3 Psychology Tricks To Boost Your Social Media Campaign

5 min

Are you ready to buy in to the idea of a social media campaign to boost your marketing efforts? If you are, then you should know one thing: The key to the success of any marketing effort is a working knowledge of psychology triggers that influence human behavior. This is particularly true when it comes to social media, where the premise is to engage rather than sell to the audience.

People are emotional, so their responses aren’t always logical. The emotional response will vary from one target audience to another, so there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to social media. You need to understand what your audience needs and wants so that you can give it to them and build a relationship with them.

If you think that this entails a lot of hard work, then you would be right. Fortunately, you can count on some common psychological triggers upon which to build a campaign. Here are three psychology tricks to boost your social media campaign.

Fear of Missing Out

One thing that most people have in common is the fear of missing out, or FOMO. It is a well-established psychological quirk based on the principle of scarcity.

Back in the day, it was a matter of survival. If you were slow in the uptake you wouldn’t get a share of whatever was on offer, and you would go hungry, or thirsty, or partnerless. The scarcer the commodity, the more intense the fear.

This fear of being left behind or missing out on an opportunity has persisted to modern times. It is most pronounced with millennials, who grew up in the Internet age so they get the news literally as it is happening.

To miss out is to be a loser. They need to be in the know, and to be part of the conversation. The more exclusive the conversation, the more urgent the need to be a participant.

Your social media campaign should help them become part of your conversation to increase your engagement. You can do this in a variety of ways.

  1. Limited products offer
    The easiest way is to make a limited offer to participate in a contest or promotion. For example, you could offer a special discount for the first 100 people to sign up for your new clothes line.
  2. Limited time only offer
    You could also offer a product for a limited time only, either at a heavily-discounted price, or as a limited edition.

A good app for an offer with a deadline or low supply is SnapChat. Because the post itself disappears after a few seconds, it creates a sense of urgency on people to commit. They have very little time to weigh the pros and cons of signing up or buying a product, and they know other people will have the same constraints.

Getting in creates a sense of satisfaction that increases your brand recognition and almost always assure the success of your next campaign, provided of course, that your limited offer is really limited. Making the same offer the next day will definitely diminish the sense of scarcity and value of your offer.  Be very careful how you use this trigger in your marketing strategy.



People have an innate compulsion to reciprocate. This means they feel they have to give something when they receive something, even when they don’t have to. For example, if someone holds out a hand in greeting, your automatic response is to stick your own hand out to avoid being rude. Humans feel deeply uncomfortable, even suspicious, when they get something without being obliged to give anything back. You give as good as you got, in other words.

In your social media campaign, you can engage your audience by giving them something they need, and suggest a way in which they can reciprocate. For example, you could post a before-and-after photo of a model using your products on your Facebook page or Instagram account and provide a link to an article or video on your website on how to achieve the same results.

When your visitors get to your website, you need to present them with quality content. Resumeplanet writer Adeline Monroe says, “Creating just the right content for these articles and offers is crucial to the success of your campaign.” If you give them something your audience perceives as helpful or instructional, you can then offer a free gift with purchase of the same products you featured in your content. You give them something they want, and they are more likely to act on your offer.


Have you ever wondered why brands use celebrities to endorse their products? This appeals to the human need to obey an authoritative figure, as demonstrated in a decades old experiment conducted by Stanley Milgram in 1961.

Aptly called the MIlgram experiments, it suggested that a majority (65%) of people  would obey the orders of an authority even when it would result in harm to other people.

While your campaign shouldn’t precisely lead to harm to other people (except maybe the sales of your competitors!), it should call on this human propensity to submit to the decree of someone, or something, they believe is an expert or influencer to boost your social media engagement.

For example, if you market cosmetics, and you post an interview of Naomi Campbell on your YouTube channel explaining the pros and cons of certain types of makeup, it’s highly likely you will see an upswing in your viewership. Naomi Campbell does not have to endorse your products, per se, but posting an interview of her on topic does increase your own credibility as a brand.

People are people, and you can make them do almost anything if you know how their minds works. These three psychological tricks can definitely boost your social media campaign if you use them carefully.

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Have you noticed any odd behavior from your visitors that could indicate a psychological trigger? Share it with us in the comment section below.