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Social Media and Psychology

Social Media and Psychology

Social media has a huge impact on all of us, for better or or worse. Sometimes, we don’t even realize the impact it’s having, or why we are so affected.  To better understand how social media came to have such a tight grip on society, it can be helpful to view it through the lens of psychology.  Here are a few psychological frameworks to view social media phenomena through.

Inclusion and Exclusion 

Humans like to feel included and do not like to feel excluded.  These are pretty basic desires that most people probably already know, or could have guessed.  Social media provides us with a potential new avenue to connect with others.  It’s a place where camaraderie and friendship can be built.  However, it is also a place where being excluded or left out can be amplified more than ever before.  

As a brand, when crafting your social media presence, try to create an atmosphere that is accepting and inclusive.  Then, no matter what struggled they are facing elsewhere online, potential customers will feel comfortable and get a sense of belonging when they are on your pages. 

Comparison

It is human nature to compare ourselves to others.  This has always been the case, and the rise in popularity of social media has just taken this to a whole new level.  No longer do humans just compare themselves to those they are immediately surrounded by.  Now, people can compare themselves to thousands of others across the country and the world based on their online presence.  

Take advantage of this sense of comparison by making not only your offerings seem desirable, but also by making those using your offerings seem desirable.  You want to activate the comparison instinct in your potential customers by convincing them that your product or service will make them more like those people they are jealous of.  Frame your offering as a key to becoming more like the people you want to become.

Inner vs. Outer Selves 

Social media can provide an opportunity for more self-expression than ever before.  However, it can just as easily provide a chance for people to hide parts of themselves and present themselves in a way that is different than who they really are.  This is a battle between our inner selves and the person we present ourselves as to the world.  People are not always proud of every part of themselves, and may try to hide certain aspects when crafting a social media presence.  Many people present themselves as the person they’d like to be, instead of who they really are.  The nature of social media, and its carefully curated content, provides people with an avenue to do this.    

Go beneath the surface when you are working on your company’s social media marketing strategy.  Your customers are probably not all as happy and perfect and polished as they present themselves as online.  Dig deeper and think about who you are really marketing to, and the fears and desires you can appeal to, that they may not necessarily express often online.

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