You have to understand your audience in order to run an effective social media campaign. With a few basic psychological principles, you can get inside their heads and understand why they engage with content the way they do.
- People share content to enhance their relationships with other people.
Social media isn’t a vacuum– it exists to connect people with each other. There are five key reasons people share content online, according to a New York Times study.
- To improve the lives of others.
- To define themselves.
- To grow relationships.
- To advance causes they believe in.
Users are harnessing the power of people. They want the content they share to work for them and perform a function, whether it is to brighten their friends’ days or to share a fundraising call for a favorite charity. Keep this in mind when you’re marketing- provide content that will increase the social value of the people who share it and engage with it.
- Color can change people’s behavior.
According to the study Impact of Color on Marketing, “People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62 to 90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.” But it’s not so much about the color itself- it’s more about whether the color supports your service, product, or brand.
To make strategic color decisions about your brand, think about common associations you’ll want to have– green for environmentally friendly, yellow for slow, etc.
- Make yourself trustworthy.
Social proof is likely to influence consumers’ behavior. A power company’s study showed that homeowners were likely to mirror their neighbor’s energy consumption habits, whether that was less or more energy. When someone sees that their tribe is engaging in a certain behavior, they’re more likely to trust the group and engage in that behavior.
So what does this mean for marketers? Create shareable content. When people see their friends sharing your content and saying how much they love your product, they will be much more likely to purchase. You could also publicize testimonials and good reviews as social proof of your product’s integrity.
- Emotions are contagious.
According to Psychological Science, when people are psychologically aroused by heightened emotions, they are more likely to share, boosting social transmission.
In addition, the more positive the content, the more often it was shared, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania. To use positivity as a part of a social media strategy:
- Share feel-good stories from your customers or industry.
- Use humor in your content (but make sure it’s appropriate!).
- Ask your audience to share positive stories about your brand.
- Share an inspirational video.
- Add happy emojis to your content where appropriate.
Emotional contagion will help get your message shared by your own users, just by putting a smile on their face!
We hope these psychological strategies will help you create content that will be more shareable. It’s pretty cool what psychology can do.