In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow published a paper called "A Theory Of Motivation" in which he proposed a hierarchy of human needs. Illustrated in a well-known pyramid, Maslow's theory became an important cog in sociology research today.
At the top of Maslow's "lower level" is our need to love/belong. A recent New York Times/CIG study examined that need to belong, concluding that our desire to share with others is not new, it's just evolved.
When looking at why people share online, the study revealed some interesting takeaways. Locking into those motivations can help us produce more engaging social media content - after all, the key to connecting on social media is understanding what our fans want, not what we want to tell them.
When we understand the why, we can work on the 'what' of our content. Remember, social media works best when it makes a connection. Using social media just to broadcast messages with no thought of engagement (Buy My Product!) is going to return poor results.
First, we understand what makes people tick, then we move toward more engaging content that builds our audience.