Social media marketing psychological studies

Posted on Jan 10, 2021

the Endowment effect

When we own something, we tend to value it more highly. If we have to sell it, we want more than it is really worth.

  • your customers attribute a higher value to things they already own
  • ask for their feedback/suggestions and involve them on social media to increase their ownership in your product


We feel obliged to give back to people who have given to us.

  • give something valuable to get something in return

Consistency principle

We like to keep consistent what we think, say and do, and will change to ensure this is so.

  • help current users/potential users create an expectation of what they may say or do

The foot-in-the-door method

When asked to make a small commitment first, we are more likely to agree to a larger request later.

  • The more frequently a customer opens your emails, downloads your content or goes along with your request, the more likely they are to comply with a larger request like sharing your content & inviting their friends.

Framing effect

We react to a situation differently depending on whether we perceive the situation to be a loss or a gain.

  • the words you choose and the way you frame your content has a direct impact on how they will react
  • frame things in a positive light

Loss aversion

We feel the negative effects of loss more strongly than we feel the positive effects of an equal gain.

  • discover their challenges and reservations
  • alleviate their concerns up front
  • example: risk-free trial, money-back guarantee, remove the fear of loss

Conformity and social influence

We change how we behave to be more like others.

  • key influencers and industry leaders can help your product appear more valuable to others
  • invite-only networks get the boost of this effect too

Acquiescence effect

We give answers based not just on a rational consideration of what is being asked but also in consideration of how we will appear to others.

  • be aware of the leading questions you may be asking in customer development calls, surveys, or questionnaires

  • people can be easily swayed to answer in a certain way if the question seems tilted in a certain direction

Mere exposure theory

The more we’re exposed to something, the more we like it.

  • repeat your message
  • repost

Informational social influence

When we do not know how to behave, we copy other people.

  • use the experience of others to help people see the benefits of your product or company
  • leverage social proof

The decoy effect

Consumers tend to change their preference between two options when a third, less attractive option is presented.

  • use this effect with your pricing strategy + when you’re comparing different options
  • inclusion of an option that is “asymmetrically dominated” (a plan that seems out of whack or a feature list that doesn’t quite add up) will make the other options more appealing

Availability heuristic

When evaluating a specific topic, concept, method or decision, we favor options that bring to mind immediate examples.

  • make your product easy to grasp
  • provide examples of actions you want users to take

Buffer effect of social support

People who feel supported by others feel less stress. If you know your friends will support you and there is someone with whom you can talk things through, somehow stressful situations are more tolerable.

  • be available to your customers
  • constant support - email, blogging, in-app messages, etc.
  • it help people feel more comfortable and less stressed

Ben Franklin effect

When we do a person a favour, we like the more.

  • we believe that we did a favour because we liked the person
  • ask for favours from your customers/users - surveys, resharing, ask their opinions etc.

Propinquity effect

The more we meet and interact with people, the more likely we are to become friends with them.

  • be a present on social media constantly
  • always communicate through emails and other means