Its Good to Share

Paul Richer, 27 Feb 2013 16:56

I am organising a seminar on social media at Arabian Travel Market this year.  I will have three speakers talking about different aspects of the subject, so do come along to listen and learn.

Social media is a subject that is fascinating the travel industry.  It is going on around us and we need to get involved; not because it is fun, but because it has positive commercial implications.

A survey came out today.  It was carried out by Brainjuicer for the Three mobile network in the UK.  The survey is about sharing on social media.  It brought home to me that, rather than social media being a new phenomena, it just fulfils two age-old human traits: one - we love to know what’s going on around us – we are the most curious of species; two - we have this desire to share our news and opinions with others.

The emotive objectives behind this desire to share seem to be various.  A study by the New York Times Customer Insight Group on “The Psychology of Sharing” identified six different types of sharer:

These are the selfless sharers who are reliable and connected with others. They often share relevant, helpful, and thoughtful content like new job-postings or medical articles to friends in need.

These are the sharers who do so with career success at heart. They are intelligent internet users who share valuable content with others (eg. on LinkedIn) in an effort to build professional relationships.

These sharers are typically young, and like to share content that is popular, cutting-edge, and creative. They share mostly to establish a hip identity for themselves.  Find them on Facebook or Twitter.

These are the sharers who seek a reaction from others in order to validate their sense of self and to feel empowered.  Are celebrities who tweet in this category?

These are the more relaxed and thoughtful sharers, who share content in an effort to connect with others and, ultimately, to make plans.

These are careful sharers who share resourceful stuff with others in order to inform them.

According to the Study, these different types of sharers are sharing for one of five reasons:

1. to bring valuable and entertaining content to others.
2. to define themselves to others.
3. to grow and nourish relationships.
4. for self-fulfilment.
5. to promote causes or brands.

What you need to think about is how to capitalise on this for the good of your own business. Should your company be on Facebook?  Should you be tweeting?  If so, what?  Are you putting videos on YouTube?  Are you tapping into the power of bloggers?  There are so many questions.  Come along to the seminar and hear the answers (Tuesday 7 May, 13:30).

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