Why do People Share on Social Media?

This blog has been sitting on my chest for a couple of months. It all came out of something I had shared on social media and people’s reaction to it. It got me thinking, what drives people to share content online. So I did some research and this is what I came up with.

People share parts of their daily lives everyday. From pictures of their children to their vacation and even their private moments. But what makes us share? Is it that we want recognition for our accomplishments? Is it all about likes, shares and retweets?

Intrinsically, sharing has always been a part of our lives. Before the internet, we shared with our family at dinnertime and our coworkers. We shared our family photo albums to visitors on the couch, so the idea of sharing is not new.

According to  The Psychology of How We Share Content, by Jesse Bowman, “To really understand the psychology of sharing, we have to go back to 1966. Long before we had the retweet, Austrian psychologist, Ernest Dichter, published the Harvard Business Review article “How Word-of-Mouth Advertising Works.”

In his article, Dichter outlined four reasons that motivate people to talks about brands and products.

  1. Product Involvement (33%) – The customer’s experience is so pleasurable, it has to be shared.

  2. Self-Involvement (24%) – You, as the sharer, gain attention, feel special like you have inside information or are the first to know.

  3. Other Involvement (20%) – The sharer wants to help others.

  4. Message – Involvement (20%) – The message is so valuable that it has to be shared.

This analysis was helpful in order to understand the psychology of why people share and its incentives. But let’s dig deeper shall we?

The New York Times Customer Insight Group published the study, “The Psychology of Sharing” which divided why we share into five categories and further broke down the personas of people who share into six profiles.

Personas of Sharers (Preferred Channels)

  1. Altruists – share content to be helpful. (Facebook, Email)
  2. Careerists – share to build a professional reputation. (Linkedin, Email)
  3. Hipsters – share cutting edge and creative content that builds their identity. (Facebook, Twitter)
  4. Boomerangs – share content to get reaction from audience, seeks validation. (Facebook, Twitter)
  5. Connectors – share content to stay connected with others and make plans. (Facebook, Email)
  6. Selectives – put more thought into what they share and with whom they share it. (Email)

It’s easy to determine from both studies that people share for their own self-interests. But the last reason why we share, spread the word about causes or brands, touches on another major reason why we share: emotion.
But I think we share because it makes us look good. I also believe that people are natural storytellers, and all great brands also learn to tell stories. If you can learn to tell an interesting story, it will be shared.

Typically what leads a person to share something on social media is when it has a connection to them as an individual, be it political, emotional, cute or funny. People want to share with others how they perceive the world and reflect their tastes and how they define themselves.

So what motivates you to share? Attention? Likes? Comments? Shares? What would you like to share but don’t?

 

 

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7 Must-Haves for Instagram going into 2019

So many brands and influencers are still struggling to master all the features on IG.

But with Instagram reaching a milestone of 1 billion monthly users in June, it is a platform that can’t be ignored. – Adweek

Some brands are losing out on valuable real estate by not creating something as simple as highlights but there are a few other things you should be doing on IG before the year is out.

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Vertical Videos: How-to

We never thought vertical videos would become a thing but they are here and here to stay! For now. Vertical videos aren’t just for IGTV however, they are now creeping onto other platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Probably the hardest thing to get right when shooting vertical video for IGTV is aspect ratio, which is the ratio of width to height of your video.

The reason it can be hard to get right is because unless your video is shot on a smartphone (which will usually record in 9:16 if shot vertically), you may need to edit or crop your video in post-production to get the right aspect ratio for IGTV.

So I would recommend shooting vertically, if you’re using a phone or shoot widescreen with the camera so you can always adjust post-production.

Why vertical videos? Instagram wants to encourage people to create video content but, at the same time, to do it exclusively for mobile. We already know that people are more likely to use their mobile devices in a vertical position, hence the type of video.

Advertising agencies will need to bear this in mind when creating their ads to include vertical formats for IGTV.

IGTV is predicted to become the new Youtube in 3-5 years.

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IG Stories Still Relevant

IG stories is a way to extend the conversation. So for example, you post a picture of yourself in an outfit, the stories can be used to tell the back story of the photograph. Where you got the outfit and maybe behind-the-scenes, etc. This will continue to be vital to engagement strategies.

Shoppable Posts an Added Plus

I see so many small businesses missing out on a simple app they can add to their posts that directly links them to the webpage. It’s called Later’s (Linkin.bio). It’s like $US4.99 a month, but the value, is a direct clickable link where shoppers can purchase the item. Instagram also has a shoppable feature that’s pretty simple to use. Not available in Jamaica just yet however, we’ll have to wait our turn.

IG Highlights for FAQs a Necessity

Personally, I get a lot of DMs from people asking  questions about what I do out of curiosity. I haven’t reached the level that I would want to have a FAQs section but if you’re a company or a big brand, I would definitely recommend you having an FAQ highlight so people can learn more about you without having to send a DM every time. Saves a lot of time!

Stories Ads will be a Must

The time of organic reach is over. Brands will have to invest in an ad budget in order to reach their target audience, but not just that, the content will have to be richer and more clickable. Also in terms of the variation in ads, I haven’t seen the numbers yet, but the animated, IG story ads seem to have more traction.

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AR Filters Bring That Cool Factor

So you’ve seen the diamond headband filter by Rihanna and the lip color filter by Kylie Jenner and other popular ones on IG lately right? Influencers will now be able to create their own filters using Facebook AR Studio.

 IG Worthy Branded Wall Backdrop: A Staple for Jamaican Parties

Every event we go to in Jamaica, now has a branded, customized wall. This is no coincidence. This is usually brightly colored wall that is easily identifiable in photos when people post to IG.

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Influencer Patronage will Kick up a Notch

The exclusivity of giving an influencer a special branded invitation to your event or token gift before a party creates a buzz that makes the viewer want to know more.

Frenchmen did it for their parties this year and Moda Market has been handing out special Moda Boxes with goodies inside.

Brands like Benefit of Bohoo in the US, have been able to take carefully selected influencers on a vacation. The idea is to create this cool girl lifestyle, where their followers can go with them on an adventure, wear their products and take IG worthy pictures.

The perfect example of this relatable to Jamaica was when Campari took Shanzi.a to Italy for the unveiling of the Red Diaries commercial.

And Jamaica is such an IG worthy place in and of itself, that to really create a superior buzz, you would have to take the influencer out of the country.

However, we’ve seen these experiences happening right here with Garfene and Terri-Karelle going on road trips to Skylark Negril and Irie Diva going on a #staycation.

 

Instagram Worthy Curated Rooms or Walls

Creating an offline, Instagram-worthy experience for your customers can not only help you get more followers, but also generate more sales or visitors.

Think about it like word of mouth, but on Instagram: when a customer is at your place of business and you have created an Instagram-worthy moment, they’ll be happy and excited to snap a photo and share it to their Instagram feeds.

They can then tag your brand in the photo, caption, and location, and inspire their followers to visit your business!

This can be as simple as adding a chic, neon sign or wall decal.

What are some other cool IG Trends you see going into 2019?

 

 

 

 

 

How the Popular Jamaican YouTubers do it. #SMDay

I missed the Social Media Week activities in 2015 for Jamaica and I must admit– I’m sorry I did. However, I’m watching the round-up of the YouTubers in Jamaica and how they do what they do.

It’s an inspiring video, not only are they giving you a breakdown of everything that you need to do to make the YouTube channel thrive but, it’s a step by step tutorial almost.

Strategy is Key

It shows you its not as easy as it might seem. Each of these presenters Dutty Berry, Quite Perry and Bella Blair have a comedic flair and natural acting ability.

What they all have in common and are very clear about it, is that they have a strategy. Watch the video and take notes.

 

When QR Code Marketing Works

In advertising, QR codes (otherwise known as Quick Response Codes) are the last thing that marketers want to use these days. Issues like: the scanner doesn’t work or issues with downloading the code reader are usually the main reasons why marketers shy away.

With the improvement of the smart phone technology, things could be looking up for QR codes. Here are a few instances where QR code marketing could be effective:

You optimize the user experience: Make the time to scan worth their while. For their Valentine’s Day Promotion, ATL Automotive  (Jamaica’s leading automotive group dealer) posted a simple black & white full-page press ad in the Observer, with a QR code and a “call-to-action” message: Scan your code for a chance to win tickets to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” on Valentine’s Day! #FiftyShadesofAudi

 

The idea that you can win a coveted ticket to the “most talked about movie of the year” has an air of excitement to it.

It has to add value: If the code is leading to a coupon, discount, a chance to win offer or a more in-depth insight into the brand then I say by all means use it. However, if your code is just leading to the home page of a website or your Facebook page, skip it.

Did I scan the code to for a chance to win the tickets? Unfortunately, I did not. They did post the code on their Instagram page and I typed in the url. It took me to a mailing list subscription.

However, the black and white ad also offered a hashtag, #50ShadesofAudi which encourages the conversation to continue on social media.

It suits the brand:  According to Mashable, “The QR Code was invented in Japan by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, and was originally designed to allow components to be scanned at high-speed.”

For ATL Automotive, which is a company who sells cars, the idea of using something  that was once used to track vehicles is poetic.

Christian Grey also mentions Audi in the book. Also poetic.

Alternatives to QR codes? SMS short codes, for one can be really effective. Do you think QR codes can work in advertising? Leave me your comments.

 

5 Trends Destined to Shape the Media this Year

Last month, myself and a few other marketers came together at a #MarketersMeetUp to discuss our forecasts for 2015. It was an interesting conversation that lead to predictions far beyond this year. These are a few that really stuck:

1. The use of Social Media Influencers.

While Facebook campaigns and viral videos are interesting and can garner likes and shares, they don’t always produce engagement that is long-lasting. With endorsements from social media influencers such as tv personalities, athletes, musicians, etc., brands can not only reach target audiences but can create long-lasting advocates who will willingly share their love for the brand.

Chris Gayle at the 2014 Miss Jamaica Universe Pageant

See the list below of top influencers in Jamaica by category by Twitter followers:

Sports-related: Usain Bolt (< 3.6mil), Chris Gayle (<1.9 mil), Lennox Lewis (<375,000), Yohan Blake (<300,000).

Music: Sean Paul (<1.2 mil), Tessanne Chin (<250,000), Mavado (< 200,000), Jah Cure (<190,000), Taurrus Riley (<160,000), Wayne Marshall (<100,000), Chronixx (<82,000), Protoje (<32,000)

TV Personalities: Miss Kitty (<100,000), Yendi Phillips (<60,000).

An endorsement in a tweet, Facebook post or Instagram post by these top accounts could create an impact.

2. Mobile Integration

With the invent of LoopJamaica.com and its seamless integration onto every new Digicel smartphone, having the latest news at your fingertips will allow brands to target audiences even when they are away from their computers. As mobile use continues to grow, brands will have another channel to tap into. Communication is now a two-pronged approach: stories about the brands and offerings tied into ads with the links to more information about products.

Gleaner and Observer are right behind. Both have apps available for download. Most recently, TeenAge Observer discontinued its printed publication and will now be exclusively online allowing for brands to tap into the Jamaican youth market. With the high cost of print media, the possibilities of curating content that will engage preteens and teens online is limitless.

3. Online influencing offline

With the success of Dutty Berry, a vlogger who inspired Jamaica to support Tessanne on her road to winning “The Voice” and more recently Bella Blair, brands will feel compelled to utilize these personalities to become ambassadors. The real value in their presence is that they are already engaging online, have a strong fan base and are reaching the audience in a way that traditional media sometimes doesn’t. Bella Blair for example, has a YouTube channel with over 35,000 subscribers and within the past year, received her own show called, “Bella’s Bizarre World” on RETV. Bella is creating content that is fresh, young and different but still appealing to a wide audience. Check out Bella in the new 2015 Cran Wata Ad:

Cran Wata Bella TV Ad

Check out the video that inspired the TV Ad 

4. Mobile Dominance

Its been in discussion for years and now it seems to be on the “tips of the tongues” of many folks, particularly as the rise of mobile usage and telecoms are determined to sell phones and data plans. Websites will have to be designed for mobile as you will lose the interest of readers in a second. Mobile e-commerce is also a forecast for 2015.

5. Blogger Nation

With the success of the Caribbean Blog and Social Media Awards late last year, brands witnessed the possibilities of using bloggers to create content around their messages and offerings. As bloggers continue to grow their audiences and create content that is personal and inspiring–brands will want to get on board.

Here’s Irie Dawta’s Orange Chicken recipe featuring Tru-Juice

Tweens and Facebook

Facebook recently changed their policy to allow 13-17 year olds to post publicly on Facebook. Which is fairly interesting because many of their tween market has shuffled to Instagram.

The whole idea of giving a tween such freedom is quite scary. With the incredible popularity of Twitter and Instagram among the teen market many people might wonder if this is just another attempt to get them to go back to using Facebook more often.

In all honesty, I prefer Instagram for my tween. Even though she’s allowed post pictures with location, her profile can be very private and unlike your Facebook you’re allowed some anonymity.

Promoting Events on Social Media

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of covering an event for the organization I work for. It was remarkably organized and all of Washington’s elite were in attendance.

Now you may ask if the event was so well attended, what would be the benefit of social media? The great thing about social media, particularly twitter is that allows a conversation between people who may or may not know each other or have the opportunity to talk to each other at an event.

Here’s the best way to promote your event on social media:

Pre event: Be sure to create an event page on Facebook and invite every member of the group. Ask the event planners and other stakeholders to invite guests as well. Facebook has a new feature in which you can actually add a link to the where the tickets are being sold.

Be sure to ask guests to check in on Four Square. Four Square is a tool in which when used correctly can create a great buzz around your event.

Use a hashtag: By creating a hashtag it helps people follow the story and contribute to conversation by commenting on the event. The event I worked on had a great conversation going on about issues affecting Africa and the world economy. Former Presidents, Prime ministers, ambassadors, even Grammy Award winners were in attendance.

Showtime:

Promote the use of social media. Ask the audience to engage and if possible publicize for people to see. People like to feel as if they their experience is interactive.

Post Event: Make sure to post pictures on social media with captions of attendees. The quicker you do this, the quicker the buzz around the event will continue. The people who did attend will be anxious to see the pictures of themselves and their friends, as well as the other attendees and the people who were not able to attend will want to see pictures of people who did.

Storify: Make sure you storify it and share it with your audience, this is just another way to keep people talking and perhaps read some of the comments they may have missed from the event.