One of the things that can confuse a lot of marketers is the rate at which the landscape of digital marketing evolves. However, what they often fail to see is that all that actually changes are the form or the medium of communication between the brand and its audience. The nature of the message and the psychology underneath remain almost completely untouched.
Therefore, in order to learn how to improve your social media engagement, you first need to learn the psychological motives that move your audience. Apart from this, you need to study patterns of their behavior in the digital environment, which although quite intuitive, is still a relatively new concept. With this in mind and without further ado, here are a few psychological principles you need to understand in order to give a significant boost to your social media engagement efforts.
1. The power of social proof
The first thing you need to know is the fact that people tend to be skeptical towards any information that comes from an unreliable source. This makes them put up their barriers and from that point on, they become a lot less receptive towards anything that you have to say. Luckily, there are more than a few ways to overcome this defense mechanism and the most efficient one is using a social proof to support your message.
This works by leveraging the personal integrity of someone your audience knows, for instance, a celebrity they follow or a user whose demographic characteristics closely resemble theirs. The expert-based social proof is also quite effective, especially when it comes to sensitive subject matter. In this way, you are using one’s professional reputation to vouch for your words, as a sort of a semi-official affirmation.
Finally, you can go with the wisdom of friends, which is almost identical to the traditional technique of WOM (word of mouth) recommendation. In this particular situation, you’d be using personal relationships in their lives as leverage. The reason why these methods are so persuasive is due to the fact that you aren’t focusing on the subject matter in its original form but on something much more relatable in real life: relationships, expertise and familiarity.
2. Emotional triggers
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that there are certain emotional triggers that can be evoked with the right design, page layout or even a proper use of colors at the right time. For instance, the color purple is known to grab the attention of female populace with much greater efficiency (on average).
In other words, by tailoring the design of your social media content to your target demographic, you can drastically increase your engagement rates. To achieve this, according to guys from the Sydney web agency, you need to possess highly developed analytical skills, as well as a decent skillset required for a designer. Luckily, in 2018, you always have a privilege of outsourcing, as long as you’re able to maintain a good working relationship.
The fonts you use also play a vital role in attracting certain user personas. For example, Netflix often taps into font psychology to tell a story and find its audience. One of Netflix's main tools to grab your attention is its choice of font, each one designed to give you a specific emotion that's consistent with the series's tone.
3. The implication of urgency
One of the most common marketing tricks that can be applied to the world of social media is the implication of urgency. Nevertheless, this is a broad term under which you can count things like limited time offers or the idea that they are missing out on something grand by remaining inactive. Another strategy, albeit somewhat less potent, is focusing on negative.
While it is true that you should always emphasize positivity, in some areas you need a shocking example to awaken your audience from their “slumber” and make them engage with your content. An example of this can be seen in the security industry, due to the fact that here, fear is by far the strongest motivator.
4. A plethora of choice may suffocate your offer
More is always better, right? Well, not necessarily. You see, giving your audience more options than they can handle might make them less inclined to make a choice at all. According to studies, a group that has to choose between 24 different product types is 10 times less likely to decide than one that has to choose between 6. While the number of choices grew only 4 times, the likelihood of making a choice dropped 10 times, which is on its own a proof that the resolve of your audience does not drop linearly, but exponentially.
5. Asking questions
Think about it, how do you most commonly engage someone in person? By asking a question, of course. Still, asking questions and asking the right questions are in no way one and the same thing. In fact, if you want to know what to ask, you first need to learn how to actively listen (although this may sound like a paradox).
The best way to prepare yourself for this is to monitor your activity feed, create some question surveys and even to directly offer help to your audience. Those who use this as a marketing trick will be surprised just how efficient these techniques can be for upselling their products. Long story short, by positively engaging with your audience, you will encourage them to become more engaged with you as a brand in the future.
At the end of the day, one of the greatest mistakes that a lot of digital marketers make is trying to understand social media marketing before they fully grasp the basic human psychology that lies beneath. Once this is out of the way, the bigger picture becomes much clearer and any effort you make to engage your target demographic becomes much more efficient.