Piquing Curiosity With A Little Mystery – A Brilliant Way to Earn Social Proof

Many marketers are still searching for a secret formula for sharing content on social media that works every time. We’ve heard all the tips and tricks. Share interesting photos instead of rich snippets. Use hashtags on Twitter to get more exposure. If you want a retweet, ask for it! And most importantly, always make it clear what they’ll get if they click through. Upworthy-logo

There’s one brand in particular that stands out among its competition, and they don’t use your typical social sharing tactic.

Upworthy curates and shares inspiring content from around the web. Upworthy’s mission is “to make important stuff as viral as a video of some idiot surfing off his roof.” Their content ranges from shocking to enlightening and usually leaves readers with a sense of empowerment to make the world a better place.

Upworthy features their latest content on Facebook, and inspires thousands of users to share. Nine times out of ten, I click through to see what that piece of content is all about. How? By establishing a personal connection with readers. Here’s an example:


Each time Upworthy shares a post on Facebook, it includes a quick thought from one of its contributors. Right away it feels like one of my friends is sharing content, instead of some faceless brand. The reader doesn’t immediately know what this 4-year-old is doing or why he’s doing it – but it made Rajiv cry, so the reader has to click through to find out why!

And thousands of others feel the same way. Nearly 1500 shares, 3400 likes, and 124 comments – and that doesn’t include the replies happening for each comment. Upworthy’s doing something right.

Still need more proof? How about this one:


With just a glance at the title of this video, I would have thought “Meh, probably something I’ve seen on Pinterest. Scroll on.” But wait…whatever this guy does is so cool that even Ray is at a loss for words. And HOLY CRAP 12,500 people like this and nearly just as many have shared?! I NEED to know what this is.

Upworthy has mastered the art of curiosity and encourages engagement in a way that most marketers can only dream about. The brand has a firm handle on its audience and knows exactly how to get them to act. As a marketer, I stand in awe. And the examples above are not even their most popular posts.

What other brands do you know that have a unique way of sharing that works? Comment below to let us know!