individuals.

Different people with different personality factors may have different reasons for sharing social media content. It may also be dependent on people’s motivations.

These are some of the reasons why people share online contents? What is yours?