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Emotional Force

Emotional Force

Why we share

Readers of this blog know I was a huge fan of Ze Frank even before I found out he worked for BuzzFeed, perhaps the fastest-growing media site on the internet.

I realized he really got the power of emotion-based content before I understood he was part of a bigger effort to build a new media company.

He wants to create video content that helps people talk to one another. This “…repurposing of media not for consumption but for communication is, I think, the underpinning of this social age.”

So, intentionally, he creates videos that allow you to speak personally to someone you know, perhaps love, who is hurting and in need of emotional support, like Restoring Faith.

And he creates videos he describes as identity-based content, designed to say, “I know you, and I’m like you.”

Finally, there’s a category he labels Informational Content, designed to communicate what Frank calls the “humblebrag” — you would share this to prove to friends you know a thing or two about being both drunk and stoned…

The real insight for you today though is understanding why people share video socially, that we are using other people’s content to say something about ourselves to others.

To that end, Frank claims only 10% of Buzzfeed’s video views come from YouTube subscribers.

He says Facebook is a far better source for sharing emotional content, which I have also seen with my own blog, while Twitter is best for informational content.

And framing, using great titling, can show your prospective viewers precisely who they should share your content with. The best example of that may be, What Shamu Taught Me About A Happy Marriage — one of the most-shared articles ever on the NY Times.

The bottom line: “…if you create video content with ’emotional force…strong enough that people will be motivated to share it with others,’ your audience becomes ‘almost unlimited.’ ” *



*Nieman Journalism Lab