17th November 2015
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Facebook Psychology

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Yes, that’s genuinely a thing, and you need to know about it to use it to your advantage. To be honest, anything that involves human interaction will have a psychology to the way it works. So make sure you’re clued up on the psychology of Facebook so you can use it to interact with, and market to your customer base.

Why do people love Facebook? This is the first step to understanding why they’re there in the first place. There have been lots of studies done to try and work out what the huge attraction of Facebook is and a number of different theories created. For some reason, browsing Facebook triggers happiness indicators in our physiology, our pupils dilate and our nucleus accumbens reacts (the brain’s rewards centre). It appears that positive reinforcement on Facebook makes us feel more positive too.

Why do people ‘like’ things? It’s no more than a fleeting click of the mouse, or the thumb so not much effort is required, you mainly just need to capture people’s attention. Apparently, 44% of Facebook users like something at least once a day, and 29% like something several times a day or more. ‘Like’ing things is a sign that we positively endorse something, whether that be a friend’s news, a company’s new product, a picture of a puppy or a hard-hitting philosophical quote.

Why do people comment on things? It takes a bit more effort, you have to physically move your fingers, engage your brain (although you’ll come across instances where people haven’t) and type something. So understandably it’s less common than the comparatively casual ‘like’. But commenting is done because we have something to say; an opinion to express, a response to give or we feel stronger than just clicking on the thumbs up button.

Why do people share things? Someone has to be willing to share your content with x number of people, all of the people that they’re connected with on Facebook. They need to really connect with your content. The New York Times carried out a study that showed that the main reasons that people shared things on Facebook was to show valuable and entertaining content to others, to define ourselves, to nourish our relationships, for self-fulfilment and to shout about things they care about.

Understandably, the numbers are generally highest for ‘likes’, next for comments and your share number will be the lowest, because people will naturally ‘like’ something if they like it enough to share, and will often comment on it and tag specific people if they want to share it with a few, and then full-blown share it if they absolutely love it and can’t imagine not sharing it with everyone.

By understanding why people interact and engage on Facebook you can tap into their brains (not literally) to increase your engagement levels, and ultimately customer happiness (if browsing Facebook really does make us happy). The higher your engagement with customers, the more Facebook will rate your business page and show people your posts.

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About the Author

Emily keeps the office organised, makes sure the clients are happy and is always in charge of the tea round. When she’s not designing websites or drinking coffee, you’ll find Emily knitting, reading or accidentally setting her Sims on fire.

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