The Science of Social

Like, Post, Tweet, Snap, Pin, Share, Follow. These are all words that have taken on a totally new meaning in just a few short years. Remember when “tweeting” was something only birds did?

At TechArk, we provide social media management and marketing beneath our umbrella of digital marketing services. Sometimes, though, we get bogged down by the existential implications and quandaries of life online, and begin to wonder: What is the Psychology of Social Media?

It’s all about positive reinforcement. The reward centers of the brain light up when we enjoy our favorite food, activities, music, and more – and it’s the same when our status update, photo, or share gets positive reinforcement in the form of engagement (likes, comments, shares).

To flip the script, if instructed to refrain from engaging with content on social media users actually feel guilty. The perception being that their like, comment, or reaction will be missed, or worse – interpreted as a lack of support or concern.

So if these are the reasons we use social media socially, what is the logic behind the way we use social media commercially? What we’re really getting around to is: What prompts someone to Like a brand page?

Studies show that users choose to follow brands for a variety of reasons, the most popular being a desire to receive updates, information, education, coupons, discounts, and special offers. The next most likely reason is that the brand posts funny, entertaining, or shocking content, the stuff of viral videos, memes, and gifs.

Studies also show that users choose to unfollow brands for a few select reasons, the most common being high frequency of posting clogging their newsfeed, concerns about privacy, and worries about others’ perception.

The Social Psyche is complex, multifaceted, and sometimes just plain weird. If it’s all Geek to you, don’t worry. That’s what our social media specialist is for. #callus!