I have been analysing the psychology of Google+ for quite a while now and wanted to consider the value of sharing content to which we relate.
The Basic Principles:
Whether someone is a newbie or are seasoned on Google+, through sharing you will be spreading messages that would not otherwise be seen. This, I realise is so important:
If we don’t share, then other people will be missing out on content that could be valuable to them.
And there are 400 million people on here, so any one person cannot reach everyone. As +Vic Gundotra states here:
And yes, +1 and comment, of course as these are useful ways to engage as well.
Sharing is the vehicle that drives social media interaction, and on Google+ what you share can result in a more in-depth and fruitful conversation than what is seen on many other social networks.
- How to refine a search e.g. posts from you, your Circles etc.
- Why sharing really matters on Google+
- More likely to be added into relevant circles when people notice you
- Engage, Connect, Relate
For more tips check out the “Are You Commoogling?” video series!
What then, happens in practical terms?
Sharing allows a message to spread beyond a person’s own network – it increases their ‘reach’ and allows them to feel you appreciate their content i.e. when they see ‘the share’ in notifications they will feel pleased you liked it enough to share. It could be Google+ related, a picture of a cat with caption, a geek post, news, science etc – whatever the person with whom you want to connect is ‘into’!
It doesn’t matter if it is original content of curated, people will still tend to feel appreciated when something is shared.
Also, people who then get to see those posts will also be appreciative that ‘you’ were the one who shared it – this is why so many people h/t (hat tip:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hat_tip) to acknowledge who enabled them to experience the post, and hence share forward.
Your network is not the same as anyone else’s network – different people will see content at different times of day as well. Sharing is important.
+1s and comments matter – comments help people to ‘relate’ but I believe connections are also built very easily through the act of consistent sharing.
It creates a process in mind where two people are beginning to become entangled even more.
Now to the psychology…
Let’s consider the process that occurs in mind when someone shares…
1. The notification box lights up
2. You click
3. You see someone has ‘shared’ your post
4. Assuming your attention is present during the action, you experience ‘something in mind’ e.g. you re-cognize their name, or it could be someone new
5. This could trigger an emotion e.g. a positive lift as you enjoy seeing the share; if you know them, it could be visual image of the person, leading to a string of related thoughts about them specifically; or it could lead to a string of connections across several posts that connect up dots in the relationship story etc.
For those interested, I have written more on this here:https://plus.google.com/u/0/114918475211209783081/posts/PxYfkScRjZs
Whichever way, there is something that occurs in mind, assuming presence of one’s awareness.
The more people tend to share, as it has such a strong emotional response for many people, the more likely connections are made between those people. Sharing truly is a step on the way to caring and connecting in new ways.
Note: during this process, different people is likely to lead to a subtly different effect in mind.
People with greater RippleRank will have more reach as they have more onward shares (i.e. people then share into their network/the influencers) and are likely to give more of a pull in mind/emotional lift when they share. I believe it is important to take note of this, especially as influencers can make a huge difference to your messages being transmitted later on when they relate more and more to your content.
What’s in it for the person sharing?
1. If you really want to connect then sharing is a great way to get noticedin the early days especially, but it is likely that connections need to be continually reinforced or they will weaken over time.
I learned from the best, including +Jaana Nyström +Denis Labelle +Thomas Morffew +Elaine Lindsay +Mark Traphagen +Jack C Crawford +Shamil Weerakoon +Rahul Roy and +pio dal cin, to name a just a few, that saying thank you to the shares on really important posts is a way of reinforcing the relationship.
If you don’t share, then does it mean you don’t care?
No, but sharing is an integral aspect to G+ as it is also a symbol that you relate to that content, hence wanting your network of people to see it also.
So, if you relate to the content, why not share?
2. You want people the people you interact with to circle you, right?
Well, you are far more likely to get noticed if you are regularly sharing.
But getting circled is really much more of a symbolic gesture that we are ‘connected’ than anything that will ‘move you on’ – you never know, you could be circled and put into a ‘muted’ circle that they don’t ever look at, just to stop you +1ing every post in your stream!
Sharing can be a deep symbolic gesture that you ‘relate to their content’.
It is a great way to say “Yes! I relate to this and as such, I want a relationship with you over time.”
3. Reciprocation is complex (as it could be inherent in simply sharing good content) but could be added to/supplemented when a person shares a circle and, effectively, promotes you into their network. This can really give you a boost in numbers of people circling you back – and they are people who are likely to relate to you, if they relate to the person who share (a few caveats there, of course).
I see sharing information as central to commoogling. It is about transfer across a network of message from an initial source; it is about sharing content that matters to you; commoogling, to me, is about us all working together towards achieving our own unique potential – no matter what that may be!
As I have described, every person who shares will essentially be forming links back to the person from whom they shared onwards. This process may see a little abstract but I believe that as the Google ecosystem really starts to display itself, it will become a central feature. Even now, someone can write/share a post, then you share it and you could well appear with your Google+ profile image alongside the content in the search engines. This would be what people in your network (and not mine) would see – you are an influencer in their future decisions.
This is going to be one heck of a fun ride as things start to progress even more quickly.
I am still working it out and hope you are enjoying yourself as much as I do!