5 Secrets to Use Psychology to Break Through on Social

How to succeed on Instagram? At VROOM Digital, we often hear this question from brands and marketing managers, all hoping to find a better way to serve their community online. This is especially important now, during the Covid-19 crisis, when a vast majority of Users expect their favourite brands to provide them with valuable, helpful content, reinforcing that positive relationship. 

Last week we attended an excellent webinar, hosted by the UK-based agency Social Chain, providing us with some great insights, which we’ll be definitely implementing as part of our Social Media Strategy for our clients. Here are some key takeaways for you to consider. 


Hacking the Algorithm

In 2020 the average internet user is a member of 8.5 social networks, 95 millions photos are shared on Instagram every day, 500 millions tweets are sent per day and on average we are hit with 4000 advertising messages per day. How can you possibly reach your audience and get noticed?

The fight for attention is intense. How do you make sure you are victorious? How do you hack the algorithm? According to Katy Leeson, the MD of SocialChain, it has nothing to do with how often you post, the number of hashtags you use or the time you share your content. She thinks that everything you do is a waste of time without SOCIAL FIRST creatives that provide VALUE to your audience.

Katy shared with us her 5 secrets that go into strong social first creatives:

  1. Why do people share on Social Media?
  2. Trust is important
  3. The science of emoji
  4. Colour builds relationships
  5. The power of scratching backs

1. Why do people share on Social Media?

According to a recent survey conducted by the New York Times, 94% of users share on social media to improve other people’s lives. Science shows that giving activates the same parts of the brain as food and sex: altruism is pleasurable. The takeaway from this is that if you create helpful content people will be keener to reshare it to improve their peers’ lives.

68% of respondents share to define themselves. Our minds soak up everything we see as reference points of comparison: we are constantly comparing ourselves against others as to what happiness or success looks like (awkward social comparison). To reach your audience, make content that meets their self-definition needs and that they would be proud to share.

80% share to grow and nourish relationships. Connections are fundamental for human beings as they lower anxiety and depression, increase our self esteem and even improve the immune system. As marketers, you should consider creating content that fosters relationships between yourself and your followers.

81% share on social media for self-fulfillment. As humans, we all want to be liked, to belong in a group and have social approval. Make your audience feel like they are accepted and part of your tribe and you’ll succeed.

84% share to get the word out about causes they believe in, which sums up all the psychological traits mentioned above: your need for identity, self-fulfillment and belonging.

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“When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.” . . . In times of economic recession, the first thing businesses cut back on is their advertising spend. And yet, studies have shown that maintaining (or growing) ad spend during a crisis leads to an increase in sales and market share during and after the recession. Why? One of the reasons is that the cost of advertising drops during recessions, meaning that with the same money you’ll reach and catch the attention of a wider audience with respect to the preceding period. Secondly, if you stop showing up, your business loses its “share of mind” with consumers, with the potential of losing both current and future sales. Last but not least, consumers actually expect companies to keep being part of their lives, even if in a slightly different way. They want to be helped in their daily lives, to be informed and to be entertained. Our advice is to be there for your audience by using a reassuring tone, offering a positive perspective and communicating your brand values. Stats from @digiday #vroomdigital #irishbusiness #digitalmarketing #covid19 #advertising #advertisingagency #advice #tip #consumerbehavior #audience #thinkpositive #thinkbig #bethechangeyouwanttosee

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2. Trust is important

Social proofing builds brand trust. The trust hormone, oxytocin, is released when people feel like they are part of something. People are more likely to change their behaviour if they feel they’re part of a group. That’s why UGC (User Generated Content) is so powerful, it makes you feel part of that group and makes others want to belong to it too.


3. The science of emoji

Face to face we mimic people’s facial expressions to build a connection with them. The same happens when emojis are used: our brain is building connections. Evoking emotions increases the likelihood of things being shared.

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Why is Disney willing to lose billions to compete with Netflix?🤔 Bob Igor, the previous CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said that “Disney+ is the single highest priority of Walt Disney.” Really? What about Disney World or the Marvel series? What about baby Yoda? In the last quarter of 2019 Disney+ was the most downloaded mobile app (35 millions), more than Facebook and Messenger downloads combined. The second most downloaded app was Tik Tok (14 millions), followed by Facebook, Messenger, YouTube and Netflix. What do all these apps have in common? Video. In 2020, Streaming Video Consumer spending is going to jump 29% to $24 billion. Do you know any other industry that grows 29% in a single year? By 2024, there will be 1 billion people across the world paying for streaming on demand video. And let’s not forget about 5G! 100 times faster than the best 4G LTE connection, it will bring 4k video to the world, while Tesla just launched the Tesla Teather, enabling the driver to watch YouTube, Hulu, Netflix or any other streaming platform while in auto-pilot. Do you see where the world is going? [Source: Michael @stelzner presentation at Social Media World 2020] #digitalmarketing #streaming #videomaker #videomarketing #vroomdigital #irishbusiness #sme #disney #netflix #tesla #5g #videostreaming #instamarketing #future #world #agencypower

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4. Colour builds relationships

People make decisions on other people or products within 90 seconds of the first interaction and 90% of those decisions are based on colour. Colour affects how your brand is perceived. It’s important that your brand lives its brand values through colour and you are not disjointed in what you stand for versus the colour you use in your content.


5. The power of scratching backs

The last secret is based on the theory of reciprocity: if someone does something for you, you want to do something for them. The key is to get in there first and give something unexpected and valuable!


So, are you ready to start getting attention? If you found this article useful, stay tuned for the upcoming “3 Takeways About Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy From Social media World Conference You  Have to Read”.

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