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Psychology Tips To Improve Your Social Media Marketing

Psychology and marketing are closely linked, which is why anyone who has studied marketing will most likely have also studied some psychology.

In social media marketing, there are always plenty of tips and ideas shared about what you can do with technology. But ultimately we are dealing with people, so your messaging should be priority number one.

As one of my university lecturers used to say: “Don’t get distracted by the shiny new toy. Focus on the message first and ensure you meet the brief.”

With the online arena becoming more congested and competition heightening while companies vie for their target audiences’ attention, the winners will be those using strategies based on psychology.

In this post I’ll share a few tips based on psychological ideology for you to try – let’s call them “social media psychology hacks.”

Giving back

giving back

Think about the last time someone paid you a compliment, gave you a gift or did something kind. You automatically felt the need to reciprocate, whether it was with a return compliment or a hug. Giving things to your fans and followers will evoke the same response.

It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, it could be the chance to meet someone or the power to name one of your products. If you can make your audience feel included as part of your community, they are more likely to want to engage due to their increased feeling of connectedness with you.

Affinity By Familiarity

Have you ever heard marketers talk about the rule of 7? In marketing, the rule of 7 assumes that your prospects need to come across your offer at least 7 times before they will take action or purchase what you’re selling. This is connected to the psychological principle of the mere-exposure effect.

“The mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. In social psychology, this effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle.” – Wikipedia

You have an increased chance of building a connection with your target customers by being regularly visible. This strategy is often employed by big brands, but your visibility doesn’t need to blow your budget. Posting to social media regularly and crafting your message in a variety of ways on multiple platforms can have the same effect.

Keep It Simple

There is such a thing as too much choice. When there are too many options to choose from, we find it more difficult to make a decision and when we do, we are more inclined to experience what’s know as “buyer’s regret.”

If you want to write a social media post about your new range of goods and there is a lot of choice for buyers, consider splitting them up into more tailored posts for specific audiences. Do some of the decision-making work for them.

Show Your Face

Helen Mirren Gold Not Old

You will have heard the term “people buy from people.” This is true in a literal sense. Make sure your social media marketing has a human element and use images of people, not just things. An image of someone holding or using your product is likely to receive more engagement than an image of your product alone.

When choosing the models for your images, try to people those that your target audience will identify with. There will be more chance of them subconsciously feeling that your company understands them and their values. There’s a reason L’Oreal chose Jennifer Lopez for their “Glam Bronde” campaign and Helen Mirren for their “Gold, Not Old” campaign.

Social Proof

“Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation”. – Wikipedia

When you see that a social media account has lots of followers, you assume that it’s a good account to follow. When a post has lots of likes, shares and comments, you think it’s more interesting. If you see that some of your friends follow someone, you’re more likely to want to follow them too. Audiences are more likely to express a desire for something that someone else has already liked or shown interest in.

This is an important consideration and even more reason to build a following and generate engagement on your updates, which brings us onto…



You need people to share your content so, quite simply, it needs to be shareable. When people choose to share on social media, it has a lot to do with the image they wish to portray to their own followers.

People will generally not share content that doesn’t match how they want to be perceived. Therefore to increase your chances of having posts shared, make sure you know your audience and understand what will make them want to help spread your message.

(So if you’re a really awesome in-the-know person, you’ll definitely want to share this article)

Bethany Carter,  November 8, 2016

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