What Social Media Marketers Can Learn From Psychology

You don’t need to be a Freudian psychologist to use social media to your advantage.

Ah, the quintessential coffee-mug-with-a-poetry-book shot.

Used generously across social media platforms, this particular scene is an absolute classic, but what is it about this cozy-but-overused setting makes people ‘like’ it thousands of times over?

The emotion that it inspires.

In 10 minutes of social media time, oxytocin levels can rise as much as 13%; that’s a hormonal spike that rivals that of some people on their wedding day (but no, you can’t replace one for the other). That means people feel more connected and secure in just ten minutes of spending time on social media.

So what does that mean for your social media marketing (or influencing) strategy?

The Reciprocity Effect

Color Coordination

Spreading Positivity

Positive emotional contagion is greater than negative, and usually, these videos aren’t about the animals, but about showing human empathy at its best: fostering, caring and nurturing. That means keeping your marketing on the sunny side, including dealing with prolonged customer issues offline, or swiftly tackling negative reviews to keep it from spreading.

Photo by freestocks.org via Pexels

The Power of Emoticons

Sharing Reality Via Comments

Source: Buffer

The Endowment Effect

But how can you use this to your advantage?

As a marketer or influencer, you can present original content of clients finding value in and identifying with your brand, and help existing clients increase their ownership in your brand through feedback and suggestions, involvement in social media, and present free giveaways to create that feeling of genuine value in your product/service.

Social Influence

  1. You can save $54 this month
  2. You can save the planet
  3. You can be a good citizen
  4. Your neighbours are doing better than you

The last one encouraged a 2 percent reduction in household energy usage. This is an example of social proof, where through user-generated content (UGC) and exemplifying positive reviews, you show potential customers that others are already super satisfied with you.

According to Alex Laskey:

If something is inconvenient, even if we believe it, persuasion won’t work. But social pressure? That’s powerful stuff.

You don’t have to be a Freudian psychologist to understand how to use social media to your advantage, really. As long as you can portray your authenticity through the content you put up and relate to target demographics, there’s nothing to be a-freud of.

Originally published on and written for Digital Odyssey.