Research reveals Psychology in Digital Marketing to Improve Results

What if you could think of a way to influence your audience’s emotions and get them to take the action you desire? We reveal 4 major psychological studies that can help you get inside your consumers’ social media minds and discover why people share and how they feel when they read your content.


A deeper insight into social media psychology can help you become a more effective digital marketer, leading to meatier share counts, increased engagement and heaps of positive interactions. Yes, we’ll help you get your consumers to ‘Like’ your brand a whole lot more.

Meet the social media psychology studies that can transform your digital marketing from drab (and a bit boring if we’re being honest) to compelling, contagious and just what your readers need…

1. Unleash the Happiness Bug

You already know that happiness is contagious in the real world. But now one of the world’s largest studies on social media psychology has revealed that emotions can spread in the same way online. It’s called emotional contagion and there’s no known cure. Here’s the thing: once your readers have consumed your content or read your social media post there’s a high chance they might catch your tone. So use it wisely.

Your Digital Marketing Fix:

Stop being boring! Lace your blog posts with motivational language and throw in some powerful call to actions if you want your readers to take action. If you want them to stay engaged and enjoy reading your content? Try using a fun and friendly tone – get playful with your words and don’t be afraid to break the B2B mould of boringness and predictability.

2. Jump Aboard the Sharing Bandwagon

You understand how intimidating making the first move can be – following others leads can often feel more safe and socially acceptable. You see, we live in a “me too” society where even the amount of social media shares on your posts can influence its perceived value and potential reach. The more people who have shared your content the more likely their friends, peers and colleagues are to do the same.

A U.S. based company recently proved the power of social proof when they launched a marketing campaign for their, not so delicately name product, Poo-Pouri. The campaign was pushing bathroom deodorizers (not the most appealing of products) and yet the shares flooded in. 21 million YouTube views later and the study was deemed a success based on 2 factors: 1. It was funny. 2. All it took was a few individuals sharing the video with their trusted network for others to watch it and share it with their own colleagues and friends.

Your Digital Marketing Fix:

How can you ensure your post is going to receive the shares it deserves? Find influencers within your industry and try to convince them to share your content. How? First identify influencers and build a list on BuzzSumo. Then build relationships with them online, engage with their content and look for ways you can help them with their own objectives. This handy Influencer Cheat Sheet highlights how to connect, engage and get what you want from the right influencers in your industry.

3. Unlock the 7 “Why’s” of Sharing

A recent New York Times study revealed that sharing is part self-fulfillment and part relationship building.

The Study Revealed the Top 5 Reasons People Share:

84% share to Support a Cause
78% share to Stay Connected
69% share for Self-Fulfilment
68% share to Define Who They Are
49% share for Entertainment

Your Digital Marketing Fix:

Ensure that your content always provides value. And wherever possible help people define who they are by creating insightful and educational posts. You can also explore ways to help people feel more involved with your brand. Ensure you always respond to their social media comments and questions and consider using User Generated Content to boost engagement. And don’t be scared to provide entertainment – if you have fun writing your social media posts there’s a higher chance your readers will enjoy reading them too.

4. Make It All About Them

You’ve long known that people love to talk about themselves (and some even more so than others). But did you know that a bunch of Harvard neuroscientists have proven that we can’t help but share our thoughts? They’d even go so far as to say that it triggers the same sensations of pleasure in our brain as food and money do. Get this: people will pass over money in favor of talking about themselves.

Your Digital Marketing Fix:

Stop talking about yourself, your brand and your products. Talk directly to your audience, instead, and appeal to the very thing they love the most – focusing on them, their needs and desires. Choose words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ and cut back on words like ‘we’re’ and ‘our’.

Our online Professional Diploma in Social Media Marketing teaches you the best practices for marketing through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. It includes 30 hours of in-depth lectures taught by industry experts and will equip you with all the skills and knowledge you need to plan, build and measure effective social media strategies.

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