What would Freud tell us about social media?


OK, I’m no psychologist, so I would have to hazard a guess on the applications of Freud’s psychodynamic theory to social media – I’ll leave that to the psychologists amongst us!

What I can tell you though, is that thought processes and emotions play an important role in social media marketing, and should especially be considered in the creation of inspiring campaigns. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and ask yourself, what would I want to see? What will motivate me to share? Am I more likely to share, if the content resonates with my network? What will make my target audience react?

If you’re itching to know where psychology fits into all of this, here’s the science! When your customers observe content on social networks, they are unconsciously making decisions based on psychological impulses firing off in the brain. By measuring the neural responses of sharing, Psychologists at UCLA looked to understand what spurs us to share some images and posts, and not others. They discovered that highly visual imagery or posts aren’t necessarily key in motivating sharing behaviour. Instead, it is how the viewer perceives others might enjoy it.

When talking psychology, emotions also come into play. People buy according to their basic needs, on a logical level but how they feel about a product or service also has an influence. When you connect to your audience on an emotional level you can bring your brand and content to life. When we attach a positive emotional connection to a brand, it builds trust in that brand.

Take a look at how Virgin Atlantic does this wonderfully on Twitter:

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, social media is about people and is much more than just technology. With improved understanding of the psychology behind sharing, insight into your audience and their sharing behaviour, we can become more apt in creating sharable social media campaigns.

Do you think psychology has its place in social media marketing? Send us your thoughts at @iftweeter!

© Ross Burton Photo. Attribution 2.0 Generic

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