The 6 Personas Of Online Sharers — Part 1

The 6 Personas Of Online Sharers — Part 1

Your sister does, your college roommate might, your colleague always is and what about your competitors?

Do you ever wonder about the type of people who share content online?

Here’s some helpful insights from a recent New York Times study — The Psychology of Sharing – Why Do People Share Online?. The surveyinvolved 2,500 online sharers, a one-week immersion sharing panel and in-person interviews.

This is part 1 of a two-part post. Part 2 talks about the key guidelines for getting content shared.

The Times study identified 6 personas of sharers who are defined by:

  • Emotional motivations.
  • Desired presentation of self.
  • Role of sharing in life.
  • Value of being first to share.

The 6 personas and why they share, how they share and some verbatims from the persona types about sharing:

  • Altruists – helpful, reliable, thoughtful, connected and email. “I sent a couple of articles on nutrition and wellness to a friend with health issues. She e-mailed me to thank me; she appreciated that I had been thinking about her.”
  • Careerists – valuable, intelligent, network and LinkedIn. “I share (things related to) business interests and exchange ideas on how to improve our company’s offerings to our customers.”
  • Hipsters – cutting edge, creative, identity, young, popular and less likely to email. “Sharing is actually part of who I am.”
  • Boomerangs – reaction, validation, empowered, Twitter and Facebook. “When I post controversial things, it makes me look engaged and provocative.”
  • Connectors — creative, relaxed, thoughtful, making plans, email and Facebook. “I got a great deal at the Gansevort Hotel emailed to me. I forwarded it to a bunch of friends, and turned it into girls’ night out.”
  • Selectives — resourceful, careful, thoughtful, informative and email. “I only share things with someone specific if I think they will enjoy it. If they aren’t relevant to the material, there is no pointing sharing it with them.”

How do you feel about these personas? Do they reflect your target audiences and how do you go about identifying your personas for your business and brand?


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