The Most Obvious Reason People Share on Social Media

by | Jan 16, 2018 | Formation, Social, Social Media

It seems that most Vincentian Family groups don’t understand why people really share on social media.

Yes, people use social media for entertainment, to connect with others, and to be heard. Some even use it for formation. But there’s a deeper motivation behind why people share anything on social media.

Shoring up your public persona

People use social media to shore up their public persona – the version of themselves they want the world to see. Vincentians do the same thing.

Every single time we share something on social media, we are expressing who we are to friends, family, colleagues, and even complete strangers. And what we share reflects how we want to appear (our public self or persona). It is both formational and evangelistic if we do it right!

How peers perceive us is very important (we’re hard-wired this way, sorry) and this plays out in what (and how) we share online. Most people won’t admit this, but it’s true.

Carl Jung talked about this persona as a “mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual”.

It’s a little different for us. Our “mask” is more like a “sacrament”: what we show on Facebook — what people see and read — ought to be a sharing in the reality that’s behind it. It’s a type of synecdoche: a small piece gives access to the whole. When we say or “show” Vincentian, it ought to give entry to a reality: a past and present experience of a charism.

The most important content marketing question

So the next time you’re crafting content, ask yourself:

“What will their friends think about them or come to know about them and us when they share this post?”

Captain Obvious

This is a “Vicentian rewrite” of John Haydon’s blog post. John Haydon is one of the most sought-after digital marketing experts for nonprofits and charities. He has helped hundreds of nonprofits realize their best marketing and fundraising results.


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