How to Use Simple Psychology in Social Media to Reach More People

In the marketing world, human behavior has been studied relentlessly in the name of using psychology to motivate people. What is social media? It’s another tool for marketing, yes, and it has the unique capability of creating conversations in a way never before available. In fact, the conversation, it turns out, is the most important thing.

Make the most of your social media efforts by applying a few basic psychological principles.

Emotions are contagious

By using software, Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, analyzed one billion Facebook posts over two years and noticed an interesting trend.

gloomy tree

Gloominess on social media is contagious.

Users dealing with gloomy weather tended to post more negative thoughts, adversely affecting those who were experiencing nice weather. Gloominess was contagious.

In turn, it was discovered that positive posts were actually more contagious than negative posts, which I think is good news. Facebook status posts using positive words prompted those who saw them to post almost two times more positive posts themselves.

For more research on “emotional contagion” in social media, visit

People love exclusivity

You know the rush you feel when you just beat a deadline? Everyone who missed it, even by a minute, did not get to be part of the exclusive group, but you are.

Use this to your advantage in social media. By creating a way for your fans to be part of an exclusive group, you’ve helped them feel valuable, like they’re part of the club.exclusive

A few ideas:

  • Make offers time-limited thereby creating a sense of urgency and a feeling of exclusivity;
  • Establish an invitation-only closed or secret group on Facebook or your website that only includes fans who have worked for it in some way (signed up for a course, participated in an event, etc.);
  • Do the time-honored “The first ten people to (insert action here) get (an exclusive thing)” and then keep a public running count of how many are left.

People like to be seen

You’ve no doubt noticed the high number of selfies on social networks. (Hey, don’t kill yourself getting a selfie!).

Big brands have experienced great success in creating fan ambassadors by appealing to being seen.

armandphoneFor example, if fans post a photo of themselves enjoying a product or visiting a site that relates to the brand, they “win” something.

It can be as simple as their photo being posted in a prominent place for a week, or they may win an actual product. Fans then post themselves winning that product, and the brand has created an ambassador.

Think about how this can work for your business or author platform. Perhaps all fans who submit a book or product review get promoted on your social media or maybe they win something bigger such as coffee with the author, or a substantial coupon for the next new product. Don’t be afraid to think big!

Be creative in applying these basic psychology concepts to your social media marketing strategy. With a little extra effort, you can continue building a strong online presence.


Melody Jones | Social Media Management Services

Melody Jones


Melody Barnes Jones is Founder and CEO of Social Media Management Services. Melody is your Social Media Aspirin, here to take the pain away so you can go about your business. Visit her website to learn about her programs, upcoming workshops, and coaching services.


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