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The Psychology of Social Media

How often do you stop and really think about what people want to see on social media, what they react to and what posts they want to engage with? If the answer is never, you’re not alone.

Earlier this week, we came across a great infographic, from the team at Haiilo, which summarises the basics of the psycholcogy behind social media. The why, the what and the who!

The top reason people share on social media is to provide their connections with valuable or entertaining content that they might otherwise miss. Whilst this might sound very predictable, it’s not something that many businesses actually make a concerted effort to hit.

The two reasons people share is to provide their audience with VALUABLE or ENTERTAINING content. Simply if your content won’t help to improve a specific audience’s life (valuable content) or brighten their day (entertaining content), you aren’t going to gain any social shares!

Before you create any piece of content, have your target audience firmly in your mind.

People also share content to define themselves to the rest of the world! People who share for themselves are the people who will spread your messages widest and hardest. They become brand ambassadors and their efforts to align themselves with a specific niche will reap heavy returns. In order to tap into this market of social sharers, you’ll need to create a brand that represents (defines) a particular corner of your market. You cannot waver or attempt broad targeting methods, it requires really going after the die-hard lovers of your niche.

People share content to build relationships with others. A really simple way to do this (which you’ll see all the time) is posting day-relevant content, for instance, creating a post toasting Mother’s on Mother’s Day. This might sound like nothing new, but if you’re able to include your branding (and some kind of relevant message) you’ll hit those social shares, boost your brand awareness and create an impression of a caring brand.

People spread and share causes. Causes can grow quickly on social, especially those that hit emotional triggers in your audience. Think about causes that you regularly see shared on your newsfeeds, what are they raising awareness about?

Most of these causes will be shared in an attempt to help others and the world around us. Brands that are able to align themselves with a cause like this will often see heavy sharing, but those businesses that align themselves with a cause that is close to their industry, can experience viral-like sharing within their target market.

So with this is mind, where do you start?

Download our FREE guide to understanding your target audience. Knowing your audience and client persona is key to ensuring that you are targeting the right people when selling your products/services. This guide will help you to determine the type of people you think your service/products suits and understanding more about their lifestyle and how your service/product fixes or helps them.

Keep these personas in mind each time you post – this will help you get into the mindset of your target audience and ensure that the content you are posting is relevant, engaging and educational.


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