As a blogger, you know how powerful social media can be for getting new readers. In order to do this, you need to find ways to increase your social media reach. And we’ve got a few psychology tips that can help you do just that.
When I first started using social media to grow my blog, I posted a lot of random junk. From pictures of my lunch to random things I found funny, and inspirational quotes that didn’t have anything to do with my blog.
But once I started seeing social media as a powerful tool for marketing, everything changed!
Instead of posting random stuff, I started to carefully tailor my posts into something that I hope would be shared by my peers.
You see, there is a huge amount of content being posted to the internet every day. Hundreds of thousands of tweets, posts, stories, photos, and articles blasted out at a neck-breaking pace.
So the question is, why do some posts go viral and others get completely ignored?
The answer can be found in understanding a bit about human psychology.
Really? Psychology? What’s next, the next cat video makes us buy a certain brand of cat food, a la Inception?
Well, yes actually! Believe it or not, that last video you watched might affect how you make your next purchase.
Emotional triggers are used against us all the time even when we are not aware of them. This is very important to take into account if you intend to use social media as a marketing tool.
A smart blogger needs to know which psychological triggers to use to prompt his or her audience to share their content. By doing this, and improving at it over time, you will see incredible results.
But First, 3 Key Points
However before we discuss the emotional triggers that you should focus on, there are a few key points that you should always keep in mind:
1. People will look at the relevance
You need to ensure that your articles are contextually relevant to your audience.
If your audience is a bunch of 12-year-olds, you don’t post hard-hitting political news–they won’t care.
Cater all your content to your audience’s interests. Understand what they’re passionate about, what they spend their time on, and what makes them tick.
2. Make your content informative, entertaining, or interesting
If your content doesn’t have any of these two qualities–informative and interesting– then don’t use it. Period.
Will your audience learn something from reading your post? Can they walk away feeling smarter or more aware of something they care about?
Is what you’re sharing more of what they’ve already heard, or are you giving a unique perspective that they haven’t seen before? (Hint: the latter is what you’re aiming for.)
Does your content make them laugh? Does it make them cry? Does it evoke any emotion whatsoever?
Keep in mind that the viral posts of today get shared because people found them to be entertaining.
3. Choose the right sharing medium
This is where choosing the proper social media platform comes into play. Remember, every social network has a different culture, and you need to take this into consideration before investing time and energy into it.
Does your audience prefer medium-length to long videos? Then maybe YouTube or Facebook is the one for you.
Does your audience prefer looking at images or short videos? Then you should probably post on Twitter or Instagram.
Posting the wrong kind of content on the wrong social media platform will often be a waste of time, effort, and money.
There you go! This is a mini-checklist that should memorize by heart in order to help you streamline your social media efforts and create more positive impact.
Now, if you feel that a post you are about to make has the potential to go viral, then read on and find out how emotional and psychological triggers help you grow your social reach even more:
Cool Kids Like to Show Off
People primarily join social media sites for one main reason. And that is to connect with people.
I mean, it’s called social media for a reason, right? Whether it’s with family, friends IRL (in real life), or with new people, we all want to connect with them in some way. And these platforms are just perfect for that.
Now, quick question: how do we stay relevant within our circles?
The answer to that question is the first emotional trigger we are going to discuss. Take this to heart and hammer it in:
People show off on social media in order to stay relevant.
- Will it make us look good if we share a certain post?
- Will it raise or lower our social value?
- Will this new cat video make our friends look at us in a positive way if we share it?
In a real sense, sharing anything good does not make us any better, but that’s how our brains work. We just have to accept it.
Do you remember your early days in Jr. High School when you used to brag to your friends whenever you beat the hot new Super Nintendo game? Or maybe you aced a test that everyone else tanked?
It made you feel great as they looked at you in awe, right?
Well, social media users behave the same way. This is especially true for teenagers to young adults. They will be quick to share any “trending” stuff that will make them look good.
Remember the 2nd point on our checklist? Informative, entertaining, or interesting right? This is where online marketers can take advantage of this.
For example, you can try to include lots of statistical data in your content. People love hearing surprising facts backed with hard numbers.
Posts that pack a lot of factual data are more likely to be shared compared to regular generic posts.
If your content is going to make them look smart for sharing it, you’re on the right track.If you want to increase your social media reach, write content that will make your reader look smart for sharing it.Click To Tweet
An Emotion is Worth a Thousand Shares
Yes, we are emotional and that is what makes us human.
You would be surprised to find exactly how much you can achieve if you trigger certain emotions in people. These emotions can determine if a certain post has the potential to go viral.
Everyone deserves a daily dose of happiness. Before the era of technological advancements, people used to do various fun social activities to relieve themselves of stress from overworking.
Nowadays, a lot of people have their entire waking life revolve around social media. A person can have over 10 thousand Facebook friends without having to connect with most of them in real life.
They will spend their entire day browsing the internet for content that will give them even a bit of happiness, sharing it with their “friends” just to have some connection to anyone.
To capture the attention of such people, inject a bit of “happiness” into your content and you will win their hearts. You can do this by telling heartwarming stories, or by doing something humorous to catch the attention of these audiences.
We all know that one friend who makes us crack our ribs every time we hang out with them. And let’s be honest, at times we try to use their jokes when we are enjoying the company of our other peers.
The same thing happens on social media. Users come across such “rib cracking” articles or posts and share them with others.
There are various other emotions like fear, guilt, sadness, anger, and so many more. You can focus on relevant industry topics and build your emotional story around them using various emotions to trigger an action from your audience.
This sounds manipulative, and in a sense, I suppose it is. But that’s what really great storytelling is, isn’t it? Every great film brings people on an emotional journey, manipulating their emotional state throughout the course of that story in order to make it connect on a deeper level.
Using emotional triggers in your content is simply ensuring that you’re connecting in the deepest possible way to your audience.
To Help is to Live
Apart from the ordinary, everyday interaction, a lot of people like to feel helpful.
For instance, you might be going through your Twitter feed, and you come across an article explaining various scholarships being offered by a certain organization or institution.
Chances are, you might be sharing this soon with your friends if you know a lot of people in your group who are looking for these scholarships. Yes, you might not benefit from it, but you will be glad that you helped.
Humans want the euphoric feeling of being useful to others.
To use this psychological trigger in your marketing strategy, you need to know which type of content your audience considers helpful.
Viral Content Connects People
The main objective of social media platforms is to enhance the ability of people to connect and interact with others from different places.
This explains why social media is so popular. This “connection” can be achieved through various means. And that includes content sharing, commenting on posts and liking other people’s posts.
As a blogger or a marketer, focus on helping people connect with one another. Once you do that, you will be surprised to see how much people are willing to like and share your post.
For instance, if you have a blog about coffee and you want to increase your social media reach, post a photo of one of your favorite brand of coffee and include a description like,
This is our favorite coffee, and we totally wish you were here to enjoy it with us. Tag someone whom you know would appreciate a good cup of coffee today.
Or you can do a giveaway or a game, where people can tag friends and they get entered to win something in a random drawing.
Authority Creates Fandom
We all like associating ourselves with the best products on the market. Companies that have realized these secrets have greatly dominated the industry.
Ever wondered why Apple can release new products and get huge sales numbers although the difference in their upgrade from the previous version is minuscule?
It’s because Apple has done a great job at positioning itself as the leading smartphone producer. Its competitors have a hard time trying to convince Apple users to switch over to their smartphones instead of an iPhone.
Authority is power.
As a blogger, your content should convince your audience why they should read your blog instead of the tens of thousands of others out there. People are more likely to trust you if you show them that you are an authority or an expert in your field.
One thing you could consider is to tap on some of the unexploited fields in your industry.
A certain thing isn’t being talked about by other bloggers in your niche? Write about it.
Other bloggers in your niche writing 500-700 word articles? Blow them out of the water with more in-depth articles that are 2,000 words and take on multiple aspects of a topic rather than one tiny piece.
This will gain you enough authority to dominate your field.
Alternatively, if you want to the quick way of leveraging authority to grow your reach, you can try influencer marketing. Find someone who already has a large audience of people you’re looking to attract, and partner with them to share your content.
Describe Things in a Simple Manner
It’s human nature to take the easiest route. If we are presented with two different ways of achieving the same goal, we will always pick the one that is less demanding.
With this in mind, you should realize that your followers are looking for a quicker solution to their problems. And if you wish to get imprinted as a household name, then you should offer them such solutions.
By the way, I am not saying that you should be brief on your descriptions. All I’m saying is that you need to offer them a simple, step by step way of solving their problems.
For instance, let’s say that you want to teach your audience how they can write an epic blog post.
You should then focus on composing an article that is simple to understand yet is provided in a step-by-step manner. Avoid using lots of hard words or jargon. If possible use lots of visuals that give people bite-sized ways to understand what you’re teaching them.
These pieces become highly shareable and people are bound to share them on social media just because it’s easy to understand.
Use the Golden Rule
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Try to engage with your audience’s content as much as possible.
Now, I know that if you’ve already got a decent sized audience, this is difficult to do. And obviously, you can’t just go around engaging with and sharing every single person’s stuff.
So what you want to do is start with those who are most vocal, most engaged, and who also have a bit of an audience themselves.
Make sure that whenever they post something relevant to your niche, you comment on it or share it with others. Reciprocity goes a long way.
Create that mutual friendship with other bloggers who have common interests.
If I can say there was one thing more important than any other in the success of my blog it’s that I made great blogger friends. I made friends by reading their posts, sharing it out, and interacting with them regularly.
Find the people you want to succeed alongside, and treat them the way you’d like to be treated.
Offer Exclusive Things
Another awesome tactic to take advantage of is to provide a sense of exclusivity to people.
For example, the people who join my email newsletter list are called my Insiders. They get exclusive tips, insights, and resources before anyone else.
Why? Because humans want to feel the thrill of being in something “exclusive.” They want to be “in the know.”
Exclusivity is a gamification tactic that a lot of people know but still don’t use! So find a way to bring “exclusive” value to people, making them feel like they’re a part of something special.
As a blogger, you should not be afraid to push your boundaries. Remember that viral content leads to exponential brand awareness, increased website traffic, and consequently more email subscribers, customers, and/or clients.
Remember the 3 key points you should always keep in mind: relevance, informative or interesting, sharing medium.
Once you got those, all you need to do is to tailor your campaign into something that can shake up a person’s inner self. Always remind yourself of the following:
- Cool kids like to show off
- An emotion is worth a thousand shares
- To help is to live
- Viral content connects people
- Authority creates fandom
- Describe things in a simple manner
- Use the Golden Rule
- Offer exclusive things
If all this sounds like a lot to take in, don’t worry about doing it all at once. Start with just one of the principles mentioned above and master it. Then once you’ve felt like you have it down, try another.
Marketing skills, like any skills worth having, take time to refine.
So which psychology trigger will you begin trying to increase your social media reach this week? Let us know in the comments below.