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The 6 types of social sharers—and how to put them to work for you

When it comes to brand engagement on social media, it’s no longer a skeptical question of “why,” but rather the ravenous pursuit of “how.” Not “How can my brand reach its prospects?” or “How can I get them to care about what we’re saying?” Now, the 10-million-dollar question is “How can I get them to share with others?” No matter how strong your social media reach or wide your audience, the fact of the matter is you simply can’t reach everyone. Let’s amend that – you simply can’t reach everyone –but your followers can reach everyone who matters. According to a New York Times’ customer insight group study, there are six kinds of online sharers:

1. Altruists. These people are caring givers who only share things they consider to be helpful or useful to others. They value their personal connections and won’t spam content just for the sake of it, so your posts need to carry intrinsic value within their messages.

2. Careerists. You’ll find ladder climbers and ambitious consumers here. For them, sharing is more akin to networking and is reserved for things that bolster their professional reputation and reflect well on their career. They only find merit in content that says something important about their industry or professionals.

3. Hipsters. There are few things hipsters pride themselves on more than being first – whether it’s to a food, band, show, hot spot, or brand. Their persona is carefully cultivated around that which is new and cutting edge, so your content needs to be too.

4. Boomerangs. These sharers thrive in the spotlight and often seek validation from their audience. Social media affords them the ideal venue in which to achieve both – so your content needs to elicit the recognition they crave.

5. Connectors. The number one priority for these consumers is to feel connected to others. The sharing of content is a convenient way to maintain constant contact with their family, friends, and followers.

6. Selectives. Your toughest audience, this group is very careful and discerning when deciding what content to share and with whom. The content they do share, however, is often more highly regarded for it.

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Now that you know the psychology of your audience, you need to adapt your strategies to cater to the type of content they’re more likely to share. Your messaging should be:

Personalized. Welcome to your newest buzzword: Personalized content. Studies have found that consumers are 75 percent more likely to engage with a brand that recognizes them by name, is familiar with their past activity, and utilizes previous purchases or behaviors for new recommendations. People are more likely to share a brand with such thoughtful engagement.

Valuable. Social content is about more than just promoting your brand. Conversions are the end-game, but consumers will see right through a sales pitch in engagement clothing. They need to find personal value in your content before they even consider sharing it with someone else.

Authentic. Today’s social media can seem like smoke and mirrors to the critical consumer – so your brand needs to feel real and earnest. 86 percent of your audience – including 90 percent of coveted millennials – list brand authenticity as a must, and you want these selective millennials (and their projected 2020 $1.4 trillion buying power) to feel compelled to share your content with the world.

Unique. In such crowded marketspaces, it’s never been harder to be unique – but it is vital to the creation of shareable content. Your messaging needs to be the one that halts the ever-scrawling finger and outshines every other post in their feed – and move that scrolling finger to the @.

Social media marketing is the biggest content battlefield in existence today. It can be difficult to cut through the noise of other brands and deliver your message to the masses. That’s why it’s vital to craft the quality content social sharers will be compelled to, well, share.


Associate Copywriter


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