3 Emotional Responses That Make People Share On Social Media


Last year I wrote about The 18 Responses You Need For Content To Go Viral. Your audience shares content when it affects them in a certain way and they are more likely to share positive than negative content.

BuzzSumo narrowed it down even further. They analysed the social share counts of more than 100 million articles to find out why people share. This is what they learnt.

After looking at the top 10 000 most shared articles across the web, they mapped each one to an emotion, such as joy, sadness, anger, and amusement. This is what the breakdown of emotional responses looked like:

The three most popular emotional reasons for sharing were:

  1. Awe (25%)
  2. Laughter (17%)
  3. Amusement (15%)

They say: ‘The differences between laughter and amusement were blurry at times, but we define amusement as being entertained, and not laugh out loud funny.’

The least popular were sadness and anger, which made up 7%.

In summary, they came up with these 10 criteria if you want to create viral content. You should:

  1. Inspire awe, laughter, or amusement.
  2. Appeal to people’s narcissistic side (BuzzFeed quizzes are an example).
  3. Provide long-form content because it has less competition, and more shares on average.
  4. Use list posts and infographics as they are more likely to be shared.
  5. Make sure your article inspires trust. Have a byline and a biography. Make sure you have a professional logo and design as well.
  6. Mix text with visually appealing elements.
  7. Implement social metadata such as the Facebook preview image.
  8. Reach out to influencers before you write your content.
  9. Promote your article for a week after it’s been published.
  10. Post on a Tuesday. It is the best day to publish and promote content.

Their findings are interesting and it is well worth reading the full article: What Analysing 100 Million Articles Taught Us

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course.

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