Three Social Media Psychology Studies and How They Can Help You

Social media is a relatively new concept that has completely exploded and allowed businesses to reach never-seen-before heights. As it is essentially still in its early days, it could be said that we marketers are still experimenting, testing, and learning together.

Psychological research continues to show us how powerful social media can be in the way that we share information and even form our business identities, therefore it is unsurprising that we have collected a few studies to share with you all.

Why aren’t you publishing it?

We’ve all been guilty of writing a post and then never actually publishing it. This phenomenon does, in fact, have a name: self-censorship. Two researchers at Facebook explored self-censorship and we feel a little unsure about publishing things to the world.

They tracked the activity of 3.9 million Facebook users over 17 days and found that 71% of these users (that is, 2,769,000 people!) typed out at least one comment or Facebook status and then hit that delete button. Data shows that users changed their mind on average on 4.52 statuses and 3.2 comments.

So, what can you learn from this?

That people are more likely to self-censor when they cannot define their audience. This is why it is imperative that you can define your targeting audience. Better yet, try developing personas for your audience to attempt to get to know them more deeply and communicate better with them.

Feel Like You Belong

Turns out that getting social feedback can lead to a greater sense of belonging. That isn’t so surprising when you think about your happiness when a friend likes or shares your post- you feel like they are on your side. A study from the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology found that a greater sense of connectedness is achieved between users with more active participation on social media sites.

The study involved half of a group of usually active Facebook-posters to remain active, whilst the other half were told to observe their friends who were still active on the site.

Results showed that those who had not posted on Facebook for two days said that they felt negative about their personal well-being. Similarly, another study instructed participants to post on their social media accounts however they made sure the posts received no responses or feedback. You guessed it – they, too, felt negative effects on their self-esteem and well-being.

So, what can you learn from this? 

That people on social media crave responses, be it in terms of a like or a few comments. Therefore, it could be an idea to get your business page involved in a few relevant conversations on social media platforms where you can add value, opinions, or even a bit of fun.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Just like sneezes are contagious, so are online emotions! Researchers at the University Of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, looked into the emotional content of 1 billion Facebook posts over the course of two years. They particularly focused on rainy days when the chances of negative posts increased. The findings showed that gloomy emotions were transmitting through the Facebook network to friends who lived in places where it wasn’t even raining. However, even though they found that negative emotions are contagious, they also found that positive emotions are even more contagious.

So, what can you learn from this?

It is important to remember to keep your posts happy and on the sunny side. You want to be able to deal with negative feedback quickly and efficiently in order to keep it from spreading!

We think it can be fascinating to look into the psychology behind social media. It can have a huge effect on both our personal lives and our business lives as it has become an integral part of our world.

Written by

Total Merchandise | Editoral Team

Our editorial team is drawn from a pool of experienced promotional merchandise product team members, account managers, marketers and other contributors. With such a wide range of skills and experience, they write about many aspects of promotional merchandise, wider marketing and business matters, as well as company news updates.

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