More Likes, More Comments, More Shares: Using Psychology to Get the Most from Your Facebook Page

For many non-profit social media directors, much of their time is spent crafting stellar content, posting engaging photos, distilling compelling video and much more for the organization’s Facebook page. And nothing is more discouraging than seeing all that hard work not translate into trackable actions. Why aren’t followers liking our pictures? Why aren’t they passing on our important information to others? Why aren’t they commenting on our content and mission and becoming a part of the conversation? The questions themselves lead to only more frustration.

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However, social media experts are taking some serious cues from modern psychology and arriving at some very interesting and surprising conclusions: as it turns out, the success of a Facebook page is less dependent on the content than many of us believe. Indeed, it appears that liking something such as photo or video, sharing information with others and commenting on said information is hard-wired into the human psyche, an inescapable and inherent trait that guides our thinking and our interactions with others.

That said, what are the best ways to use some psychological tidbits to tap into emotional and subconscious urges of the human brain? Here are some ideas to ponder and actions to take:

  • Liking and sharing is a form of acknowledgment for human beings, a kind of “virtual empathy.” It gives us the ability to understand another person’s emotional state, and by clicking like or share you’re communicating with others and letting them know you recognize and appreciate them.
  • Facebook is the virtual expression of social cooperation, or acting in a way that is mutually advantageous for the group.
  • Liking, sharing and commenting on Facebook allows us to assert who we are as a person and admit publicly that we agree with something.
  • Liking and sharing is a way to solicit feedback from other human beings: in a sense, the more positive reinforcement we get the more we feel loved and appreciated.

Taking these ideas into consideration, consider this when crafting and honing your non-profit’s Facebook page:

  • Know the preferences of your target audience and try to understand those you’re connecting with. This means doing strong and consistent demographic studies on who is liking, sharing and commenting on your content and targeting that particular gender, age group, financial tier etc.
  • Once you understand that demographic, post specific things that will imprint on their particular psychological expressions and watch as they like and share ideas they feel confident about.
  • When someone does initiate a like, share or comment give them affirmation of their action by reaching out and connecting with them. Thank them for the action they took and you’ll invest them with the “social capital” we all crave.

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