The 6 types of social media sharers

When it comes to social media, what you share, how frequently you share, and the networks you use to share can indicate more about your personality than you might think.  According to a recent study by Statpro, there are six types of social media sharers: altruists, hipsters, careerists, boomerangs, selectives and connectors.

In a nutshell, altruists are reliable, helpful individuals who share minimally via email, hipsters are creative, young influencers that use the latest social media tools, while careerists are tech-savvy business networkers that primarily use LinkedIn. Boomerangs are frequent sharers that derive self-expression and fulfillment through social media, connectors use social media as an organizing tool to manage their offline lives, and selectives share informational content through various platforms.

Each category has a familiar prototype – ever noticed that person on your feed who seems to have an update (or more) every hour? That’s probably a boomerang! Or the intellectually inclined individual who uses social media to debate major world issues? He/she would be categorized as a selective sharer.

The top reasons for sharing include value & entertainment, promoting causes, building relationships, self-fulfillment and identity expression.

psychology-of-sharing-infographic

Do you think social media behavior is based on personality traits? What category would you fall under? I’d love to hear 🙂

This article has also been published in Arabian Gazette

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Facebook’s new redesign | Why make ads look like posts?

Facebook has recently introduced a host of changes to the home page, specifically to the right-hand side ads – these are now bigger, aligned differently, and allow you to like the page directly.

Here’s a quick comparison of old versus new:

Image        Image

The new right-hand side ads have the same overall shape as regular news feed posts – which increases user engagement by up to 3 times, according to Facebook News.

But why is making an ad look like a post so effective?

Let’s explore the psychological concept of schemas, which are mental frameworks that help us organize and interpret information.  For example, a child might develop a schema for a bird as having a feathered body, wings, short legs and a beak. So whether the child sees a crow, an ostrich or a seagull, the schema helps him/her understand that these are all birds. Schemas are also called building blocks of knowledge.

Similarly, most Facebook users have developed a schema for a regular post or status update from their friends or family on the news feed. My schema would go something like this –  A funny/interesting/sad text description, large image below, a button to like or comment below that.  You’ll notice that the new Facebook ads follow the same schema! This could be why we’re more inclined to look at these ads, as they confuse our existing schemas for Facebook posts versus ads (my old schema for Facebook ads – boring, lots of text, small image)

So, with the new ad design, I might automatically associate some qualities associated with regular posts (interesting, funny, engaging content) with the ad, and read it anyway. However, we constantly adapt our schemas based on new information, so this is bound to change in the future!

What do you think of Facebook’s ad re-design? I’d love to hear 🙂