Why do we share on social media

My Heart Is Hers

When you ask how to get folks to share your blog posts, ReTweet your Tweets, pin your pics and so forth, you are asking the wrong question. It's not about how, it's about why.

What you really need to ask is why would someone share, Tweet or pin this. In most cases there's a simple answer to that.

As awful as it sounds it's the truth: The foremost reason for people to share things on social media is selfishness. Give some, get some.

That means sharing is actually very often wanting something. Below is listed a couple of things people want when they share.


The first reason for everyone to share any content, blog, Tweet, answer questions on Quora or what ever we are doing online is to get noticed. Get attention, show off and get validation.

Sharing is a way to get that attention. You don't get only the attention from those who you share with, but also from the person whose content you shared. And all the attention is good.


In some cases sharing can lead to stuff. I mean those occasions when the sharer gets things, perks, sales and such for sharing something.

Sharing may be part of a giveaway or a contest. Or it's one of those things where you can "buy" something by Tweeting about it.

Recognition of expertise

Us humans have a strange affection: Wanting to be "someone". Internet provides a great way to show skills and get recognition of some sort.

Sharing content on social media has begun a way to show your expertise on certain subjects. If you are a marketer, you might share marketing related articles. In the case you are a selfmade handcrafted Etsy seller, you are likely to share content about handmade stuff and making sales on Etsy.

Sharing content by others is a way to say: "This is my domain. Look, I read stuff about this subject. Therefore I must know something about it too."

How to utilize this?

When you want your content to be shared, you need to think what the person sharing gets from it. Do they get attention, and if so, who's attention are they getting? Do they get stuff, participate on a competition or have a chance of getting something later? Do they get recognition of their expertise?

Find what makes it profitable for the person sharing your content. As stated above it's often something else than what money can buy.

Photo by Sean McGrath under Creative Commons license.

Suomeksi (In Finnish): 

Jos kysyt miten saat jengin jakamaan bloggauksiasi, Twitter viestejäsi, Pinterest kuvia ja niin edelleen, kysymyksesi on ihan väärä. Kyse ei ole siitä miten, vaan miksi. Miksi joku jakaisi juuri tämän jutun? Useinmiten vastaus on yksinkertainen. Todennäköisin syy jakamiseen sosiaalisessa mediassa on kaikessa kurjuudessaan itsekkyys. Usein kyse on siitä, että jakaja haluaa jotakin. Oli se sitten huomion hakemista, tavaraa tai henkilökohtaisen asiantuntijuuden tunnistamista, kyse on siitä, millaista hyötyä sisältösi jakamisesta saa. Mikä tekee sisältösi jakamisesta tuottoisaa sen jakajalle? Kuten saatat huomata listaamistani asioista, useinkaan ei ole kyse konkreettisesta tai rahallisesta tuotosta.

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I'm Mervi Eskelinen

I'm an artist, nerd and creative business wizard, dedicated to help you build the business of your dreams, market your creativity, and find a meaningful way to support your lifestyle.

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