5 Triggers to Get People to Share Your Content

Team Coosto
Creation date: 07/08/2019 02:00
Last updated: 25/05/2022 08:54

We all want our content to earn engagement, to be successful and to deliver conversions, but despite being bombarded with tips on how to increase likes and clicks, we’re left pretty much in the dark when it comes to making it easier to share our content. Help is at hand though, as we’ve compiled 5 triggers that may make people more inclined to share your content.

1. Satisfaction

Content that’s shared the most is content that generates the most pleasure after reading it. It must leave the reader, viewer or listener feeling a little bit better informed or happier. It’s not difficult to create this sense of satisfaction, all you have to do is give an answer or solution to an issue affecting your target group. How do I make apple pie? What caused the banking crisis? Why aren’t bananas straight? What’s the best time to post on social media? Posing these kinds of questions and answering them leaves your readers satisfied: “Great, something else I know.”

So, why is this kind of content with solutions and answers more likely to be shared? Your reader feels satisfied after reading the content and then receives an additional reward by sharing it because any followers or friends who read it will experience the same sense of satisfaction, which contributes to the sharer’s status on social media.

2. Amazing Design

A piece of content, whether it’s a web page, news article or video, hangs or falls on how it’s designed. It can mean the difference between a visitor unconsciously deciding whether to read the content or clicking through to another page. Design is therefore an important factor because it has to be appealing enough to get visitors to read content and consequently to share it.

A well-designed piece can also help generate a wow factor, which in itself can be enough for it to be shared on social media. The special made by Dutch broadcaster NOS about depression is a good example. This page was published a year ago, but is still being shared on social media.

3. Element of Surprise

It may seem strange in this age of cognitive dissonance when everybody seems to live in their own bubbles, but content that challenges existing thinking patterns is shared more often.

Here’s a small test. Which of these articles would you read first?

  1. Start your strategy with a clear goal
  2. Take account of your target group in your communications
  3. Why content marketing is nonsense

I’ll answer for you, because I’m pretty sure you’d go for the 3rd option, even though you yourself work in content marketing. That’s because the first two are far too obvious, while the third has real stopping power. You’re probably going to disagree with the author, but can't resist taking a look anyway. Frustrated, you read the piece in complete disagreement, and decide to share it on your social media while denouncing it. The important thing is, though ... you shared it. 

Perhaps that’s not the way you want your content to be shared, but you can invert the same idea to get a lot of shares from a positive perspective. Take an important or popular subject, and approach it from a less obvious angle. You could, for example, make an unexpected comparison (How to create better content by watching Netflix) or defend a controversial. The result will be that this type of content will be clicked and shared more often.

4. Emotion

As Point 1 showed, informative and practical content promotes sharing. However, you can also take the opposite approach, and post emotional content. It’s an inherent human characteristic to want to share emotions and feelings, both positive and negative. This is why friends and contacts on social media will really push you to engage with emotional content. You’re probably familiar with comments such as “This is so moving, you have to read it", or “Haha, watch this video”.

You can exploit the same thing in your content. Whether it concerns an emotional video, a humorous column, or a sad story. Unleashing an emotion on your target group will make them much more likely to share your content.

5. A Challenge

Although the last point is quite obvious, it’s sometimes forgotten: if you want people to share your content, just ask. Sometimes it can be very simple, such as the famous ‘World Record Egg’ posted by the Egg Gang with a message asking people to help make it the most liked post on Instagram, which set a world record.


It goes without saying that you don’t have to be so blunt and literal. Simply asking people to share a post or article with the reasoning that it will then reach more people often works very well. If your followers support your message, they’ll often be more than willing to share your content.

This recommendation doesn’t apply to ‘Share & Win’ competitions, which are banned on most social media. They can indeed result in content being shared, but very rarely promote any affinity with your brand.

Measure How Often Your Content Is Shared

So there you have them, the five triggers: satisfaction, amazing design, an element of surprise, emotion, and a challenge. From now on, try to use at least one of these triggers in your content, and use your social media planner to measure whether your posts are being shared more. Do you use a social media monitoring tool? If you do, you can immediately see if and how often your web pages, blogs or articles are shared.

By the way, did you enjoy this blog? Do you think it could help your network? Please share it on social media, and spread the word.


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