Social sharing is huge.
In less than a decade, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have given rise to a phenomenon that has literally changed the world. At the click of a button, a user anywhere on the planet can immediately share content with friends, family, colleagues and clients, who, thanks to the ripple effect, can repeat the process, ultimately passing a single piece of information on to potentially millions of people.
This empowers individuals and businesses – everyone now has the capability to make a difference. But what does it mean for the future? Five years from now, what types of content will be shared the most, by whom, where and why?
Digital marketing agency Beyond analyzed the social sharing habits of over two thousand active Facebook, Twitter and Google+ users. By evaluating what makes something ‘shareworthy’ today, Beyond made six predictions about sharing habits in the future.
- The rate of shared content will eventually plateau. Users become more passive the longer they are on a social network, which means that brands need to find ways to keep their fans active and engaged
- Like it or not, frictionless sharing is here to stay. While unpopular with many, frictionless sharing has been ushered in by Facebook and is used by Spotify and others. A backlash has already began, but Beyond argues that this will pass and frictionless sharing will soon evolve to become commonplace and more widely accepted
- The Google+ Circles model is likely to catch on. It needs to be simplified for users, but segmenting your social networks into specific friend groups to selectively share content may prove to have legs
- Discount, discount, discount. Consumers will always want discounts and giveaways, and brands that utilize these marketing tools will spur users to continue to share their content
- What we’re prepared to share will evolve. The most common events that people share now are status updates about life achievements, but over time this will likely evolve to include personal milestones sent via frictionless sharing, if this can be made easier
- The reasons why we share will remain the same. The top three reasons for sharing are to inform friends, express a point of view or to say something funny. These elements have been the bedrock of how we have always expressed ourselves to others, and this likely will not change