why do we share on social media

I often ask myself why do I share on social media. My reason would be I guess I like to share valuable information, if I found it important than maybe some else will too. Sharing on social media is also my business card, it is my personal brand, I like others to see what I am doing. For pharma understanding the psychology of social media sharing 1) will help to understand how social media works and 2) put more effort behind content strategy and creation that will be more shareable.

 

Why do people share on social media?

  • People are intrinsically inclined to sharing
  • Sharing is an emotional experience and it evokes positive emotions in people
  • People like to share content that is entertaining and hope that others find it amusing as we did
  • People like to share useful information and hope someone else may find that same information useful
  • We share things about ourselves – psychiatrists refer to this as self-presentation – controlling or shaping the way you want to be seen
  • We share because we want to tell or show people who we are and what we really care about – self-expression
  • We share to stay connected with other people and to strengthen relationships
  • We share because we build our social currency -when we share the right type of content we gain social currency
  • We share to support a cause and this is by far the most powerful reason to why we share

 

What kind of content do people share?

  • Content that is entertaining or amusing
  • Content that provides information that is useful
  • Important news or breaking news
  • Where we have been and what we are doing
  • Content that supports a cause – this is probably the most powerful content people share on social media (think for example the ice bucket challenge)

 

Where do brands in general fit in?

  • People trust people more than brands
  • People do like brands – we identify ourselves with brands
  • People, however, feel brands are not authentic, so they are not shared
  • Shared values is a bigger driver for building relationships than lots of interaction with a brand

 

Where does the pharma brand fit in?

  • Pharma has a trust issue (which is not a new issue)
  • People do share a lot of information against the pharma companies – for example, #epigate:
    • ridiculous price gauging to unhappy customers to comparing prices,
    • stories of parents and pictures of EpiPen purchase receipts & prices they had to pay

 

Which kind of content should pharma focus on that will make people want to share?

  • Values come first – if people share the same values as companies then they will share their content
  • Get rid of the noise – that means less paid promotion
  • Create content that responds to emotions
  • Work on amplifying great content
  • Understand which kind of content people want to share -think of buyer personas