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Social media they greatly affect our lives today. Think about one of the first things you do when you get up? If you answer this question honestly, you will see that most of us inevitably check in the morning what is new on the social networks they use. The psychology of social networks is definitely something that can explain to us many phenomena related to their growing popularity. They have become an indispensable part of our lives and largely determine how we experience ourselves and others in social interaction. Likes are part of our self-affirmation, but also our attitude towards other members of the community.


And what would happen if they liked everything on social networks?


He's doing an experiment, a programmer Rameet Chawla made a script that liked all the photos that go through his Instagram Feed. The results of this procedure are very interesting:


  • He increased the number of followers by about 30 a day
  • He was invited to several parties
  • He was stopped on the street by people who recognized him from Instagram
  • He received a lot of messages from friends who encouraged him to post more pictures.

Likes, comments and messages we share on social media often seem unimportant, but they are important. They touch on some of the elements that make us human: our hopes, desires, anxieties and joys.

Psychology of social networks

What if we did psychology of social networks used to get closer to customers, do we provide them with more than they want and create a better connection with them?

Biology of social networks: dopamine and oxytocin

The attractive addiction caused by social networks also has its biological basis. This is thanks to two chemicals produced by our brain: dopamine and oxytocin.

Scientists once thought that dopamine was just a hormone to enjoy, but now we know that it is actually responsible for creating desire. Dopamine causes us to seek and desire. The attraction of dopamine created by social networks is so strong that studies have shown that it is harder for people to resist tweeting than cigarettes and alcohol.


There is also oxytocin, which is often called the "hug hormone", because it is released when people kiss or hug. Or tweet. In 10 minutes spent on social media, oxytocin levels can rise by 13% - an increase the same in some people on their wedding day.

All the mood that comes from oxytocin: reduced stress levels, feelings of love, trust, empathy and generosity, also comes with social networks.


As a result, social media users have shown more trust than the average internet user. A typical Facebook user, as much as 43% more than an ordinary internet user, thinks that most people can be trusted.


So, in addition to dopamine and oxytocin, participating in social networks not only brings a lot of nice feelings, but also creates a constant desire for more interactions.

Acting on social networks

Let's look at some of the main activities on social networks and find out what psychological mechanisms are triggered by each of them.

Why do we post content on social media?

People simply like to talk about themselves or what is a matter of their interest. They devote about 30 to 40% of their time talking about themselves. But that percentage grows to as much as 80% when it comes to social networks. Why is it so? Face-to-face conversation is a bit chaotic and implies emotional involvement - we don't have time to think about what and how to say, we often have to read the gestures of the face and body in order to see the reaction of the interlocutor. Online we have time to edit and perfect what we write and what we want to say. This is what psychologists call self-presentation: positioning the way they want to see you.

The feeling we get from self-presentation is so strong that by looking at our own Facebook profile we increase our self-esteem. What is also interesting for traders is that the most common way we perform self-presentation is through the things we buy or own.


The intensity of emotions that people can feel towards their favorite brands as a result is amazing. Volunteers were shown two images in the experiment: one with a logo for a brand they like and the other a picture of their partners or closest friends. Their physiological excitement towards the logo was as intense as the excitement of looking at a picture of their closest friend.


Things, and therefore brands, are a good part of what sets us apart. So, it is necessary to understand what aspirations are aroused by your brand with which your customers can identify.

Why do we share other people's content on social networks?

If we love to talk about ourselves so much, what is it that makes us share something else?

The transmission of information is an urge that lies deep within us. The very thought of sharing activates the reward center of our brain, even before we do anything.

Self-presentation and strengthening relationships

First, let's go back to the image we have of ourselves: 68% of people say they share things on social media so that others can actually feel better who they really are and what they care about the most. However, the biggest reason we share content online is other people. 78% of people said they share things because it helps them stay connected to people.


When we share good content, we get social confirmation of our activities. 62% of people say that they feel better when people react positively to what they post on social networks

Facebook with more than 2 billion active users per month is a great example of a platform where people like to like. In fact, since Facebook implemented the like button, it has been used more than 1,13 trillion times, and that number is increasing day by day.


We do this because we want to maintain relationships. When we like each other's posts, we add value to the relationship and strengthen the closeness.

Why do we like on social networks?

This is how we create the effect of reciprocity. We feel obligated to give back to the people who gave us something. One sociologist sent 600 Christmas cards to complete strangers. It is interesting that he received as many as 200 answers back. It is the power of reciprocity.


We notice a similar phenomenon on Instagram. Whenever you receive a like or comment, you will probably feel the need to respond with some interaction.

Most retailers are of the opinion that conversations with customers are very important. Engagement and as much interaction as possible is what builds long-term trust.


So it's surprising to find that users don't feel the same way. A survey conducted among more than 7.000 consumers found that only 23% of them say they have a connection to the brand. Of those who did so, only 13% cited frequent interactions with the brand as a reason for the connection. Consumers say that shared values ​​are a much bigger driver of relationships.

Why do we comment?

This by no means means that comments have no force. In fact, they can be very useful. There is a phenomenon according to which our entire experience is influenced by whether and how we share it with others. 85% of us think so that reading responds to other people on a topic helps us understand and process information and events. This actually means that comments have the power to influence our thinking.


Basically, every comment about you, anywhere online, is for the consumer a reflection of who you are. That’s the way the consumer’s brain works.

So far, we have only scratched the surface of what is interesting and unique about social networks. Let’s dive deeper into some intriguing phenomena for traders.

The phenomenon of social networks: selfies, emoticons and nostalgia

Throughout history, portraits have been a matter of status and have influenced the way our image is perceived.

The psychological concept says that we can never really see ourselves - we need the reflection of another to understand who we are.

Selfies are very popular because we pay more attention to faces than anything else.

The profile picture is the first place that catches the eye Facebook-and other social networking sites.

Selfie madness

On Instagram, pictures with human faces are 38% more likely to get likes and 32% more likely to attract comments.

Eye tracking studies show that online, we track the eyes of the people we see on the screen.

Looking at faces can also create empathy. In the experiment, photographs of patients' faces were added to doctoral files and it was found that photographs of patients improved the way patients were treated.

For brands, there are many ways to harness the power of selfies.

Most of us are not aware of this, but we imitate the expressions of others when talking. It's an "emotional contagion," and this is an important way to build a connection.

Online, we create that crucial element of empathy using emoticons.

10 billion emoticons are sent worldwide every day.

The power of emoticons

There is a strong connection between the use of emoticons and the power of social networks.

A five-year analysis in social media showed that emoticons are a common factor among influential and popular social networks.

A study in which participants spoke online with different types of experts found that participants rated experts more friendly and competent when using emoticons in their communication.

There are many fun ways to include emoticons in marketing campaigns. Brands like Ikea, Coca-Cola, Burger King have even created their own branded emoticons for their fans.

Experts believe that users see them in a truly unique way - as self-expression, not advertising.

Social networks and nostalgia

Sometimes social media - and life - moves so fast that we want things to slow down.

Nostalgia comes here, and this longing for the past can be an amazing strategy for modern social media marketing. Nostalgia is universal in all cultures and gives us a sense of social connection, a sense of love and protection.

That feeling makes us think differently about money. When people are asked to think about the past, they are more likely to give money to others and be willing to pay more for products.

Nowadays, nostalgia seems to be more pronounced than ever. You don't have to have hundreds of years of history to use nostalgia in marketing. All you need is a period of time for which your target market will be nostalgic.

By looking at the analytics and demography of social networks, we can determine which period should be emphasized in creating content for social networks.

The character of social networks: light and dark side

If we talk about the psychology of social networks, we cannot ignore studies on their negative influences. Some say they make us lonelier, more isolated, more depressed.


And the science behind it is very real - with the proviso that social networks do not change us by themselves; they are only an extension of our already existing tendencies.


We all tend to judge our worth by comparing ourselves to others.


This can lead to feelings of insecurity - especially on Facebook-u, where we share our best news, constantly compare ourselves with a number of other similar content.


But on the other hand, social networks can also unite us. If you’ve ever shared information about a loss or personal challenge on social media, you may have experienced strong support that can come from friends, and even those you might not have expected. When we feel insecure, turn around Facebook-u offers more comfort than any other type of self-affirmation. Spending time on social networks is associated with virtual empathy, which is transmitted to the real world.

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Made by Andrej Jovanović - Account Manager @Digitizer 

                Nebojsa Radovanovic - SEO Expert @Digitizer