A Useful Idea For Social Media Psychology

social media psychology

social media psychologyI’m assuming that since you’re reading this you’re probably a marketer of some kind, using social media as a means of transport to your next sale or follower, and that’s great!  With the ever evolving, and sometimes revolving, door of social media, it’s good to know what you’re doing in this arena.

But I’ve noticed something you’re doing wrong.

Yes, you.

First of all, let me explain what you already know.  If you’re a marketer, then you are more than likely pushing to build a large following.  Then, on top of all that, you want to weed through that following and find the most responsive people for your brand.  You know, the people that interact the most with you.  A good marketer will have thousands of followers that are both interactive AND responsive when they post an update to their social accounts.

The trick is actually not in the numbers.

While it’s great to have a large following, the beauty of it is you don’t have to have one to be successful online. You can successfully bring people to your site from social media by using simple methods that I teach to small and large corporations disguised in the form of psychologically induced updates.

I’ve been researching the social media psychology aspect of updating for about 6 months now, and every day I’m finding out that psychology DOES play a huge role in your social updates…whether you know it, or not!

There are lots of useful ideas to implement psychology into your social media, but I don’t have time to show them all to you, so let me explain a very important one for you.

Getting Attention With Social Media Psychology

Most people will tell you, and maybe you are the same, that the most important thing for their marketing is by getting more attention from their social media updates.

A lot of people are concerned with getting their content perfect, and that’s a very important aspect of the whole infrastructure of making the sale, but if you are relying mainly on social media platforms to build your traffic, then it’s not over after you write the update.

In a post called How To Get Attention With Social Media Marketing Psychology, I actually found a very revealing truth about how people check their status on these social platforms.

Think about it or a second. What do YOU do when you log on to, say, Facebook? Do you check your email? Do you check how many notifications you have? Statistically 88% of people check their notification status first, then, if there are any emails from Facebook, that’s the second stop. The third stop is scrolling through their stream to view other updates.

Now, if there are no notifications and no emails, then 72% of the time, most people visit their social stream.

Read: Cognitive Recognition in Social Marketing

I know what you’re thinking…This Is Where I Can Get Them!

Well, yes, and no. Again, take a look at what YOU do when you’re on Facebook. More than likely you scroll through the updates until you find a familiar face. When you find that friend, or someone you know, you will usually stop and see what they have to say.

So if you don’t know these people looking at your social updates, it’s a good chance that they’re not going to stop and give you the time of day to interact on your posts. But does that mean you have to get to know everyone before you can become successful through social media?


I’m sure you’ve probably never heard of me before. No harm there, I have only been blogging for a year. I don’t have a large social following, and I don’t know thousands of people personally in the industry.

When I first started, I saw this as an opportunity to drive traffic from social media another way. This is where I became knowledgeable in marketing Psychology in social media.

#1- Reticular Formation in Social Media

One of the most important things I want to throw at you is called Reticular Formation. What happens is you and the reader are converging at the same space and time and nothing seems to be happening. It’s not that people aren’t seeing your update, it’s just they don’t know how important it is or what they’re missing, and it’s up to you to re-direct them. Now don’t get all nervous about learning the words or anything, just pay attention to the process of this method.

As I said, no one knew me when I first started a little over a year ago. So I had to research some methods on how to get people to pay attention to me by using other techniques. The application of this method is starting by writing the update itself. It can also be done by using images, but let’s concentrate on the text for now.

We are all creatures of habit. For instance, reticular formation basically means that the little “thingy” at the base of your brain is regulating and determining what is relevant and what is irrelevant to you. I’ve said this example before, but I’ll say it again for you, the best way I can explain retcular formation is with a person that lives beside the railroad tracks all their life. This person could be dead asleep, in the middle of the night, and the train could come by blaring it’s horn. Because this person was used to the noise of the train, the reticular formation in their brain allowed them to regard the noise as irrelevant, and therefore never woke up. However, this same person could hear an unfamiliar “bump” in the living room and wake up.

The Application

You want to be able to make your content relevant to the reader. Right now, they are passing you by because of reticular formation. You are being processed as irrelevant, or something of no importance.

This is happening in two spots: 1) The literal text you’re writing in the update, and 2) Your blog title isn’t interesting.

As I mentioned before, and you probably already know this, title’s are important in a blog post, not to mention the content. This is really not about that particular subject, but if you want direction, here a great place to go to generate blog post titles.

So you’re wanting to jolt people out of their “same old routine” when looking on their social accounts. The way you’re going to do this is by tapping into their emotion.

Every update you’re giving your followers is causing some kind of emotion.  Even if it’s boredom, you’re causing them to react in some way.  The end result, of course, would be to get them to react positively…they’re already reacting, but not the way you need them to.

Sound a little fishy?

Yeah, I guess it does, but it actually works! There is actually not a straightforward science to this, but I can tell you what NOT to do.

The Dont’s In Social Media Psychology

When you focus on writing the update, don’t ever:

  • Give your own opinion- Telling people that “this is awesome” takes away their ability to judge for themselves or create their own opinion.  This causes a negative emotion towards your update.  Other words not to use about an update would be any adjective that would describe the topic.
  • Tell People To “Check It Out”- Have you ever known anyone that went and “checked it out”?  I haven’t, and it doesn’t work.
  • Not Posting Anything- They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but that’s not working for social marketing.  I’m not talking about those people where all they do is post those pretty pictures without trying to drive traffic.  In order to drive traffic, an image is definitely worth it’s weight, but in this case, the pen is mightier than the latter option.

So that’s just a few things of what not to do.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you on that alone, let me show you some words that actually work.

Words That Work

The 5 W’s have always proven effective at getting people to provide some sort of action in your updates.  “Who, What, When, Where, Why”  Remember the reticular formation?  These words can pull people out of this when used the right way.

Here’s one example:

“What you can use to drive traffic” or “Where you need to go to build links”

This brings questions into people’s heads that needs to have some answers.  People are afraid of not knowing something, or being left out.  When you can portray that into your updates, you can successfully bring them out of reticular formation.

If you aren’t getting that many interactions from your social updates, then you’re basically using the wrong words (or none at all) that pulls out the wrong type of emotion in the reader.  Yes I know, who cares about interaction on social media anyway when you’ve got bills to pay?  I get that, but you also get that when you can create interaction, you open the door for trust to start developing with your followers.  When trust is made, so is the money.

Read: The Psychology of Numbers & How You Can Make The Sale!

The Final Word:

Content.  That should always be your final worry.  Is my content good enough to help people learn something, share my post, or allow me to make the sale?  Social media psychology is still a pretty new thing and there are still a lot of things to be known about it.  However, one thing is for certain, people are looking at you.  If you need more help with your social traffic, I would be more than happy to help your business. Remember that it’s all about them, and not you.

By Wade Harman

Hi, my name is Wade Harman. I'm a full time blogger at BloggersMakeMoney, with a degree in Psychology. I show you how to spark an emotional reaction, get people's attention, and encourage them to take action! Let me help you drive targeted traffic through social media strategies that I have researched and use myself! Let me coach you and see how my strategies in social media can help YOU drive targeted traffic! Check out Wade's niche site called How To Get Abs


  1. I thought that your post had some interesting concepts on psychology and social marketing. I believe that you can’t really group everybody into one cookie cutter formula and that what works on some peoples psyche won’t necessarily work on others. With that being said I feel the information and concept here is wort investigating and thinking about. That makes it all worthwhile. sharing with others. Good information. Thanks Wade. 😉

    1. Thanks a lot Tony, and I agree with you on that, however, there has to be a test result for a standardized group of people before we can go any more targeted within the group. I agree that no two people are alike and that there are some people that won’t react the same way as others. That’s the secret sauce I’m working on now.

  2. This is a very interesting study. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to effective social media marketing and if you can tap into the psychology behind it the battle is virtually won.

    Thanks for sharing this with our bizsugar community. 🙂


    1. Thanks a lot for your feedback! I agree that if we can understand the human brain and how they respond to certain things, we can basically manipulate and drive social traffic easily.

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