June 6, 2023

The Psychology of Social Media Engagement

Understand why your followers engage

Engagement is arguably the most important factor when evaluating the success of a social media account. The level of engagement can be defined as how involved your followers are in regards to the level of responses to your content. Engagement is all about understanding the followers – what they need, what they want and how we can influence their decision making process.

To state the obvious, some posts have higher engagement levels than others. But what is it that prompts followers to engage? I recently read an article on Top Dog Social Media titled “The Psychology Behind Social Media Engagement” which applies Robert Cialdini’s seven key factors of persuasion from his book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” that answers that very question.

  1. Weapons of Influence: Social Selling
    This one is simple, answer the “why?” What is the significance of what you’re posting and why does it matter to your audience? Example: Katie from Murphy in the Morning tried out this Thanksgiving recipe and you NEED it for your upcoming Friendsgiving
  2. Reciprocity: Relationship Building
    It is important to give your followers/intended audience the attention that you want your posts to receive. An easy way to do this is to search relative hashtags and engage (like, comment, share, etc.) that content.
  3. Commitment & Consistency
    One of the most important principles to apply to any social channel is that you must remain true to your brand voice. Your audience follows you for a reason, don’t let them down.
  4. Social Proof
    This is the principle that if other people like/share, then others will follow suit. As Cialdini explains, people are influenced by what others in their immediate surroundings do – which in turn, applies to social media as well. The Top Dog Social Media article perfectly articulates this, “[Social media accounts that] build their credibility and reputation are more likely to amass followers who adhere and listen to the ideas they advocate.”
  5. Liking: Personal Branding & Storytelling
    Followers are more likely to engage with a brand that has a distinct and unique identity that resonates with them. Your social profiles should have a personal, human component rather than being a faceless brand.
  6. Authority: Thought Leadership
    Arguably one of the most important factors is to be a credible source of information that people can trust. This is especially important for business or brand social accounts, as these profiles represent a trusted medium.
  7. Scarcity
    This pertains to creating a sense of urgency with your posts, such as sharing limited-time offers or time sensitive contests.
<a href="https://mwcadvertising.com/author/juliana-wright/" target="_self">Juliana Wright</a>

Juliana Wright

Juliana Wright studied Public Relations and Psychology at the University of Alabama, renowned one of the top PR programs in the country. Throughout her career, Juliana has gained comprehensive experience in the radio industry, spanning various domains such as programming, promotions, sales, and digital operations. Due to being extremely extroverted, she thrives in social environments. As a member of the first generation to embrace social media, she actively engaged in social media management and content creation since her college days. Outside of the professional environment, Juliana also enjoys eating, reading, skiing, hiking, and showcasing her talent for making a mean charcuterie board.