Why do people share likes, comments and content online?

Understanding the psychology of sharing is key to social commerce, because without sharing there’s no social.  One key insight from social psychology is that sharing is a form of ‘social grooming‘ – the human equivalent of picking fleas from each others fur – “the glue of primate life” – and an emotionally-charged bonding ritual.

Social Grooming: Online Sharing as Bonding Ritual

And online sharing may well be an extension of social grooming: in this month’s Wired Science Jonah Leherer, concludes that viral content on the Web has less to about the content and more to do with bonding; sharing content is “an efficient way to tell someone else that, for a few moments at least, we’d like to feel the same thing”.

Relevance to social commerce?  Getting the technology and the content right is key, but to make social commerce fly, we should be looking to help our customers bond with each other though sharing. Now that’s a creative brief worth developing.