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Posted on 03.17.2016

Molding Minds: The Psychology of Social Media Marketing

Kleenex, Google, Chapstick and Sharpie are all brands that have become so well-known over time they’ve replaced the generic name of the product. Ever wonder how a product can reach such notoriety?  

Recently, I attended a Nashville Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Lunch and Learn on How Psychology Drives Public Relations with Jake McKenzie, the CEO of Intermark Group. We learned how public relations and marketing can mold minds into developing this heightened level of brand loyalty. Specifically, we focused on how the true value of a Facebook “Like” comes down to psychology of the brain.

Background: System 1 vs. System 2 Decisions

Whether you’re selecting groceries or solving a math problem, everyone makes decisions with two different parts of their brain: System 1 and System 2. According to the Law of Least Effort, we use System 1 as much as possible because it’s faster and requires less effort. It is the goal of PR and marketing for our brands to become System 1 decisions.

Value of Brands on Social Media

The moment consumers are exposed to a brand or person they begin to gain an affinity for it. Once seen on social media, your brand begins to become familiar. Consumers will always choose what is familiar over what is not. The more touchpoints you have with the consumer, the more familiar your brand becomes.

Value of Facebook Likes

Getting someone to “Like” your Facebook page or post causes them to like your brand more. Liking something on Facebook is the equivalent of proclaiming in front of all of your friends and family that you are a fan of that thing (because it will pop up on their timelines). According to the Consistency Principle, which can be defined as the desire to be consistent, once someone does this, they feel anxiety that someone will call their bluff, so they convince themselves that they like the brand more because they’ve associated themselves with that brand.

Another rule in psychology surrounds social proof. People constantly care what everyone else is doing. If your friend likes a page, you feel as though you should like it too. When they go to a page or website and Facebook shows that their friends already like it, it significantly impacts their decision. 

Value of Facebook Comments

Facebook engagement is the most valuable of all. Once a person says a statement out loud and writes it down, they start to believe it’s true, even if they know it’s false. If you can get a consumer to comment and declare their love of your brand in front of everyone they know, the odds are strong they will remain a fan.

 

Alli Finkelston is an assistant account executive at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Alli’s blogs here. Connect with Alli at alli@lovell.com or @AlliFinkelston.

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