A member in the American Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Special Interest Group asked about the definition of a “sharable” post in social media. I thought I would reprint my take on the answer here.
It definitely brings up the question of what sharing means — and what defines content.
On Facebook, if someone “likes” a post, they have read it and, presumably, enjoyed or agreed with it. They may not even realize that when clicking “Like” FB tells all their friends (and possibly their friends and the public depending on privacy settings) that they did that. So in once sense people may think they are they only consumed the content but in taking a social action, they shared it. Letting the people you are connected with follow what you do is part of the nature of social sites whether you are conscious of wanting to share or not. So I would say that creating posts of any kind that engage viewers and inspire them to take a social action could be a definition of “sharable”.
On the other side is creating media with the direct purpose of having that media be moved through the online world. Things that are especially sharable inspire, annoy or amuse people. Photos and videos come to mind first, but think outside of that. Can you embed a message in a photo? Can you take written text and turn it into an image? Your slide decks, reports and data can all be turned into visual snapshots that give you content that is sharable.
The hard part, in both words and images, is making it interesting enough for people to want to share it. Its really important to know your audience and align your content to them. In fact, engaging in social media is a great way to test your message. There is nothing like it for fast feedback. To get a sense of what your audience is responding to best, check you Page Insights and sort the lists under post type to see what types of posts have the best reach, engagement and virility. I bet you’ll see your photo and video posts at the top of the list, You can use this easy tool to see what people interact with most and do more of it.