Social media is a powerful platform that’s used for everything from running promotions and selling products, to growing an audience of like-minded advocates who come together to bring about real change. As with any digital tool, the beating heart of social media is the people who engage with it, which is why psychology is a key factor that can be used to shape and evolve the type of content you create and the way in which you share it.
So, how exactly do psychology and social media blend together? Here are a few bite-sized nuggets that provide serious food for thought:
Involvement: Whether it’s lengthy descriptions, images with minimal text or videos that give insight into a person, place or product, high-quality social media makes us feel like we’re part of the story. Whilst traditional editorial and printed images describe and explain, social media invites the viewer to join the conversation and offer their feedback.
Belonging: Going one step further than the above, social media can make us feel like we’re part of a community. Many people consider themselves valued VIPs when they get to hear about developments before anyone else and see exclusive snippets, especially when the content includes the faces behind the brand.
Trust: Whilst your website, email campaigns, PR activity and so on are still essential, social media breeds trust, which then leads to advocacy. Rather than just being a customer, many of your followers can naturally become true fans who believe in what you do and understand the minutiae of your daily operations, such as your values, mission, company culture, goals and milestones.
Bonding: When the above elements combine, a follower will often feel that they have a personal bond with your business. However, this will only last as long as your direct interaction continues indefinitely – fail to respond to their comments and questions and you could very easily lose an ally.
Happiness: Despite social media being filled with moaners and trolls, a user has full control over what they encounter. The ability to unfollow, mute and block means that they receive the online experience they desire, filled with inspiration, discovery and, yes, even happiness. In fact, psychologists have found that when a user actively engages in social media (rather than idly scrolling), it can trigger high levels of happiness, which they’re then more likely to share with others.
It’s true that these psychological factors are particularly magnified through social media, yet it doesn’t mean that they don’t apply to other marketing activity. By designing all content and communications so that they fit your ethos and entice your audience, you’ll be well on your way to using positive psychological techniques to promote your brand. The crucial thing is to always make it genuine, honest and insightful, simultaneously making your audience feel valued and welcoming open conversation and. Easier said than done, but you know what, we believe in you!