Why People Share on Social Media

To understand why people share, we’ll turn to a study on word of mouth by Ernest Dichter, often called “the father of motivation research”, which identified four key motivations that led people to share about brands (we’ve added the headers to the items below):

1 The Product is Worth Talking About
The first (about 33% of the cases) is because of product-involvement. The experience is so novel and pleasurable that it must be shared.

2 It Makes the Sharer Look Good
The second (about 24%) is self-involvement. Sharing knowledge or opinions is a way to gain attention, show connoisseurship, feel like a pioneer, have inside information, seek confirmation of a person’s own judgment, or assert superiority.

3 It Will Help Others
The third (around 20%) is other-involvement. The speaker wants to reach out and help to express neighborliness, caring, and friendship.

4 The Message is Worth Sharing
The fourth (around 20%) is message-involvement. The message is so humorous or informative that it deserves sharing.

Oh, that study is from 1966. More than fifty years on, the channels may have changed but human nature remains the same. People still share based on similar motivations.

The Implications for Social Media

Social Media, as the name suggests, is all about people interacting with other people. Some of those interactions are simply Likes and other instant reactions, which are nice to get but don’t really mean anything.

What you really want to get with your posts are comments and, best of all, shares.

That’s what businesses who get into social media really want — people talking about them and their brands, especially to other people.

In the best possible scenarios, that’s the essence of viral messages — your followers share with their 150 friends, who each share with their 150 friends, and so on.

And that’s why those four key sharing motivations matter for social media.


How Can You Use These Insights?

Well, the first thing you can do is STOP TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF SO MUCH (sorry to shout, but we wanted to get your attention).

According to Sprout Social research, 58% of consumers get annoyed with brands that post too many promotions.

The moment that you STOP SELLING and start providing relevant and valuable content, that’s when you truly start to gain the trust of your followers and build real relationships and connections.

If you want your posts to get noticed and shared, they have to (a) be relevant to your followers; (b) fit into at least one of the four worth-sharing categories listed above.

Do you want to puzzle your way through this yourself, re-inventing the wheel, or can we help, through our NZ Social Media Partner Program?


In the first instance, the NZ Social Media Partner Program begins with a questionnaire that we send you by email that seeks to understand your product or service and your customer/prospect. We ask about:

  • your target audience(s)
  • the product(s) and/or service(s) you wish to promote
  • any keywords and/or hashtags you are currently using
  • any key timings that need to be factored into your marketing activity
  • the offer(s) you can make to encourage product/service purchases
  • any branding requirements

Once we have gathered and analyzed all this information, we will provide you with recommendations on how best to proceed with your Social Media Marketing, and which of the four key motivations are relevant for your business.


Then we move to Phase Two, the monthly ongoing program, the NZ Social Media Partner Program, which includes:


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you knew exactly what was coming up over the next month or so, both locally and nationally (and sometimes internationally), so that you could talk about topics near and dear to the hearts of your followers?

It was that thinking that led us to create our New Zealand Social Media Content Calendar. It’s a monthly listing of significant upcoming NZ events that can form the basis of many of your social media posts — and with enough notice that you can actually post something meaningful.

For example, if you knew that your followers were likely to be interested in the New Zealander of the Year Awards, check out the 13th of February. That’s when the gala night is on in Auckland — and a few minutes googling should see you find out enough information to write about the topic, whilst leveraging one or more of the four key motivations.

Similarly, whatever your followers are into, the Social Media Content Calendar will alert you to what’s happening over the next month.

We provide you with each month’s calendar, which optimises and incorporates dates which are important to your audience (public holidays, seasonal changes, regional events etc). You should then add in your own dates which are important to you (promotional periods, launches, changes to services etc).




There’s more to Social Media than just talking about What’s On, of course, which is why we also provide you with our Most Effective Social Media Posts, a monthly report listing the types of posts that really work (along with real Social Media examples, which can instruct and inspire you).

In our monthly report, we provide examples of organisations using similar techniques and show you exactly how you might leverage such tactics for your own use, again using one or more of the four key motivations.



Next we provide you with our special Social Media Content Ideas report, at least 50 monthly suggestions of content ideas that you can quickly adapt and use to promote your own organisation. The content ideas will again be shaped in accordance with those key motivations.


If this sounds like it could work for you, simply sign up for our monthly NZ Social Media Partner Program.



PHASE ONE of the NZ Social Media Partner Program is an initial investment of just $797+GST, for which we provide you with specific recommendations for your brand and product category.

That’s followed by PHASE TWO of the NZ Social Media Partner Program, which is just $397+GST per month. There are no long-term commitments, you can cancel at any time and have nothing more to pay.

However, as a special introductory offer up until Wednesday March 13, we will provide you with the NZ Social Media Partner Program for an initial investment of just $697+GST, then a monthly payment of just $297+GST.

To sign up for the NZ Social Media Partner Program, for an initial payment of $697+GST ($801.55 including GST) and then just $297+GST ($341.55 including GST) per month, please pay by credit card via PayPal by clicking here.


NB Your credit card will be billed monthly through PayPal, but you’re not making a long-term commitment, you can cancel at any time.


Once you sign up, we’ll send you an email questionnaire so that we can find out more about your business and your customers and prospects. Then, within 2-3 weeks, we’ll start sending you content relevant to your business category and your chosen social channels.


The NZ Social Media Partner Program has been created and is administered by Netmarketing Courses, senior marketing professionals based in New Zealand, with a collective experience of 30 years in digital marketing and more than 40 years in advertising, strategic development and copywriting. We work with clients like you to produce relevant and valuable content which audiences enjoy and which meet your objectives.

You can read more about us on the About page of this website.


If you have any queries about our NZ Social Media Partner Program, or would like more information, you can email us at bookings@socialmedia.org.nz.

PS We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that we have plenty of courses to help you learn more about Social Media Marketing. Check out our Online Courses section of this website.

Michael Carney Written by: