What do social followers share?

When businesses embark on social media marketing campaigns, their goals are often centered around boosting their brands' relationship with current clients and reaching new prospects. Doing this involves providing content and starting conversations on social sites like LinkedIn and Facebook that encourages people not only to interact with the brand but also urge their contacts to do so as well by sharing a company's posts, photos and videos. That's why marketers constantly strive to determine what type of social media content is most likely to get shared by brand followers.

Recent research from Ipsos set out to answer this question. The company surveyed 12,420 people around the world who had shared content via their social media profiles in the past month. According to the study, 61 percent of survey participants said they post or tweet content to share "interesting things." Forty-three percent reported doing so to share "important things," and an equal portion did so to share content they deemed humorous. Another 37 percent shared information via social media to let others know what they believe and more about their individual identity.

Other major reasons for sharing included recommending a product or service and support a cause, belief or organization.

Providing relevant, intriguing content is key
Survey respondents in the United States were among those most likely to "share interesting things." While social media can be a great way to promote the brand's offerings, the most shareable content appears to consistent of information followers deem stimulating and unique.

When it comes to B2B marketing, companies must realize people's brand interactions are increasingly occurring in the social sphere. In addition to serving as a channel, for customer service, social media can be used to disseminate content that followers want to share with their connections.

Brands leading content marketing initiatives on social media sites with the aim of boosting shares, likes and comments should understand the intricacies of each social site to ensure they're investing their efforts wisely. What works on Facebook doesn't necessarily have the same outcome on Twitter, and taking the time to tailor content for each platform pays off immensely. For example, Facebook posts should be image-heavy, while effective Twitter posts contain bold facts or statistics.

It's important to note that as brands refine their social media marketing strategies, they'll likely to find their target audience is more active on certain sites over others. Businesses should recognize this and ensure they're focusing more resources on the outlets that provide the best results.

Sheila Kloefkorn (1031 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.