Psychological Influence Image

Psychological Influence of Social Media Marketing

Most people focus on writing great content.  They focus on research and evaluation of their blog posts.  They focus on perfection to the maximum because not only are their readers looking for great content, but so is Google.  Which one is more important?  Most people will tell you that the reader is the most important thing in blogging and secretly build links like a mad man behind the scenes.  We can all tell those people.

But what if I told you that one of the most important things you can do for yourself was not to write great content?  What if I said that no one cares about your content anyway?  That would hurt my feelings if someone came out and told me that anyway, so I can imagine what you’re thinking.

Content ISN’T king…yes, you read that right.  Oh sure, on your site, it reigns supreme.  There is nothing like great content to a reader that loves your blog.  But when you step outside of the confines of your site, you are trespassing on enemy territory.  You are no longer in a world where you control how things happen.  People don’t care about your content outside of your blog.  Perhaps you have a large following, then I’m sure that you have made allies through time, but this post is for the beginner.  That person that has 30 Twitter followers and even less on G+.

People could care less about your content.  It’s not king in social media, heck, it’s not even the minstrel!  You started your blog thinking that your content was king, but in reality, it was only king to you.  No one has read it, therefore, no one knows about it’s sovereign deity on your domain.

If you’re a beginner, or even a seasoned professional, and you haven’t thought twice about the repertoire of your social media update, then you are wasting your time with your social media marketing.

Why Psychological Influence Plays A Role in Social Media Marketing

Whether you know it or not, psychology does play a huge role in marketing on social media. People are unconsciously making decisions based on psychological impulses of the brain. Think I’m weird? Guess what? Your psychological make-up inside your head told you to think that (psychological influence). You just had an emotion about this article, nay, an opinion. Perhaps you think your social media marketing is already correct and you feel insulted that someone would tell you otherwise? The end result is that an emotion was caused and you reacted to that emotion making a decision to think that I am crazy.

I probably am crazy, we all are, but more on that another time.


You are sending an emotion to the reader of that social media platform with every single update that you send out. Even if it’s boredom! There is a point in time where your update crosses paths with the readers attention span, this is called convergence marketing, and it makes all the difference in whether or not you will create a positive or negative emotion inside the readers head at the point of meeting.

After plenty of hours of research and studying and conducting my own tests, I have found that you have an average of 8 seconds to get someone’s attention through your social media marketing processes. Think that’s a long time? It’s not. For most people, you only get a glance from them before they peruse to another user, and someone else’s content.

A glance! Do you know how long it takes you to blink your eye? A nano-second. That’s one billionth of a second, and, in my opinion, that’s about as fast as a glance will get you. As fast as someone’s eye can move.

Hmm, so there’s a problem with that then. Here you have people’s darting eyes all over the page, and then you have people that will actually give you the entire 8 seconds, so what’s a person to do?

Create Emotion

Strong emotions can cause you to take actions you might not normally perform, or avoid situations that you generally enjoy. In psychology, emotion is often defined as “a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior.”-Gorodn Yofut APA

There are some theories of emotion that can be grouped into 3 main categories:

  1. Physiological- responses within the body are responsible for emotions.
  2. Neurological- activity within the brain leads to emotional responses.
  3. Cognitive- thoughts and other mental activity play an essential role in the formation of emotions.

In your social update, you can use all three of these to literally manipulate the reader to do what you want them to do, which, in this case, is to drive them to your blog content so you can show them how great it really is.  However, neurological and cognitive roles are the easier of the three to do, so I will explain these.


Cognitive recognition is That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge.

Getting their attention by saying something that will make them recognize psychologically that you are important is done by simply rendering an emotion out of them. Grab their attention through a cognitive form of recognition, either in the text of the update, the blog post title, or the image itself. Recognition has to be made before emotion can be sought out.

How do I get someone to recognize me in social media? Some of the easiest forms of recognition comes in the form of word play in the text of your social media update. Using words like the 5 “W’s” is always a good place to start to get someone to recognize you!

Neurological Impulses

We all are made with something inside our brain called “Reticular Formation”.  If you have read any of my blog posts, then you will already know that it sits at the base of the brain and helps us decipher between the relevant and irrelevant things in our lives.  The same goes for social media marketing updates.  Reticular formation can block someone from looking at your update because it has already processed it that quick and deemed it irrelevant to the reader, therefore causing the reader to pass it up.  They didn’t know it, but they actually already looked at it and forgot it that quick!

If you’re still confused, then I’ll give you my favorite example of reticular formation.  It’s like a guy that has lived beside of the railroad tracks all of his life.  He could be asleep in the middle of the night, and the train comes thundering by blaring it’s horn.  Because of reticular formation, that guy’s brain has deemed that noise irrelevant to his psyche and therefore ignores it.  On the other hand, that same man could be asleep and an unfamiliar sound could happen in the living room, and he would wake up out of a dead sleep.

Right now your updates are meaningless to people.  If you’re not saying the right things or writing the right things, sure, you may get a straggler here and there, but it won’t be consistent until you learn how to attract attention.  One of the many things I teach in my downloadable book, *AHEM, is to show you just how you can create attraction and use emotional marketing to an exceptionally high quality in your social media marketing.

The Final Thought

Social media marketing should always be well thought out. Yes your site’s content is important, but don’t negate the quality that you post to social media either. There are literally billions of people that have the chance to see your content if you are wording it the right way and creating attention with your updates. I have been using Psychology in social updates for a while now and can tell you that there’s a considerable difference in the interaction and reactions to each one of my social outputs every time.

Find what grabs people’s attention. Do what you know already, in other words, put an image up there! It’s been proven that people respond to images. Write funny text in the description line, ask a question, appeal to your audience, and always remember, if you build it, they will come.

Related Social Media Post:

About Wade Harman

Wade Harman is an expert in social media psychology, helping thousands of people drive traffic by using simple psychological methods in their updating. See why he is the leading expert in social media Psychology online, and let him coach you by showing you power updating the Psychological way that prompts action and gains attention from the follower!


  1. Jeevan Jacob John says

    Hey Wade,

    Loved the post! Psychology is one of my favorite subjects, and it was interesting to read an article that covers both blogging and psychology.

    I do have a question. I remember learning about sensory adaption in my class. Are reticular formation and sensory adaption about the same thing?

    Using emotions is the definite way to go. I try to blend my own personality with the content I write through examples/analogies and my own life experiences. These are great for evoking emotions in the readers’ minds.

    Ah, yes. Something else I played around with is awe (I usually try to evoke awe through doing something entirely new – like mixing two tools that usually don’t work together). It has worked really well for me 🙂

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your insights 🙂

  2. Thanks for posting an awesome article like this on Hot Blog Tips Wade. It certainly makes you think. The idea of creating emotion, or at least guiding it, seems a little spooky but anyone that doesn’t think it’s been the norm for major marketing for years is a bit naive. Add that to the “programming” we’ve had over the years and things get pretty impressive.

  3. Hey, thanks for stopping by! Sensory input is different from reticular formation. It actually uses the “senses” that we have. Reticular formation is actually it’s own thing, just like the hypothalimus.

    Your other point that you have made about awe is a great thing for everyone to try. It IS pretty hard to do but when you can get the right post out there it can mean the difference of a successful blog or not.

  4. Hey no problem Brian, thanks for allowing me! A lot of people simply overlook their social media strategy when it comes to posting. More or less they’ve got everything finished and they want to get it to the public as fast as possible, and that can really hurt you in the end.

    People that sit back and think…what would people want me to say here? Instead of the regular junk we’re always seeing, they would get better results.

  5. Great post…I think that so many people focus on the content of their blog. Which I know that I post at least 2-3 posts per week.

    But I agree with you, I think that going outside of your blog can be more useful. Although I haven’t done it as I don’t really have the time to delve completely into social media marketing.

    Your article makes sense about how to use emotion to get to people. I have trying to improve my email marketing and will be using these tips as I am sure they work for pretty much anything online.

  6. I hear you Susan, doing an effective social media strategy can take a lot of time. If you would like, you could hire me to take over your social campaigns..I do it all the time very successfully for people. Check out this page of my blog

  7. Edille Rosario says

    Nice post 🙂 I really am agree content is not the KING!

    Every time I published a new article on my site, I always reach social media sites to show it to other people, but hey, they are not interested 🙁

    Every time I posted a funny pictures, I got hundreds of likes.

    This post make sense really. Thank you..

  8. Considering social media is almost a personal blog for a lot of everyday users this makes total sense. As a new blogger finding ways to bridge the gap from my content to the social media outlets is a big challenge I have. Making a social media post is IMO more difficult, just so it doesn’t get looked over with a glance.

  9. Somehow you are right. I’ve also observed that I’v a lot of likes on my Facebook page but whenever I share something I just get some traffic and it hurts me so much when people prefer to ignore my content. I’v enjoyed your post and I would like to make peoples attract on my updates.

    A very informative post about how to attract attention.

  10. Its absolutely right,I continue to believe that psychology is the next rediscovered territory for marketers. With all this talk about behavioral marketing you would think psychology is downright passe. My team at Ogilvy has been spending a fair amount of time re-examining Clinician’s drivers of influence and persuasion in relation to social media.
    Thanks for your suggestion and tips.

  11. Appreciate it! I know what you’re saying about those pictures…but who the heck has time to go find fluff marketing images for people? I sure dont! Keep it up and if you want, I’ll coach you! Check out my blog!

  12. Yeah, I agree. Once you get into social media, you’ve got to understand the people you’re writing to. Make the images and text appealing. You can bring them in like that if you’re consistent.

  13. Thanks a lot, glad you enjoyed it! There is a whole lot more to updating your social media than people think. Really think about it before you post. What would make YOU click on the link?

  14. Yeah Psychology is an important aspect of anything really. Especially marketing! When you can start to understand the basic stuff, you can really get into the people’s wants and needs.

  15. Hi Harman,

    I am very new in blogging and i am trying hardly to improve my blogging skills. I have read Darren Rowse’s all books including “31 DBBB” and from there i have learn only one thing that is …

    “Don’t cheat with people!” They will give you reward if you give them your best ideas and true information, they will give you back-link and as well as they will give you Social traffic and i am also following it.

    So i think if content is good and resourceful then readers will share it because people always try to share the best thing with their friends and you will go viral.

    Thanks for your post.


  16. If we take care of psychological influence in social media it will be a great way to get positive approach to our child.We may use these social media for not only psychological influence but also some other influences.We know we have a lots of social media site not only one or two.There is a lots of platform in social media site.

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