Why do we share stuff we haven't read?

Almost every week I write a new post.

Every time I sit to write, I try to include some useful information; some actions for people to take away and try for themselves; some thoughts on my experiences in social media marketing.

And I try to ensure that it's written from a human perspective, because it is.

I try to give away as much as possible for free because I hope that people find it useful and will apply it to their marketing, or consider what I have to say and whether it applies to them, for better or worse.

And who knows, maybe they do?

Or, at least, I hope that they do. But the hard, painful fact, is barely anyone reads anything I do write.

Or, I suspect, much of what's out there.

Oh, they’ll share it ok! Retweets and Likes are abundant on my Tweets (more of which later) so I can confirm that these types of engagements are not the problem.

Clicks, however…

You know, there are countless articles online that promise you more traffic if you follow their procedures to the letter.

Well, I have.

I’ve also tried to amalgamate the most insightful, useful practices from the great marketing thinkers - and it hasn't made the slightest difference.

I'm sick of reading that 'content is king', and 'share interesting stuff'.

Well, content is !?*&%! everywhere! So, yes, it’s king but not necessarily a wise one.

And 'interesting' is an abstract concept.

Interesting to who?

To you?

To me?

And who decides what interesting actually is?

How is anyone supposed to know whether what they say is of genuine interest to anyone?

So, I guess my point is, why bother to share content if no-one reads it, unless you're a huge brand, have a vast array of followers, are considered an influencer, or you have the money to promote it?

I've run a number of social media pages, building them up over time, producing contentand (Ha!) it's quality stuff.

It's interesting, answers questions that our audience ask, is conversational, useful and so on.

And you know what I see?



A smattering of clicks-throughs. At best.

So, come on - admit it - do you really get incredible amounts of traffic via your posts on social media (especially on Twitter)?

Or am I doing something wrong after all this time?

Before you ask, I share a single piece of content over and again, at different times, with different messaging, spread across days and weeks.

I work hard to make it work.

But the sharing of content brings me to another question.

Why do people share without reading?

Are we so desperate to click Retweet or Like on the latest comments, have our finger on the pulse of what's happening right now, that we simply don't stop to consider what we're sharing?

I mean, honestly!

Why would you essentially recommend something you haven't spent the time to read?

You've absolutely no idea what tangent the writer goes off on; the depths of utter depravity their prose might descend to (ok, I’m kidding, but I hope you see my point).

I get why you might share a guide to social media publishing tools

Shameless plug :-)

But what if 'people like you' means people who voted Trump or Brexit? Whoops – I did politics.

Just as you wouldn't tell a friend a book you hadn’t read was’ a staggering work of heart-breaking genius’, DON'T like or Retweet an article you haven't read.

Read the bloody article first!

If it's well presented enough to capture your attention and warrant sharing, then the least it deserves is two minutes of your time, enough to make an informed decision as to whether you should share it with your network.

And it may inform, inspire, delight, enthuse, irritate, anger, or amaze you.

It may bore you senseless (Tip - in that case, don't share it).

But at least if you do, you'll be doing it knowing that you're sharing something worth reading.

Of course, no one will read this.

OOTM team

We’re a team with expertise in different areas of marketing who work ridiculously well together, challenging and bouncing ideas off each other.


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