Incorporating Psychology In Social Media Updates To Drive Traffic

The cause and effect that social media has on your site could literally make or break your blog. Even though you may take my advice and make friends and build connections, it is basically up to you to bring your content to the public.

It is always a good idea to have a group of friends with you to help you share your content when it becomes published, but will that sustain your blog for the duration?


Recently, I wrote a post about the Psychology of Social Media about two months ago and it really got a lot of people interested more about how to bring their social updates to the forefront of whatever platform they are posting on at the time.

While that particular post basically showed you how psychology is a part of getting people’s attention, I didn’t really cover on “the how-to” of actually writing a psychologically effective social media update that drives traffic for you.

Let’s start.

The Social Media Horse

“The Cart Goes Behind The Horse”– Ok so that’s an old saying my grandpa used to tell me all the time when I would get ahead of myself. Same principle applies here. Just because you may know how to effectively drive traffic to your site, doesn’t mean that anyone is going to buy something once they get there, or become a faithful reader.

The content comes first. It’s the horse that pulls everything. You may have the best social media updates around, but with no horse to pull you to where you need to go, you’re just going to sit there looking pretty in a horseless wagon!

I know it’s been pounded into your head, it sure has mine, that content is king and all that yada yada, but it’s true. Write an effective post that will help people, inform them, or give them what they are searching for, and you’ve just created your horse!

Just the other day I went browsing through my site and I came across the very first post I wrote for this blog.  After reading what I wrote, and wondered what in the world was I thinking, I backed out of it like it had the plague.  It definitely wasn’t share-worthy.  Nor could it be called writing either!  Thankfully, I’ve gotten a little better at creating content that the reader does enjoy and benefits from; and no, I won’t give you the link to that post either! lol!  You have to always remember that content is the most important thing aside from the reader.

So that’s a given. I will assume that you already know how to research your posts and write for the reader without over-optimization and all that good stuff.

So let’s move on to the psychology of the matter.

Social Media Psychology

The inner workings of psychology partially point to the questions of “what motivates someone to do something?”  This can be used in every day life as well as in social media updates.  What would motivate someone to click on your update, come to your blog, and read that awesome post that you have published?


Social Media SitesThe psychology of emotion is the strongest form of motivation that you can use on someone to drive them to your site.  Studies have shown that images work better than words and color works better than black and white.  It should come naturally to you to include an image in your updates as you write them.  This is one step closer to bringing them to you.

Things that are personal to someone are therefore emotional to them.  Someone who has been blogging for a while without seeing any results yet have a personal relationship with their blog, and want it to succeed.  They have babied and nurtured it since it’s beginning, and right away, with the right update, you will cause some sort of emotion if the right person sees it.  There are more people not succeeding online than people that are, so the cause and effect of this response will become easier and easier as you figure out how to write it.

What is an emotion?

Emotions are thoughts that you can’t identify.  When someone can say that the feeling of anger that they feel about a certain post someone has written is just that-anger, then they control their emotions.  However, most people looking to succeed online have a certain thought and emotional pattern that are on opposite ends of the extreme, and therefore can’t identify real from fake.

Driving social media traffic is understanding how to capitalize on people’s emotions– Tweet This!

5 major emotional influences that drive traffic:

  • Anger
  • Aggravation
  • Sadness
  • Happiness
  • Fear of loss

These are some of the main points that you can use in your social media updates that will help you drive the most traffic possible.  To be honest with you, I’ve not had any luck obtaining visitors by making them either sad or happy…hmmm.  I know that’s weird, but I believe that in order to influence that emotion, one has to be closer to the person before something that personal comes out.

However, anger, aggravation, and fear of loss are all great prompts to deliver people right to your blog doorstep.

Recently I wrote a post called How To Raise Your Klout Score and it got a lot of negative attention. People love to hate Klout, and if there is one thing that you can always rely on, it’s the fact that when you write a post about Klout, people are going to come because it makes them mad! After I shared the post to my Google Plus profile, one girl accused me of having an “e-penis” whatever that is! I told her that mine was probably bigger than her’s was…and she read the post-twice!

Ways to Stir Up Anger and Aggravation

This is the simplest way to drive traffic from social media. One of my buddies on Google Plus is really good at this. I don’t think he’ll mind if I tell his name, but Darnell Jackson of YourOnline.Biz recently posted something that he was passionate about, and it just so happens that it was a very touchy subject to most people. In return, people that would have normally not given the update a second glance. However, because it was something that struck a nerve, it made them respond negatively.

A negative response from social media updates can result in positive reactions! Tweet This!

Simply by taking the opposite stance on an idea or situation can result in a lot of traffic. Please note:When stirring up anger in a person you need to be positive that your content is good enough to either change their mind or see your point of view! You don’t want someone leaving the same way they came…mad.

How to Bring “Fear of Loss” Emotion to the Reader

Social Media Emotion

This is perhaps one of the hardest ways to drive social media traffic from your updates. Fear of loss updates generally mean you have something to sell to the reader and you actually need them to feel like they can’t live without what you have.

This type of update is a sales pitch in a short sentence. Fear of loss can also be interpreted as a “Hope To Gain” update as well. Not only do you “take it away” from the reader, but at the end of the update you also “give it back” to them in a sense. But only if they act right then.

Creating an emotion that actually deters time from the readers mind is a very powerful thing to do. Making them think that they can’t wait another second to read your post is a strong aspect in the sales world anywhere.

Hope to gain readers actually have no concept of reality. I’m not meaning to say that they are wacko or anything, I just mean to say that they want to succeed so bad that they can see your success and they transfer the results (without ever having used the product yet) and see themselves as successful. All the while forgetting the fact that it does take time to succeed online and nothing comes easy.

“Hope To Gain” people focus on having new and exciting experiences and taking big risks. Safety and security rate low on their priority list. Having fun and being around positive situations turns them on. Once you paint the dream in their mind of what it is they want, they take action quickly. They like to buy things because they are the newest and greatest styles or products. –National Marketing Associates


Other Tips On Writing An Effective Social Media Update

I know it’s hard to keep this all together, but once you get the hang of it, it comes naturally to you. There are still more pieces to this puzzle that goes along with the emotional psychology of a person. Right now I just want to list a couple of things that I have found that have always been a “go-to” for me in updating on social media.

  • Always write the catchy update- I know that this goes without saying, but some people just literally post anything to get their message out there.  Say for example, I had just written a post about dog collars and was hoping for someone to come and buy something, and I simply put “Dog collars for sale”.  That may be good enough for someone who’s actually looking for a dog collar at the time, but you need to address it to the people who have dogs but aren’t thinking about getting a collar for it.
  • Always write catchy blog titles:

This is one that I would like to address a little further.  This is the “front door” of your blog to someone who has never been there.  It can represent or misrepresent, so not only do you need to think about your content, ie. research, etc, you also need to think about the title as well.  Why?  Because not everyone is going to take the time as you do to re-write the title when they go to share (if it’s share-worthy).  Usually what you write is what’s going to show up on site’s like Google Plus and Facebook.  I believe Twitter is the only platform that actually allows you to edit the update before you share it.

One thing that let’s you know that you’re on the right path to writing catchy title’s is when someone actually says something about it to you.

Here’s what a reader recently commented:

In the end, social media is definitely worth it.  Take the time to do it right, and you will start to see the benefits of simply using social media.  Always remember that when you’re posting that update, you are causing some kind of emotion…even if it’s boredom.  Put yourself in a time out and go to the corner for a second and stop and think about what you’re saying to the public…it’s just as important as what you say in your post.


Tom McNaughton

Tom is a full-time digital marketer who has practiced internet marketing for over 10 years. Tom also serves dozens of local digital businesses and has successfully brought substantial traffic growth to their websites.

Delightful Work - Digital, Internet Marketing & Small Business Coach