Marketing Psychology: Human Behaviour’s Influence on Social Media Marketing

 Marketing Psychology: Human Behaviour’s Influence on Social Media Marketing

Marketing Psychology: Human Behaviour’s Influence on Social Media Marketing

Psychology and marketing are two different disciplines. The former deals with explaining why humans behave in many ways, while the latter aims to promote something like brand or product and, at the same time, persuade people to like them. 

As marketing is about enticing the consumers about their brand or product, a knowledge in psychology can help marketers to improve their marketing strategy by having a fact-based understanding on the consumer behavior. A marketer does not have to master psychology to make it useful in his field.

One secret that genius marketers have is they incorporate principles of psychology to their marketing strategies. By understanding how consumers think, feel, and choose as well as how they are influenced by their environment, marketers can form an effective marketing strategy to gain customers. In social media marketing, this psychological approach in marketing is still applicable.

 Marketing Psychology: Engaging Your Audience in Social Media

Marketing Psychology: Engaging Your Audience in Social Media

With our rapidly progressing world, marketing has found more effective platforms to reach out to people. One of these platforms is social media. Almost everyone is on social media, which makes a good venue for marketers to do their magic. It also helps businesses to know their target consumers more by monitoring how these people respond to the promoted brands. However, if a business sees that his/her brand is not generating enough engagement or subscriptions from audience, then it’s time for him/her to step up his social media marketing game. How? Through Marketing Psychology or by learning the human behaviour and incorporating it to their social media marketing strategy.

Clueless how you can use marketing psychology, particularly in social media? We’ve gathered five human behaviour studies that can help you win the sales via social media:

5 Human Behaviour Studies and How You Can Apply Them to Your Social Media Marketing

Mere-Exposure Effect

(“I think I’ve met you somewhere.”)

Wondering why you are more into people or things you are already familiar with? In psychology, it’s called Mere-Exposure Effect. Also known as Familiarity Principle, it’s a psychological phenomenon whereby people tend to have a preference people or things that they are familiar with. The more they are exposed to something, the more they like it. 

How to apply: 

  • As said in Mere-Exposure Effect, people have the propensity to like or trust something they are familiar with. Another way to expose your brand and maintain your presence on social media is to post content more frequently. 
  • Brands opt for paying just to have their pages seen by as many people and as much as often as possible--and it’s because they want to create a familiarity between their brands and audience.

Example:

 COPPER Facebook Milestones

COPPER Facebook Milestones

 COPPER Facebook Likes

COPPER Facebook Likes

COPPER began their social media page in 2012. It made its name through their constant social media presence with their boosted posts. Four years later after the their social media page creation, it has already garnered 300,000 + likes on Facebook. 

Buffer Effect of Social Support

(“You got my back”)

When you know that someone will support you all the way and stay by your side, it makes situations less stressful for you. In psychology, they call this feeling as Buffer Effect of Social Support. The perception and actuality that there is a support system that you can rely on can ‘buffer’ the stress levels you’re having. 

How to apply: 

  • Open up your brand page for questions, concerns and feedbacks. It’s best to make the interactions public through the exchange of comments between your brand and audience on your posts. 
  • This way, you are sending people a message that your brand is reliable and trustworthy, therefore building their trust and loyalty to your brand.

Example:

 Maxi-Peel Facebook Profile

Maxi-Peel Facebook Profile

 Maxi-Peel Facebook Post

Maxi-Peel Facebook Post


Maxi-Peel encouraged engagements with consumers by replying to each of the concerns on posts’ comment sections, making them feel the genuine care from the brand.

Ben Franklin Effect

(“I’m nice, and will always be nice to you.”)

Sir Benjamin Franklin said "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.” He proposed a psychological phenomenon, saying that when people gave a favor to someone, they are more likely to help that person again than they would be if they are the ones who received help. The explanation behind this was we tend to believe that we did nice for them because we liked them. 

How to apply: 

  • Make your audience do something for you by asking them to share your posts or even solicit feedbacks from them. 
  • This psychological approach may seem counterintuitive at first, but many people claim that it’s an effective way to make someone believe that they like you. 

Example:

 Futurism Facebook Profile

Futurism Facebook Profile

 Futurism Facebook Post

Futurism Facebook Post

By saying “Help us improve…”, Futurism requested help from their audience, directing them to take their reader survey. Though not necessarily required, the brand has also offered a reward to those who will participate in the survey.

The Endowment Effect

(“I like it because it’s mine.”)

In this psychological hypothesis, it is said people place higher value on things that they own, simply because it’s theirs. In a study conducted by  Daniel Kahneman, Jack Knetsch & Richard Thaler in 1990, participants were given mugs and asked them to sell or trade the mugs for an equally-valued pen. The findings showed that people wanted to sell their mugs twice the amount they would pay if they’ll be the ones who were purchasing the mug. 

How to apply: 

  • Using this psychological approach, your audience, especially those who have already tried your product, should believe that your brand is theirs. 
  • By soliciting reviews and suggestions about your product or brand through social media, you are encouraging their ownership. 
  • This is also a good way to show honesty to people by having them read how well your product or brand is performing according to others. 

Example:

 Shopo Twitter Profile

Shopo Twitter Profile

 Shopo Twitter Post

Shopo Twitter Post

 Shopo Twitter #HappyBidDay

Shopo Twitter #HappyBidDay

Shopo held a tweet contest to ask their followers to tweet them which product of the brand is their favorite and why in many tweets as possible. The contest gained a lot of responses--not only it filled the feeds with positive reviews about Shopo products, but also helped making the brand’s hashtag to trend because of numerous tweets. 

Propinquity Effect

(“Closeness lead to close friendships… Literally.”)

At school, you usually tend to be best friends with your seatmate. This is because of Propinquity Effect. Through this psychological tendency, people form a bond of friendships and romantic relationships with other people whom they are always physically close to and they can relate themselves to. The more you encounter and interact with someone, the more likely you are going to be friends with them, especially if you find similarities in that person.

How to apply:

  • Become friends with your audience by maintaining a constant presence of your brand in their social media feeds. Through your content, get them actively interact with your page.
  • Post content that will stir up responses from audience by asking them to share their similar experiences. For example, if you are a toothbrush brand, tell little light-hearted musings that people can relate to such as “The best feeling is brushing your teeth with a new toothbrush,” and ask them questions like “Do you agree?”. 

Example:

 Sprite Facebook Profile

Sprite Facebook Profile

 Sprite Facebook Post

Sprite Facebook Post

Aside from that they are active in social media, Sprite uses funny experiences that many people can relate to as a conversation starter on their posts. 

Do you have something to add that’s missing here? Share your thoughts in comments below.