Social media is a psychological bid to get your attention. Getting it can be tough, but when you know how people make decisions and how that affects their behavior on social media, getting people’s attention gets much easier.
And in nearly every situation the answer to what is driving behavior is emotions.
Canva.com had an interesting blog post that addressed these emotional responses. In it author and neuroscientist Andrew Tate gives six situations where the content will evoke an emotional response that is favorable to your content, whether that favorable behavior meant views, shares, or likes. As a quick summary of the post they were:
- Asking a person to do a favor makes them like you more because they assume you are the type of person that’s worth a favor.
- We want guidance to know what is right or wrong, so we look at the number of responses to give us a gauge of “public” opinion. People like to be part of a crowd and are less comfortable being the first to respond.
- Fear or discomfort is an excellent motivator for people; use headlines or content that play to these two emotions to get more views, likes or shares.
- Posts that appeal to emotions capture the attention of more people than posts that appeal to rationality.
- Create urgency with your posts because no one wants to “miss out” on something—even if they didn’t want or need it in the first place.
- Confidence attracts an audience. Be assertive with your ideas.
With emotions running the show, then it must mean that social media should show an endless stream of soldiers returning home from duty to surprise a loved one or a lioness tending to an orphaned baby pig? Nope. Too much of any one emotion is…well, too much. (Although I wouldn’t mind those soldier videos. They get me every time!)
What it does mean is you have to consider how emotional responses to phrases or situations can create a response in your audience, and then use this to create a social media strategy that plays to those responses.
The methods you use to get likes for your content on social media from your audience are almost identical like getting your Customers to behave the way you want when they interact with you (i.e. to spend more money on your good and services). Like with social media engagement, you have to understand that emotions drive Customers’ behavior. Then you design an experience that evokes the emotions in your Customer Experience that drive the most value for your bottom line.
Our Emotional Signature® concept addresses the emotions in your Customer Experience. We undertook two years of research with the London Business School before launching this for our clients. When we came up with the database for the Emotional Signature, we identified 20 emotions that drive or destroy value for organizations. They are:
In our Customer Mirrors exercise, we help organizations see their experience from the perspective of the Customer. We find that many organizations recognize many moments in their interaction with Customers where they can evoke an emotional response that creates Customer Loyalty and Retention.
The 20 emotions here and something similar to the Customer Mirrors exercise can give you important information about your social media strategy, too. In many instances, you can use these same approaches to amplify your social media engagement.
Humans are driven by emotions. It’s true whether they are buying cosmetics, cars or computers, or liking your post on a feed. When it comes to social media, it is important to understand the psychology behind human behavior. Once you accept emotions are running the show, you can appeal to your audience’s emotions to create a better buzz, get more comments, or even the gold standard (and most elusive) of social media, “Go viral!”
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Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s leading Customer experience consultancy & training organizations. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter & Periscope @ColinShaw_CX