The Psychology of Social Media- Likes, Shares and Comments
For any business looking to engage with their customers on social media, understanding the science behind the platform can be crucial to attracting the right audience. Each business’ approach will differ, but for every company’s social media manager, it is important to understand how people interact with social to make sure the consumer is fully engaged. For Facebook, one of the premiere platforms for business, learning how the customers are going to interact with your business and why they will act the way they do can be tantamount to success in the social media world.
We’ve done a bit of research and have come up with a few answers to the question of how people engage with Facebook, to help you determine how to change your business’ social media practice to best work for your customers.
Facebook has just announced that they are currently developing a “dislike” button, but until it hits our screens, people will have to keep themselves happy with the current “like” button they already have. For most users, liking posts is their main form of interaction on Facebook. It’s a commitment-free approach to posts, which allows users to respond to threads without feeling the need to further engage. Likes can be done very casually, which is why more people will like rather than comment. Users can show their agreement, appreciation, and share empathy without needing to develop or further engage with a point.
When engaging with a business on Facebook, likes are often used to show appreciation for a product or movement being made by the business, but plenty of companies have caught on with a way that can drive engagement. For users engaging with businesses they like online, likes are often part of a return investment. Frequently, liking a post can result in coupons or a place in a competition, and it is also a great way for users to show their support of new updates.
Frequent status updates might have been more popular in the past, but studies have shown a serious decline in the number of statuses being made. A similar contrast can be made between comments and likes, with fewer people deciding to actually leave a comment on posts they might otherwise want to engage with. That said, commenting on posts is proven to relieve loneliness in the posters, and certainly drives social engagement in an online community. Whilst some people might not think of it as cool to post comments and statuses, those who do frequently interact in a more engaged manner have a higher level of social satisfaction than those who don’t.
For customers interacting with businesses through comments, the primary motive is about requesting assistance rather than starting a dialogue or showing support. Users are far more likely to comment about a negative experience rather than a positive one, because they know that a business is more likely to address their concern that way than if they were to attempt another way. Comments also require quick response time from the reader, so they are a great way of driving social engagement and opening channels of communication.
Having other users share content is one of the best ways a business can drive engagement, so if you want to figure out how to get more traffic, learning why people share content is a great way to start. Facebook users are most inclined to share content that they find interesting and fascinating. Posts about current affairs are some of the most likely to be shared, too, with most users happy to share content that they believe to be important to the people on their newsfeed.
If you are a business looking to understand the psychology of social, then it’s important to recognise that people largely use the sharing feature to show their support for a cause or venture that they believe in, as a way of rallying support. It’s a hint that could help drive traffic to your company, particularly if your business is one that gives back to the community.