Share This Article and Enhance Your Social Status

It’s now estimated that 500million items of content are “shared” or “liked” around the globe every day. This phenomenon has not escaped the notice of marketers. Launching endless content into the digital universe to capture a slice of this free distribution. But what motivates people to “share” so avidly? Well it’s actually hard wired into our most primitive, instinctive behaviour.

Since man first learned to communicate, the sharing of knowledge and stories have been a key plank of our evolutionary success. But it goes beyond even that. Showing people where there’s a good place to hunt, or how to light a fire gains trust and helps those who matter to us. Building reciprocal information sharing relationships is also important to our personal survival, as it’s always good to be tipped off when a sabre tooth tiger is lurking about or where to find food in times of famine!

Sharing “titbits” is used by many creatures as part of mating rituals and attracting a mate. It enhances your genetic status if you know where to find the best food or how to construct the best nest. Today the power of content to be shared is driven by the value of the reward it gives. Entertaining and relationship affirming content, or where to bag a bargain are some of the most shared content types amongst consumers. Knowledge, understanding and insight feed the corporate beast. Both are driven by the same instinct – to build reciprocal relationships that might one day confer a competitive advantage. So why not share this article? It may not enhance your chances of finding a mate, but at least your “friends” will admire your intellect and maybe share something more valuable in return!

Andrew Woodger
Andrew is a fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing and heads up Purple’s data and planning teams. Having started his career in the music business, he turned client side marketer with spells at United Biscuits, Asda, Peugeot and Nissan, before jumping ship to immerse himself in the world of data. Now a committed planner and brand strategist, he has worked with clients including First Direct, Next Directory, Honeywell and Flight Centre blending research and data insight with a marketer’s instinct for a good proposition. Away from marketing you’ll find him on a cricket pitch or building sandcastles on the beach!