A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that strong emotional undertones drove the most shared articles on the New York Times website.
Emotionally evocative content outperformed non-evocative content at every turn. Especially if the emotion aligned with the reader’s perspective.
And when an article had an additional cognitive impact – like giving the reader practical utility – it increased the likelihood of being shared.
Making the button bigger won’t increase the number of shares. Neither will exhorting, bribing or pleading.