Social media, as well as media marketing, are two relatively new constructs for us. We still haven’t quite got the hang of it all, but that’s completely fine. We’re here to learn together and what can be more fun than that? When you look at things from this very prosaic perspective, you also realize that media psychology suddenly plays an enormous part in it all.
Why, you ask? Just think about that rush of feelings you get right before you hit the enter button upon posting something on Facebook, Twitter or Insta. That’s media psychology, right there. Now, let’s detail a bit and see what more we can found out about it and how we can use it to our advantage.
What Is Media Psychology?
Simply put, media psychology is a budding science that finds itself at the crossroads between human behavior and technology. In other words, it is trying to understand and define how people behave in relation to technology and social media. What causes people to act the way they do, post the content that they do, and pledge their allegiance to a form of technology or brand?
As you, probably, already imagined, media psychology doesn’t have a definition of its own yet. However, if we were to try and give it one and be a bit funny about it in the process, it would go something like this.
Media psychology is a new branch of psychology which uses people of all ages to explain human feelings and emotions in relation to media, media content, and technology used for the first two. It does so for the reason that media and its technological venues have become an incremental part of our lives, because you can now find them everywhere, and because, well, they’re not going away.
The simple reason behind media psychology is that we now live the best part of our lives in the digital world. That’s how we talk to people and keep in touch with our family and friends. Social media is how we now find romantic and sexual partners, and how we express our feelings for everyone to see. It is also how we find entertainment, material for reading, and how we do our jobs. In one word, social media and the social world itself is everything.
It was about time a new branch of psychology emerged to try and explain our behavior and feelings.
How Can One Use Media Psychology for Marketing Purposes?
Now that we’re all on the same page on what media psychology really is let’s get down to business and see how we can use it for marketing reasons. Here are seven fantastic tips, gathered from a series of researches that specialists have been performing in the past few years.
#1. Get to know your audience a lot deeper than before
The media psychology concept that will help you here is self-censorship. In other words, it’s that little thing we do right before posting something on social media when we stop, delete everything and add something else. Or when we rewrite our tweets or Facebook posts, or when we remove an Instagram picture so that we can replace it with something else.
The studies gather that individuals are more likely to turn to self-censorship when they don’t know their audience. For example, the Facebook crowd is immensely diverse, which makes it difficult for you, as a business, to please everyone. But not impossible. Try to get to know your audience by looking at their profiles and creating some stats. What is the average age? Do you have more women or men in your followers’ list? Rural or urban? Where do they work? Then you can post something that most of them will find interesting.
#2. The emotions that you share online are contagious
Hats off to the ‘love’ one because it is the most contagious of all. We already knew that emotions were contagious when people sit next to each other in physical form. However, we had no clue if that was the case for the digital world as well.
Now we do, though, thanks to some studies. We recommend you read them, as they are highly interesting. The group of researchers studied one billion posts over the course of two years. At some point, they decided to follow the things people were posting on a rainy day. They considered that, because of the weather, people we more likely to post gloomy things.
So they did. Soon enough, the attitude caused by the weather spread to other parts of the globe as well, because of the people living in rainy climates and posting their feelings online. Based on these findings, they took the study even further and discovered that positive feelings are even more contagious than that.
Therefore, as a marketing strategy, you should strive to send out positive energy. Post happy things and people are a lot more likely to share them with their friends and make you famous.
#3. Sharing is selective
You, probably, already knew that, but it’s a good idea to detail this concept a bit, as there is a valuable marketing lesson at the end for you. According to a survey, approximately a quarter of all Facebook users from around the globe share absolutely everything or the best part of what they can find, in the online.
The other segment, the one who never shares anything, comprises 19 percent of the total of users. However, what’s interesting about these finds is that the percentage of people who share everything varies according to their nationality and the country they’re living in.
The study also shows a deep connection between ‘oversharing,’ as they call it and the level of penetration the Internet has had. Therefore, the mass majority of oversharers are located in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, meaning the places in which the Internet is not such a huge or ‘daily-basis’ thing.
The ‘undersharers’ are all in Europe, the place where people are online every single day. What can you take away from this study as a marketing lesson? That you need to be objective about your sharing expectations. Try to take into account your geographical area as well as your audience’s demographics.
These are but a few of the lessons that we are currently learning about and thanks to media psychology. Still, here’s, perhaps, the most important one. Social media is all about you. Researchers have proved that people love talking about themselves just as much as they love food, sleep, and sex. Therefore, make your social media marketing content about them and you should be golden!
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