The Psychology Behind Social Media Marketing

Social media was once the realm of teenagers, sharing photos and thoughts on their daily activities, relationships, and eating habits (among other things). Today, social media has become one of the most powerful marketing tools available to businesses, large and small.

The Psychology Behind Social Media Marketing
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However, misusing social media can be disastrous for your brand and ultimately decrease profits. This article examines some of the psychology behind social-media marketing, so you can make sure you’re getting it right from the start and impacting your target audience without going overboard and losing them.


What is social psychology? 

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. Social psychologists usually explain human behavior due to the interaction of mental states and social situations. The three main research areas in social psychology are attitudes, group dynamics (relationships between members), and social cognition (attitudes and judgments). More than any other area of psychology research, these three fields have developed methods to study the reciprocal relationship between the mind and society. 


How it relates to marketing in general

Many psychological tactics are used to influence people’s decisions that can be applied to social media. Using these tactics, you can increase engagement and build relationships with your audience. No one wants to have a relationship with a faceless business; we want to interact with real people, whether they’re customers or just friends. Knowing how our minds work and how we make decisions will help you create a persona on your pages that will resonate more with your target market, making it easier for them to want to follow and engage in conversation with you.


How it relates to digital marketing — social media specifically

People spend a lot of time on social media, so using social media to market your business can make sense. People are much more likely to engage with a brand that they’re familiar with than purchase something from an unknown source. Social media marketing is essential in getting new customers involved with your business since it’s very easy for them to communicate directly with you and spread word of mouth through Facebook or Twitter. You can also use social media as a way to get feedback from your target audience and collect important data about what types of purchases your customers prefer and at what price points. This way, you’re able to market toward their preferences rather than relying purely on assumptions.


Marketing Tactics

There are many ways to use psychological tactics in marketing. One of them is creating an impact on customer behavior, for example, by using specific emotions or feelings that can trigger and influence customers’ mindsets toward your product. Let’s say you’re a coffee shop. If you want to attract customers through your coffee, you need something that customers always have with them; their smartphone. Use Instagram/Twitter/Facebook ads to create a sense of belongingness that influence potential customers’ mindset toward your brand. You can also trigger emotions by using specific visual elements such as fonts, colors, imagery, and positioning of promotional materials and advertisements on platforms such as Facebook and Google AdWords.


Tips based on psychological principles

We’ve talked about how social proof can lead to positive results, but there are plenty of ways to take advantage of psychological principles. Because consumers are not only concerned with their friends’ opinions but also their success, you need to connect those two ideas. With social media, it becomes much easier because you can actually see people succeeding based on your product or service. Showing that a lot of users have had success with your product will help increase sales and create trust between you and potential buyers. (Because they want to be just like everyone else.) The concept is known as Social Comparison Theory, which states that individuals evaluate themselves by comparing themselves with others in situations where some type of decision must be made.


Social media is important to every business today, whether you’re just starting up or have been around for years. It offers entrepreneurs a number of ways to engage with customers and help improve their brand’s public image. You can build trust by encouraging an open dialogue between your business and consumers. Social media can help you build goodwill through empathy, which can help establish stronger personal connections with potential customers.