What Makes People Share Content Online?

You want people to find out about you and your music right?  The dream of most bands is to go ‘viral’ on the Internet however that’s probably beyond the scope of most bands.  That said, for smaller bands with little conventional media coverage YouTube and social networks are certainly your most important tools and to get the exposure you need you need people to share your content to grow your audience.

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So, if we want people to share our stuff online, perhaps it would be beneficial to examine what makes people share content online? Marketing agency B & T looked at a New York Times report which identified five reasons:

1) To bring valuable and entertaining content to others.
2) To define ourselves to others.
3) To grow and nourish our relationships.
4) Self-fulfillment.
5) To get the word out about causes and brands.

Ok. Let’s run these points through a ‘music’ filter:

  • People want to be helpful and share quality music and entertaining videos to their friends because they liked it and they think their friends would like it and appreciate it too.
  • Sharers feel as though they are doing their friends a favour, and by sharing it will bring them closer.
  • People use content to help define themselves.  It’s the same way that someone might wear a Ramones t-shirt, music helps shape how other people see us. It helps create our identity.


So, armed with this information, ask yourself:

  • Are you creating music that is resonates with people? The sort of music where people can ‘find themselves’?
  • Are you creating music so good people want to want to share it?
  • Are your videos so entertaining that people want to pass them along?  

Not everything you create or post online is going to hit all these criteria however at the back of your mind you should always be thinking about the impact your music/videos/posts will have.  If you can create something that resonates with people and genuinely entertains you’re more likely to get it shared.  If your music and videos fail to connect, resonate and entertain people then you’ll have a hard job getting people to share them online.

Perhaps as musicians we should focus less on quantity and more on quality with an eye on the end result. 

Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?

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