Content More Memorable When Shared By Close Friends

Social Media

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Data suggests that content and ideas online spread most effectively through large numbers of people sharing with small groups. There is little supporting data to prove that influencers are the best way to go viral and share information online. The future of media and online advertising is social and social media users are engaged visiting sites like StumbleUpon and Buzzfeed to find out what content friends, families and colleagues are sharing with each other. The proof is in the more than 4 billion page views each month, according to AdAge, the two platforms experience.

There is a sharing behavior that is similar to what happens in the real physical world that disproves the past marketing practice of using influencers to reach audiences. The behavior can be witnessed on both BuzzFeed and StumbleUpon. Online sharing, even viral, takes place most effectively through many small groups not by an influencer or even a few influencers making single posts or tweets. Influencers can reach a wide audience but their effect is actually only for a short time. Content really goes viral when it is shared beyond particular spheres of influence and spreads out across the social web by regular people sharing the content with their friends.

The largest stories on Facebook come from the intimate sharing of people, not from one person sharing in hopes of getting thousands to follow. Sharing is often compared to "word-of-mouth," but when something is recommended in a casual conversation it's far more memorable than if a bullhorn is used to spread the message. Intimate sharing is remarkably more effective than broadcasting. Sharing directly with friends is the most common outlet for content. To get content shared, marketers and publishers should focus on content that will resonate and get people talking to their colleagues, friends and families. Social media is about engaging people in conversations, like the real offline world.

Good insight on how consumers actually share content online: Confirms our finding that reach by number means little. 1 hour ago via Twitter for Mac ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Best way to go viral is by engaging millions who share in small networks, not "influencers" who blast to millions 23 hours ago via HootSuite ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto