January 2017

Marketing Insights: Sharing emotions = social media shares

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One of the hardest marketing goals to accomplish is the widespread sharing of a company’s message on social media.

Social media sharing, if successful, can be a windfall for a business.

Garnering hundreds, thousands or even millions of views basically for free. Sharing, by its very nature, is also received as a trusted third-party endorsement because a friend, family member or acquaintance usually sends it.

The real challenge is understanding why and what people share the most. It comes down to emotions. The videos and messages shared most online create some kind of emotional response in the viewer. Whether it’s a feeling of joy, sadness, surprise, shock or others, it’s an emotion that goes deeper than just an intellectual response.

When people “feel” something strongly, they also feel compelled to share that emotion within their circle of friends and family. Sometimes the share is driven by a desire to allow others to have a similar reaction, while other times it is shared to show everyone what the sender believes in or stands for.

For marketers, the important thing to remember is whatever emotion their communication is portraying will be linked to their brand. So it is important to ensure the emotion relates to the brand in a natural and believable way.

While almost any form of communication can create an emotional response in the viewer, pictures and even better, videos are the most effective vehicles because these approaches capture interest quicker and are the easiest to digest.

An example of promoting sharing can be seen with Insight Marketing Design’s development of cartoons to accompany a Missouri Corn effort to build support to convince government officials to not alter the Renewable Fuel Standard. The cartoons, while demonstrating a serious issue, made people laugh and also created outrage. This helped it become the most shared element in the campaign. The sharing activity allowed their message to reach a larger audience and grow involvement.

Developing social media shares is an unpredictable art. Some become wildly popular, while millions more go generally unnoticed. While there is never a guarantee with viral marketing, focusing on emotions is a key aspect for success.

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