From January to October 2015, U.S. brands published 35 million posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, sparking 65 billion actions with social audiences (i.e., comments, shares, re-Tweets, etc.). Yet just 7 percent of these actions involved sharing of a brand's content.1 Despite what is increasingly recognized as the value of shared content for building brand equity, to the author's knowledge there has been scant study on what actually makes content shareable and the psychological drivers that prompt sharing. Replicating an earlier framework that outlined ways to increase virality of content, the author tracked the 2,000 most-shared social posts over a 12-month period on Facebook and then surveyed more than 10,000 social-media users about what might drive them to share that content online.
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