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How to Increase Social Sharing to Generate More Leads Everything you need to know about generating leads you learned in kindergarten.

By Ann Handley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Why do you e-mail articles to friends? Or "like" a link on Facebook? Or retweet a post on Twitter?

Content that triggers an emotional response is more likely to be shared, according to a recent University of Pennsylvania study of the most e-mailed New York Times articles. What's more, "surprising" stories (like one about free-range chickens hanging out on the streets of New York) were also more likely to be passed along.

But the most-shared articles are those that go beyond surprise to actual awe--or what the researchers defined as an "emotion of self-transcendence, a feeling of admiration and elevation in the face of something greater than self." In other words, people share the stuff that ignites a little spark in them.

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