Have you ever wondered why you behave the way you do on social media?
You know. That innate sense of compulsion to constantly share information about your day on Facebook. All day. Everyday. (Just a little heads up here, according to PewResearchCenter, 36% of Facebook users “strongly dislike” people sharing too much information about themselves. In fact, only 5% of Facebook users actually experience FOMO (fear of missing out) on social activities. Just saying).
Or checking how many likes that recent photo upload of yours to Instagram has received within seconds of posting it. Every little thumbs up a token of validation – of reward.
Or sending a tweet and waiting anxiously for it to be retweeted at least once, “evidencing” that someone felt your message was interesting enough to be shared.
That manic but euphoric feeling that comes with engaging every single social media channel. Almost akin to that which a drug addict feels when experiencing a chemical high.
Far-fetched much? No. Not really.
There’s an actual reason for behaving the way we do and as BufferApp.com expresses so eloquently, it isn’t all in our heads.
It’s in the hormones.
The ones in circulating around in your body that is, like oxytocin. Did you know that levels of this “cuddle” hormone can spike as much as 13% during just 10 minutes of social networking? Or that simultaneously, the stress hormones cortisol and ATCH can go down by more than 10%, respectively, within that same period? We didn’t know either.
Remarkable, isn’t it. That social media engagement could invoke the same feel-good emotions one has when watching a close friend get married, or having dinner with awesome company.
Or how no access to any media for a day could invoke the direct opposite experience, as a recent global study led by the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA), University of Maryland, USA, showed - with feelings of anxiety, depression and disconnect from friends and family being felt due to no online social connectivity.
So how does this effect social media marketers?
The psychology of why someone does what they do or says what they say on these channels influences the impact of social media campaigns significantly. So being able to use this information to make it work in your favour would be advantageous, right? Absolutely. And here’s 3 reasons why.
Think about the types of posts that people share on social media. They tend to be funny. Or heartfelt. Or pretty darn interesting, informational. And for the person whose post got shared, one can only imagine that feeling of elation that is elicited what with those oxytocin levels rising. So for marketers, what’s the take home? To publish exceptional top quality emotive content that is shareable.
People like to like and be liked
They do. In fact, 44% of Facebook users “like” content posted by their friends at least once a day, with 29% doing so several times per day. And for those whose posts are liked, well, that feeling of social validation is quite the high. It’s this primal urge to be accepted within a social environment and in the context of online social interaction, those likes don’t just feel as if you’re part of the in-crowd, they’re also a type of endorsement, a testimonial if you will. So what should social media marketers take heed of? Never underestimate the influence of a like. Whereas one may cause a ripple, ten may create a wave, sway an opinion, convert a “maybe, I need to have” into a “hell yeah, I must have” in the purchase cycle.
People are for the most part egotistic
Gasp, that isn’t true you say. Well, social media statistics would tell you otherwise. We have become a society of oversharing. We really like speaking about ourselves. A lot. We create this perfect façade of the life that we feel we must portray. We do this through fleeting shots of things (tangible), scenery, family and friends – glossy, pretty, shiny, happy images. And when other people like those images, well, the positive affirmation makes the day feel just that little bit brighter. So if you’re a social media marketer, cater to that need by creating campaigns that have as their pivotal focus the requirement of marketing oneself through the sharing of photos, selfies if you may, in which the brand also appears. Credible product endorsement in all its glory.
There are of course many other statistics and research studies that one can refer to in order to get to the crux of why we do the things we do on social media. The human mind is a complex organ and to fully understand its impact on ones behaviour within the confines of social media channels will be an ongoing and forever changing endeavour.
Do you have any comments to add on this topic? Let us know below!