Use Chemistry to Build an Awesome Social Media Strategy

To build an amazing social media strategy, marketers need to know the chemistry of why people use it.


Was there ever a time that a friend’s Facebook post made you feel happier, calmer or inspired? Conversely, has a tweet or Instagram update bring about feelings of anger, sadness or jealousy? Don’t worry if you answered yes to these questions, you’re not alone in having experienced this effect of social media.

For marketers, it is crucial to understand social media’s emotional impact. It is even more vital to incorporate this knowledge in building a content strategy since it will greatly improve the return of an organization’s social media marketing.

There are many reasons why social media has such incredible powers over the human psyche, most of which are similar to the motives and biological factors that fuel interactions since the dawn of civilization. As research supports, the human brain produces two primary chemicals that reinforce social media interaction: dopamine, a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for desires, curiosity, seeking of information and many other functions; and oxytocin, a powerful hormone that’s referred to as the “cuddle chemical” due to its increased production in response to intimacy and positive interactions.

Due to dopamine, people use social media for instant gratification to a wide array of desires and information-seeking needs. When a person is curious, or wants knowledge on any subject of interest, social media offers an unlimited supply of gossip, articles, images and videos. Furthermore, if that person desires to project an image of themselves to the world and receive immediate and honest feedback, there’s no better tool than social media. In other words, social media offers immediate satisfaction of an extensive list of needs and desires that are fueled by dopamine pumping through a person’s brain.

Unlike dopamine, which drives humans to take action, oxytocin creates a feeling of wellbeing, acceptance and closeness. Obviously, such a hormone is greatly involved in social media, a means through which many people seek approval, reinforcement and a connection with others. When a person shares a posts on social media and receives a significant quantity of likes and comments in return, their levels of oxytocin increase. This also occurs when social media users comment, share or even like other users’ content since they are connecting and engaging in a positive manner with another person.

Due to the aforementioned biological processes that influence human emotions, social media presents a valuable opportunity for businesses and organizations to foster genuine connections and enrich the lives of their audiences. When building their social media strategies, marketers must understand their audiences’ inherited emotions, curiosity and craving for information, as well as their longing for intimacy and connection. In doing so, marketing professionals are more capable of developing content that fulfills the many needs of consumers and engages them on a much deeper, personal level.

Based on social media’s ability to impact emotions, here are a few tips to building a social media strategy:

  1. Some people are in a better mood in the morning while others are better off during the day or at night. Monitor the time when your audience is most engaging and post more during that time. Likewise, consider adjusting the content you share during the times of low interaction to engage a broader portion of your audience.
  2. Review your social media history to see what garnered the most interaction. Determine a common type of content, theme or other similarities that perform the best and base your future postings based on these commonalities.
  3. Use a natural tone and offer a conversation rather than merely pushing information. In other words, speak with them and not at them.
  4. Give your audience the opportunity to share their opinions, experiences and knowledge. This allows individuals to express their self-image which in-turn raises their dopamine and oxytocin levels.
  5. Offer valuable and interesting facts, anecdotes or advice regarding your area of expertise in order to fulfill your social media fans’ curiosity and need for information.
  6. Build closeness with your followers by engaging with their social media postings. This demonstrates that your organization cares about what they have to say.
  7. Promptly respond to all comments and ensure that you are recognizing all interactions with your brand, company or organization.

What are the primary reasons why you use social media? How can brands and organizations do a better job of connecting with you on a more personal level? Let us know in the comments section below!

Erin Gleason is a Content Marketing Specialist for Dealer Product Services. Her day-to-day duties include handling social media pages for various car dealerships across the country in addition to designing graphic arts. Before her time at DPS, Erin spent a few years working as a Social Media Marketing Director and a videographer for a company in the north suburbs of Chicago. In her spare time, Erin enjoys the great outdoors, having adventures and spending her time with her close family and friends. Being an athlete her whole life, she is always cheering on her favorite teams. Go Blackhawks!

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