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Social Media Psychology

Social Media Psychology: Why We Follow and Share Interesting Content?

What goes on in the mind of the social media user? What do you think is behind the actions they take when play it? As a marketer, why do people follow? Why do they share?


A survey platform QuestionPro conducted a brief study of the psychology of social media interactions and understands why there is a purpose behind certain social media activities. Why do they click something, and why do they align with what marketers expect?


The aim is to provide general answers through the following questions:


  1. Why do people follow social media accounts?
  2. Why do people share content?
  3. Where do people message each other?
  4. How do people feel about advertising?
  5. Do people trust company messages?


Through the questions above, here are the primary conclusions and results of a quick survey and psychological information on social media users.


Konten Social Media

Photo by Unsplash


1. Users Don’t Always Follow Just Because They Want Content


Why do people follow other people on social media?


There are many reasons why people follow other people on social media. The reason is to learn a difference (Comparing). Users follow because they want to stay in touch. They form social relationships and personal interactions that can be called two-way communication. This is why socmed users don’t always want to follow content.


Share Content Social Media

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2. Only share content, not do marketing


Why do people share content on social media?


Respondents can only choose one answer from the questions in the graph above. Then from the answer there is a big difference.


Socmed users generally want to be useful to their network (sharing practical information) but are not necessarily networked (stay visible to peers). But marketers seem to believe otherwise: that socmed is more about visibility and less about utility.


3. Mostly share on the private network


Most of them don’t do content sharing or so through public posts. They all share content and messages through non-social channels, such as Whatsapp, Google Chat, Slack, and other media chat apps. Marketing calls it “Dark Social” because it’s untraceable for a digital marketer.


Private Network

Photo by Canva


In the US-based, most share content or the like via text messages. You can see this in the graph above.

It is highly recommended that you use Google Analytics Tools as this guide to track social media traffic. But accept that many types of sharing are invisible to marketers. Some of your “direct traffic” includes visitors who get a link (without the campaign tracking code) in a text message, app, email program, or another non-browser traffic source. It’s reality, and that’s okay.


Social Network Krona

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4. Most people feel that social networks are monitoring them


Maybe you’ve felt this way. For example, have you ever searched for products online through e-commerce? When you open socmed (e.g., Instagram), relevant products automatically appear. Or you chat with a friend via social media, and the next day, you see a relevant ad.


Relax, in the world of marketing, this is called “Remarketing,” which means a strategy to stay in touch with users who have accessed social media, applications, or e-commerce before.


5. People generally don’t fully trust companies on social media


Even though marketers have done ad optimization, users are generally sceptical of businesses on socmed.


Companies on Social Media

Photo by Orbit Media


Based on this survey, 71% do not fully trust the information companies or businesses post on socmed. One reason is the general response to clickbait headlines and marketing scepticism.


Contrast marketers, where 80% of marketers say ‘Yes’ to the question, ‘Do users generally trust the information companies post on social media?’.


Top Tips


If everything you post is self-promotion or thinly disguised advertising, you’re contributing to the perception that businesses are bad social media citizens. 


What should we do instead? To begin, don’t lie. Aside from that, here are some social strategies for fostering trust:


  1. Be transparent. Display your talents. Maintain your integrity. Post your queries. Share your complexities. Don’t make every post about yourself.


  1. Share useful information that your audience can actually use.


  1. Set expectations for what they will receive if they follow. Make your bio more than just a summary of “about us.” Make it a call to action that sums up what you’ve posted. Make a promise and then keep it.

She has gained interest in Brand Marketing, Business & Digital Marketing.




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