As a bad witch, I adore social media. Social media allows me to deploy some classic bad-ass witchy skills (glamor, persuasion, influence, sigils, hypnotic spells) to gain power, influence, and money.
As with most witchery, I find the key to success in social media spellcasting is understanding the underlying principles that guide its movement, and then working with those underlying principles.
The Social Media Grand Spell
So here’s a key principle to understand about how sharing on social media works so that you can handle it magically:
People always and only share things that help them express their identity.
Knowing that is the biggest key to inspiring people to share your stuff (articles, pictures, memes, videos) on social media. And of course, the more people share your stuff, the bigger your influence and audience grows, the more money you can make as a business witch.
I’ll say it again because it’s just so basically, fundamentally, crucially true: people always – and I mean always, without exception – share whatever they feel best helps them express their identity.
It’s a little harsh but it’s true: no one wants to share your brand’s identity or your businesses’ message…. unless that person already feels so identified with your brand or product or service that talking about how much she loves it helps others to understand who she is.
The more you think about social sharing from your audiences’ and potential customers’ point of view, the more you understand that they might “Like” your businesses’ posts – they might even comment on those posts – but there’s no way that a member of your audience will share your post (and thus extend your reach and make your content go viral) unless he feels that sharing it helps to him to express something meaningful and worthwhile about himself.
The examples that I’ll give here are specifically inspired by Facebook (since it’s the big behemoth and thus the lingua franca of social media marketing), but if you consider these for a moment, you’ll find that the same principles will apply equally to every other existing form of social media – Twitter, Instagram, etc.
The real reasons why people share
I find that it helps first to understand that every post that a person makes on social media contains both an underlying statement of her identity and an underlying request for validation of her identity from others.
Let’s explore these so you can better know how to inspire people to share your brand’s content on social media.
Below, the first statement, in italics, is the underlying statement of identity and the second sentence, in parentheses, is the underlying request for validation of identity from others.
Let’s consider some things people often want to express about themselves.
- I have a great sense of humor! (Check out this funny youtube clip or LOLcat picture, isn’t it hilarious?)
- I care about important causes! (See this political meme I’m sharing, isn’t it moving?)
- My life is busy / fulfilling / tiring and I’m angry / grateful / sad! (Listen to me tell you a story about my day, doesn’t it strike a chord with you too?)
- I have excellent taste in music and an intense inner emotional life! (Listen to this music video or song I’m sharing, don’t you enjoy it, too?)
- I am thoughtful and deep! (Check out this in-depth article about a subject I care about, isn’t it interesting?)
- I celebrate the beauty in my life! (Check out these pictures of my beautiful friends, family, lunch, birdhouse, aren’t they worth attention and admiration?)
- I am helpful and in-the-know! (Let me tell you about cool upcoming events, discounts, neat stuff, aren’t you grateful I did?)
Now consider this: in order to make certain that your brand’s content is shared, all you have to do is make sure that the content resonates with an underlying statement of identity that people want to make, and that it has a high chance of winning for them the kind of validation that they want from their friends and associates. Do this consistently, and people will share your stuff consistently.
In future articles, I’ll explore examples and case studies of just exactly how you can make this magic work for your business’ social media marketing. In the meantime, get your witchy mind thinking about how you can create content that resonates with the identity that your potential customers want to project and can get them the kind of social validation that they desire.
In the meantime, if you’re a business witch who could use some help getting her social media mojo going at full force, I invite you to contact me for a free coaching Exploratory Session.
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