Tiffany Joy Yamut Author
UpViral Team
August 20, 2015

The 5 reasons why people share - and how they help you go viral

The 5 reasons why people share - and how they help you go viral

Have you ever encountered that “Aha” moment when you said to yourself “this is the perfect idea that everyone is going to share with their friends?"

In reality it's often not as "perfect" as you initially thought.

Some people share it, but not enough to truly go viral.

Fortunately there are ways to boost that. The most effective one is by giving incentives in return for inviting their friends over.

Because your audience will get a reward if they share your content or site... they're suddenly much more inclined to do so (making your site go viral).

However - offering such an incentive is not enough.You'll still need to take into account (and understand) the reason why people share things on social media.

If you take those motivations into account while setting up your viral referral campaigns... it's going to be much easier to go viral.

The 5 Reason Why People Share

Why do people share things on social media, really?

Let me list down the reasons and how you can use them in your viral referral marketing campaigns:

1. We share to look good.

For example, you post a photo of yourself in a fine-dining restaurant. You’re proud to show that you’re able to afford such luxury. For friends to see this, in their books, you’re definitely someone “cool” or “well-off”. And admit it or not, you love the label on yourself.

Well, you’ll have to make your audience feel special. Let them think that they are important people who can be the only one to access your referral campaign. Make sure that your website and its contents are attractive and appealing as well. Remember, these folks want to look good to others!

2. We share to feel good.

It could be that you were from a vacation overseas and you’re sharing the experience you had. You feel elated reliving all those memories of staying in another country and living a different culture first hand. Telling family and friends about the said trip becomes more about personal fulfillment.

With this, the consumers’ emotions will push them to share what happen to them. Whether your customer service is good or bad, they'd tell that to their family and friends on social media.

For sure you’d like the satisfactory reviews but what about the opposite?

You definitely don’t want the negative feedback, right?

That’s why it’s important that you go out of your way to delight your audience.

3. We share to teach and help.

Maybe you came across a DIY article that was of help of you, and you think it can be of help to others. So you post it up on your online platforms.

Post great and useful content. Target problems that your target market usually have because when folks find them valuable, they won’t hesitate to share these with more and more people.

In other words, make them feel they're helping their friends by sharing the word of your site!

4. We share to connect.

In essence, we share to nurture our relationships with family and friends, whether near or far. We get to engage in conversations about just anything we put up, especially when it’s interesting content. It could be an old, memorable picture that you want to talk about with your relatives – the like.

How do you benefit from that? You can offer pair and/or group deals (e.g. "get free drinks for 5 of your friends")! These can become opportunities for one to get in touch with another, creating a win-win for everybody.

5. We share to convince.

You may have a cause or a topic you believe in. You then share to prove your point. Even subtly, you’re convincing others to listen and take in your beliefs. Another example would be when you’re recommending a particular product or service that satisfied you.

Win over your audience by supporting a movement. When they see you have similar convictions as them, they’ll become more connected to you.

How this helps

Identifying and understanding these reasons will help you accordingly in creating your marketing plans. Becoming familiar with them can make you work better in encouraging them to share your campaign.

If you'd like to have a visual overview of this post, check out (and share) this infographic:

Reasons why people share

You can embed this infographic at your own site by copy-pasting the code below:

Hence, for everything you put out there, try to keep these 5 factors in mind. You don't have have to "match" all of them - but it certainly helps if you hit one or two of these points.

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