The Psychology of Social Media Interaction

The Psychology of Social Media Interaction

According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. In addition, according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants are not sure what social media tools are the best to use. In this blog post, I do not want to give tips on what social media tools to use; I want to give tips on how to increase social media interaction.

Especially for many eCommerce stores, social media interaction is key to remaining competitive. According to InfiniGeek, people trust what their peers have to say and while reviews can be beneficial, recommendations from friends and family members work far better. It is important to make sure that you maximize on your current platforms, and one of the ways that you can do this is by maximizing the interaction levels between your eCommerce store and your customers.

‘The psychology of social media interaction.’ Since social media is comprised of people engaging in personal conversations, many psychological principles can be applied to these channels. In this blog, I summarize 5 ways to use psychology to maximize social media marketing. I also list 7 tips to increase social media interaction. Read more

The Psychology of Social Media Marketing: 4 Ways to Increase Interaction

A few weeks ago, I read an interesting article called The Psychology of Social Media Marketing: 4 Ways to Increase Interaction by Lee Frederiksen. He says that as marketers continue to adopt social media as an integral part of their marketing strategies, he has been exploring how psychology can be used to improve social media’s impact. Since social media is comprised of people engaging in personal conversations and interactions, many psychological principles can also be applied to these channels. He shares five ways to use psychology to maximize social media marketing, which I will summarize here.

Five ways to use psychology to maximize your social media marketing

1. Understand the Halo Effect

The “Halo Effect” is a psychological phenomenon that causes positive bias. Edward Thorndike found that if an evaluator believed that a person had one strong positive trait — like being intelligent — this bias would automatically lead the evaluator to believe that the person’s other qualities — like work ethic or helpfulness — were also positive. This applies to brands and companies on social media as well. If you have a reputation for producing high-quality, helpful, and thought-provoking articles, your audience will be likely to believe you are excel at other things as well, like providing goods or services.

2. Stay positive

As humans, we intuitively seek out things that make us feel good. When creating a social media plan, focus on sharing content and using language that is positive. In a recent analysis of 10,000 of the most shared stories across the web, researchers found that articles were more likely to be shared if they evoked awe, laughter, and amusement in readers. Articles with “negative” emotions like sadness and anger were only shared 7% of the time. This aligns with a New York Times study on online sharing, which found that the number one reason people share information online was “to bring valuable and entertaining content to others.”

3. Understand your audience

Before you post, understand your audience. Have a thorough understanding of why they spend time on their social networks and what they are hoping to obtain. The culture and audiences of the different social platforms should inform all of your content creation. Nevertheless, understanding who uses the different social networks is only the first step. In order to know what kind of content to produce and share, you need to research the ultimate end-user. This is your business’ client or consumer base. A recent study by Hinge found that firms that conduct systematic research on their audience and competitors grow almost 12 times faster than, and are almost twice as profitable as, firms that do not conduct research.

4. Do not be afraid to ask

Research by Hinge has shown that the number one reason why buyers do not refer their service providers is simply that they have not been asked. Asking for help evokes a powerful human response—whether in person or on social media. In fact, according to social scientist Dan Zarrella, tweets with the words “please retweet” garnered 4 times more retweets than average posts, with other variations of that request also performing remarkably well. Of course, you do not want to overuse it, but simply asking your network to help you spread valuable content will yield powerful results.

5. Never sell out

One huge no-no that applies to all social media marketing is: do not sell. It can be tempting to use social media to sell your products or services. After all, you have free access to a huge audience. Just as people find door-to-door salespersons and phone solicitors annoying, they also feel that way about salesy social media posts. Instead, focus on sharing valuable, positive content that is relevant to your target audience, and watch your brand—and profits—grow.

7 tips to increase social media interaction

Here are seven tips on how to increase social media marketing.

1. Increase social media interaction: use Facebook to highlight employees and reach out to fans

Your company is only as good as your hardworking employees, so do not be afraid to highlight them. It is a great way to show fans the human side of your company. Social Media Examiner uses SEOmoz as an example: it uses Facebook photo albums to highlight their employees by sharing ‘then and now’ pictures.

2. Increase social media interaction: get personal on Twitter

Get creative by using video to connect on Twitter. Social Media Examiner suggests using Vsnap or Vine to make short videos thanking someone for a follow or retweet, giving a tour of the office or showing the team. Also, let people know who is tweeting. Include the initials of the person tweeting at the end of each tweet or include the Twitter handle of the person(s) tweeting in your bio. Both of these strategies are a great way to make a branded Twitter account feel a little more human and the interactions more personal. Finally, be part of the conversation. Do not ignore people who take the time to tweet to your company.

3. Increase social media interaction: participate in LinkedIn groups

Participating in LinkedIn Groups is an opportunity to join the discussion in your company’s industry and answer questions. As an added bonus, more professionals in your field will see your company. This is a great opportunity for you to get more visibility for your company and to interact with people who may be interested in your products and services.

4. Increase social media interaction: ask questions

Start your social media posts with questions. Infinigeek says that is important to ask the questions that you actually want answers to. Do not just ask questions like, “What is your favorite eCommerce store?” These sorts of questions are self-serving and not going to get the response that you want. Instead, make sure that you ask questions that people might want to answer such as, “What is your favorite childhood memory?” or “What is the one item in your closet that you cannot live without?” Other ways to ask questions can be found on, such as have people fill in the blanks (“My favorite menu item is ____________”), hold an informal caption contest with an image related to your industry, or post a Facebook Poll.

5. Increase social media interaction: participate in responses

As your customers begin to respond, make sure that you interact with them. Your customers take time to provide feedback to your questions and your social media posts. You need to make sure that you reward that. Infinigeek says that when you interact, you are showing that you actually do care about what they have to say, and it makes it more likely that they will pay attention in the future. Have someone hop on a couple of times throughout the day to handle the interaction and participate in the conversations.

6. Increase social media interaction: incorporate user ideas

According to Infinigeek, customers and users are more likely to value businesses and brands that actually value their opinions. You can combine this with the questions. Ask questions to get ideas for what your customers would like to see. When your customers do respond, take the time to see if the ideas will work. Then, if you can, use their ideas. You can make them part of your marketing campaign and your eCommerce platform. To make sure that you get the most out of this, give credit to the consumer or customer who gave you the idea. This way, the person feels that you appreciate them, and they will not be inclined to claim that you stole the idea.

7. Increase social media interaction: be consistent

According to Sazbean, no one is going to read your blog or follow you on Twitter if you post a bunch one week and then disappear for several weeks. If social media is important to your online strategy, then add it to your daily to-do list just like anything else. Create a content calendar to plan your content.

What can I do for you regarding your social media interaction?

Interaction is all about language and communication. I own Dutch translation agency BudgetVertalingOnline, which offers affordable translations English <> Dutch. Hence, I can help you if you want to go abroad with your marketing efforts. If your content is in a language your audience does not understand, it raises an unnecessary barrier to social interaction. Want to get in touch? Send me an email (, send me a Tweet (@GdenHolder) or fill out the quotation form.

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