How Your Social Media Update Affects Their Brain

People change, trends get better, the world turns. However, there is one aspect of your social marketing that always stays the same.

The human brain.

While we all look different on the outside, some better than others, we are all basically the same on the inside. This is the area I want to introduce to you today. In the months to come I will open up some ideas to you that will definitely get you thinking on how you ever lived without social media psychology in your updating on social media.

Something Everyone Has…A Brain

While you may disagree with this point. Everyone has one. Not everyone uses it in the right way, but it’s still there taking up space. There is something of interest in everyone’s brain that you should know about, and it’s called the reticular formation.

I know what you’re thinking right now. What’s reticular formation got to do with my social marketing strategy? This is what’s going to drive traffic for you from social media!

Reticular Formation sits behind the hypothalamus and these are the things it controls:

The reticular formation is a set of interconnected nuclei that are located throughout the brainstem. It is not anatomically well defined, because it includes neurons located in different parts of the brain. The neurons of the reticular formation make up a complex set of networks in the core of the brainstem that extend from the upper part of the midbrain to the lower part of the medulla oblongata. Quote from Reticular Formation on Wikipedia

While all of these are relatively known to all of us, the one that you may be scratching your head about, is the very thing I want to discuss with you today, and that is the function of Habituation.

What is Habituation?

For sake of a better example, this part of reticular formation distinguishes between the relevant and irrelevant things that surround you.  In other words, a man that has lived beside the railroad tracks all of his life goes to bed for the night.  After he is asleep, the 2am train comes blaring it’s horn by his house.  The man doesn’t wake up because habituation has conditioned his brain to consider this noise as irrelevant to his psyche and therefore he doesn’t wake up.  On another note, however, that same man could get in bed, fall asleep, and hear an unfamiliar “bump” in the living room that wakes him up.  Since this is an unfamiliar noise, habituation recognizes it as such and calls it relevant, therefore waking him up.

The Connection?

This same man probably has a social media account.  Nothing has changed inside his head, everything is still there, and reticular formation is still working properly.  But the only reason you haven’t targeted this man with your social media update is because he still sees your material as irrelevant.  Nothing you are doing or saying is “waking him up” to take notice of what you have to say.

That is what’s happening to people all across social media.  You may be the best writer known to man, giving out great information in your articles that can really help people.  But if you’ve just started, then it’s more than likely that you don’t have a lot of people paying attention to you on social media.  Your content is King, but only to you.  No one else understands how important it is yet and you need to get them to that point!

Communicating With Habituation

Whether you know it or not, you are using social media psychology in your updates. Everything you publish on Facebook or Twitter has an outcome. Every update you write is creating some sort of emotion in the reader (or by posting a photo on Instagram), even if it’s negative, you’re causing this to happen to people. Get a lot of likes on one update and you know that what you did was correct. Write another one and you don’t get but one or two and you know something you did affected them in a negative way. It’s not that your content inside your site was any worse, you’re still a great writer remember? It’s the simple fact that what you did or said in that particular update rubbed the reader the wrong way, and that’s what we need to fix.

Communication is the functionality of gaining someone’s attention through the right mediums. I will cover on this more next month, but here are some things you need to be working on when you post to social media:

  • Attention-getting updates:  what works best when you are posting to different social sites?  What can you do different?  Have you studied out some methods that some of the more popular people on these platforms are doing?
  • Having a posting strategy- whatever you do, don’t just throw up any old thing and hit “send”.  Too many times people think that the hard part is over when they publish their article on their site.  Once you step into the social media world, the work is just beginning.  Make your update count, make them remember who you are, make them take action!

What You Can Do Now

Post for your readers, not to them. These are social sites and they key word here is “social”. Don’t simply post your link and write “check this out” in the update description. Too many times have I seen that lonely post out there. I wonder how many people missed their opportunity to get help in that article simply because the user didn’t take the extra step to get someone’s attention?

Be yourself. People like the fact that you ask for their opinions. They like to be able to judge something for themselves, not have someone tell them how great something is. For example: If you have just written a post about some awesome social media tool that has worked wonders for your business, it’s not a good idea to splatter that all over your description in your update. When you tell someone how great something is, you take away their ability to have their own opinion and judge for what they feel is best for their business. The way to remedy this is to give your account of the product and ask them what they think about it, or how they feel it can help them. Not only are you giving them free reign to say what’s on their mind, you are also allowing them to go to your site with an open mind about what you’re fixing to tell them.

The Final Thought

Social media psychology has many forms. You must understand what reticular formation is and how it works before you can start applying some of these methods to become successful at getting someone’s attention and driving them to your site. Do you have a question or comment about social media psychology, reticular formation, or anything else I discussed in this article? I would love to hear your thoughts!



  1. george says:

    like the approach you take on gender marketing

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