To Share Or To Be Shared On Facebook – That Is The Question

In Social Media & Online PR, The Digital Marketing Blogby Sonya1 Comment


We create the same amount of data per week nowadays, as humanity created from the beginning of time until 2003. Trying to get your head around this is almost impossible, especially if you want to stand out of the crowd with your own unique content. At this year’s Facebook Marketing conference in London, the digital marketing agency ‘beyond’ presented their research that worldwide people share more than 4 billion pieces of information with each other every day. It should be your goal to be the creator of one of these pieces of information.

In order to cut through the noise, as marketers often say, it is important for brands to understand the way of how people share and why they do it. A report published by Google found that the average consumer has 11 points of contact with the product before actually buying it. This means if either on a billboard, or Facebook ad, friend recommendation or TV ad you usually see or hear about a product 11 times before you actually decide to buy it. The art is to not only be one of the contact points that only initiate the purchase but to draw the consumer to your specific brand and trigger the purchase.

One of the main obstacles to solve is the problem of trust. Although some brands managed to gain the trust of the consumer, reality proves that most of us wouldn’t trust anyone more than a friend or family member if it comes down to recommendations. ‘Beyond’ classified 7 types of social sharers on social platforms:

  1.        Altruists (39%) – share because they want to help others
  2.        Selectives (26%) – share because its relevant to a friend
  3.        Passionates  (17%) – share because they share a passion with someone
  4.        Connectors (8%)  – share to inspire
  5.        Trendspotters (5%) – share to prove they are on top of the news
  6.        Provocateurs (3%) – share because they want a reaction
  7.        Careerists (2%) – share because it helps them in business

Looking at the figures we can see that it’s particularly important to gain the attention of the first 3 types. Whatever content you publish it should preferably appeal to either the Altruist, Selective or Passionate user of Facebook. Depending on the fan base your brand has accumulated you can choose between different forms of unique content to gain their interest.

Most importantly however is the nature of the relationship between the platform and the sharers. People spend on average 20 minutes daily on Facebook because they want to socialise (help, inspire, prove something or trigger a reaction), not shop. The secret entry point for brands is therefore to join the conversation and appear on their fans timeline.  The study shows that 38% of people who follow a brand online are more likely to buy the product later on as they have more points of contact with the brand than a person who doesn’t like a brand page. Consequently, content that is easy to share will reach more than just their fans but also their friends through personal recommendations, making sharing crucial to the success of your business.

The report by ‘Beyond’ shows that in the UK 43% of people who received a recommendation are prompted to purchase and 9% are encouraged to visit the (online) store to check it out. In order to capture this energy it is incredibly important to be active on a continual basis and make your content unique and appealing to your fan base. This will ensure that your content will be considered important enough to make that extra click and share it on a friend’s wall over and over again.

‘Beyond’s’ presentation can be found on slideshare and for greater insights into the Google report visit their GoogleThink page.


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  1. Great observation and analysis. I find the information very useful in understanding how to leverage the use of FB along with other marketing strategies.

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