Psychology and Social Media – Internet ‘Mind Hacks’ and how to use them
If you have used the internet, chances are you have also used Facebook post, Instagram post and other forms of social media posting. While many see this evolution of communication as being merely a new(ish) convenient means with which to communicate with friends and family, the reality is that Facebook – and other forms of social media – are changing the way we thing and respond to the world in general. This shouldn’t be something to be concerned about, however, through this brief article, we will point out some of the primary ways that social media affects us, and how we can use it in our daily lives. We will also explain how to use these techniques to optimise your Facebook and Instagram posts and how to use online graphics designers such as Fotor to maximize your visual impact by using text and even a collage maker.
To begin, let’s look at one of the most pervasive forms of ‘mind hacking’ present in social media, ‘clickbait’ and subliminal advertising.
Clickbait: Why it exists and how it works
When we browse a webpage, we are frequently searching for something specific. Whether it be a piece of information, a link, a pic or video clip – over 80% of the time we’re on a webpage, it’s to find something specific – ‘Clickbait’ is designed to distract us from this task, by any means necessary.
For those still a little unsure as to why these irritating ads even exist, the answer is to divert internet traffic to boost the ratings and revenue of their (often dubious) websites.
The way these ads work is very simple, they provide the viewer with a provocative question or statement (almost always accompanied with a simple but equally provocative image) whose full meaning or answer can be found only on the linked url. As annoying as these ads are, they tell us a lot about how we think, and how we can utilize a similar style in maximizing our social media.
To begin, using a designer or ad creator (such as Fotor) can let you pre-design all of your social media posts in advance. Adding a provocative question (preferably faintly related to your post) accompanied with an interesting photo will be sure to grab someone’s attention, you can even imbed a link in the comments section of the post for maximum ‘trendability’.
Below is an example of a Fotor designed, ‘clickbait’ style promotional ad. While it’s not going to be placed on a website to generate traffic, it will definitely generate interest in the ‘doggy event’!
Along with the fairly ‘low-brow’ techniques employed by internet marketers, social media has showed us that visual communication is often something completely subconscious, tapping into parts of our minds we didn’t even knew existed.
Symbolism and Memes
While the study of symbolism and semiotics is nothing new, the way the internet allows us to compress a huge amount of information into increasingly smaller and basic forms is a testament to the flexibility and knowledge retention of the human mind. Memes are a great example of this. Utilising a simplistic photo as a background template, and accompanying it with only two sentences of text, a meme contains a huge amount of cultural, contextual and personal information, all the while remaining a legitimate way of provoking thought while remaining anonymous.
For all of these reasons, sites like reddit, imgur and facebook are all places where we often encounter memes, allowing you to easily pick-up a trending meme and making your own.
When we consider how effective these techniques are at drawing people’s attention, it’s easy for us to understand why so many companies and organisations utilise this form of communication in advertising and promoting.
Along with these simple methods, perhaps the most simple and effective way of drawing attention is the most organic. Studies have proven that when we open any webpage or app, the first thing we search for is a human face (or something resembling one). This is not new information for anyone cluey about advertising – how often have we soon famous actors and singers associated with a product?
With this in mind, when utilizing any of the previously mentioned techniques – be sure to add a face to maximize its effectiveness. Famous people always draw a reaction, as well as people known to the viewer – however, depending on your message, you may wish to be selective.
Understanding the fundamental laws behind modern communication is essential in all walks of life. By using a few simple techniques to optimise your posting, you can enhance the way others perceive you, affecting all aspects of your digital life.