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The Psychology Behind Social Media

By August 30, 2018February 12th, 2020Social Media
psychology of social media image

Trying to understand the way people think is the crux of how PR pros build a social media strategy. But as we all know, the psychology behind social media strategy is a complex topic. But not to fear! We have some tips and tricks on how to boost your social media engagement.

It’s a valid argument that in-person interactions are more valuable in our personal lives but if we want to increase our company’s reach to as many people as possible, strategic social media posts are the way to go. In fact, in a 2017 census, 81% of the U.S. population was recorded having a social media profile and social media interaction takes up about 30% of all time spent online. However, posting without understanding the way your audience thinks makes it difficult to optimize your social presence. Your PR strategy should be guided by questions like, “What do your target customers need and want? Then once you hone in on what they’re after, ask yourself, “What can you do to influence their decision-making process?” Ultimately you are trying to determine, what precisely prompts your followers to engage with your company?

Build your brand voice

One of the fundamental components in maintaining a customer base and attracting a new audience is having a unique brand voice. Having a unique view can be tough–you don’t want to sound like everyone else, but you also want to appeal to as many people as possible. The trick is to have a distinct, relatable identity. Customers are more likely to engage with a brand that has a distinguished character than a faceless company. People also tend to gravitate toward brands that resonate with their values. So, knowing your audience and tailoring your brand identity to them will thereby raise your engagement numbers.

Be consistent with your content

Consistently posting relevant, engaging content will keep you fresh on customer’s minds. If you don’t post consistently, it kills your organic reach and your followers may stop checking your accounts or even unfollow. Posting sporadically means you’ll show up less frequently in newsfeeds for your followers and will be less likely to attract new followers. Developing and analyzing your content to see which posts are performing best also helps your company in strategizing on which posts are delivering the best and which content to put money behind.

Prove yourself

The psychology behind engaging with a post because your peers are interacting with it is a straightforward concept: you perceive it as “popular” and give it more credibility. It’s a snowball effect–the more interactions people have with your post, the more other people are going to like it. People are influenced by what others in their immediate surrounding do–and the social media environment is no different. Engaging with other influencers in your industry on social media platforms also increases your chances of being seen. For example, sharing a popular influencer’s post on Twitter or Facebook. Big names are always great, but even tagging midsize companies with decent followings can accomplish increasing engagement since you’ll have a better chance of them interacting with your post.

Visuals are everything

Using visuals in your social media strategy is a must. It’s vital in competing for interactions with your audience: 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their campaigns. Content with visuals also has a great lifespan online. A study by Visual Teaching Alliance showed that visuals are processed better–60,000 times faster than any text. People also don’t hesitate to share what they believe is meaningful content, and most of the time that means a visual that resonates with them. Different types of visual content include images, videos, infographics and GIFS. Another way to do this is when promoting blogs on social, including a header at the top of the blog. It increases the chance of your audience interacting with your post. In an article by Inc, they cited an “eye-popping” statistic that posts that included images produced 650% higher engagement rate than text-only posts.

By building your brand voice, content consistency, proving yourself as a thought leader and incorporating visuals into your posts will enable you to increase your interactions by tenfold!

Until next time!

Critical Mention

Jolie Shapiro Picture
Jolie Shapiro

Passionate about all things communications, Jolie found her dream job as a copywriter with Critical Mention, where she’s continuing her passion for writing and editing. With a background working for high-profile clients in the financial, hospitality and technology industries, she’s excited to bring her experience to Critical Mention. When she’s not writing you can find her at music festivals, hiking or snowboarding.


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