6 psychology findings for social media marketing

Social media and marketing are simultaneous in any plan to build an enterprise or advance a cause. So when it comes to your business, there are six psychological facts you may want to consider to get inside the mind of your customer before you rush off to reach them.

  • Reticular activating system: Essentially this refers to the structure in the brain that drives selective attention: we naturally orient to information or ideas that we are invested in. According to psychologist Dr. Rachna Jain, adults are much more interested in content that addresses a specific problem they are having right now. The lesson: if you want your social media content to stand out, don’t be afraid to get specific and target your audience very tightly.
  • Multimodal learning: As people are more likely to learn and retain information when it is presented in multiple modalities such as written (visual) and auditory (hearing) at the same time, your content will get more attention if you offer people multiple formats by which they can consume it.
  • Emotional narratives: Human beings respond more openly to stories than simply someone presenting the facts. To the extent that your content is logically presented, sequential, easy to follow and includes emotional elements, your audience will pay more attention, says Dr. Jain. That means that when sharing content on social sites, include case studies and examples of how your concepts or ideas were applied successfully with good results.
  • Get familiar: Familiarity fosters likeability. Studies have shown that the the more exposure we have to someone, the more we are predisposed to like them – especially when we feel they are giving us value or rewards.

    For your content, this means you should syndicate your content widely and be out in front of your target audience every chance you get. The more you are visible, the more familiar you become and a natural consequence is that people are more open to you as a brand than the first time they encountered you.

  • The paradox of choice. We love shortcuts. Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice, finds that though we all enjoy having lots of options, paradoxically, the more options we have, the less able we are to decide. So you as a marketer need to make sure your content includes suggestions or direction. Instead of offering a list of possible options, why not offer an instruction when it comes to solving someone’s problems using your product or service.
  • We are advice takers: That includes taking advice from people we don’t know. Dr. Jain refers to a study completed in 2008 by Jupiter Research which found that 50% of people consulted a blog before making a purchase. This means that we are basing our purchasing decisions on the wisdom of the group and can be influenced by people we have never met and hardly know.

    The fact is you must position yourself as an expert to your audience. If you can’t be that expert, you’ve lost the benefit of easing the human desire for guidance and the assurance that they are making the right decision



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