Newsflash: someone liking your post is not the action you’re after. It’s true that it may be – and should be – one of the steps of action you want from your audience. We all know that likes, shares, and so on are stepping stones along the path to purchase, but it’s the purchase (in whatever form that takes for your business) that is the end goal. Being the most popular person in the world doesn’t matter to their landlord at the beginning of the month. Yes, you want to change the world, raise awareness on some issue, create a physically or socially better environment, or whatever your higher intentions may be. But the truth is that if your company or organization doesn’t have any money because no one is buying from you (or donating if you’re a non-profit), it can’t do any of these things.
It’s amazing how many people are still unaware that modern marketing (and public relations) is the direct result of psychologists. Marketing is the good side of the coin we call propaganda. Propagandists spend their time and energy convincing people to believe in social or political ideas in order to achieve whatever their agendas are. Marketers do the same thing, but usually in order to further business or cause in a positive direction. And the key to success on either side of that coin is an inspiration.
So how do you inspire people to take action with your social media posts? By using psychology, of course. Here are a few examples of where your mindset should be when creating your content, in order to get through to their mindset.
Address needs AND wants
There are potential customers who need your products or services, or you wouldn’t be in business. But solely addressing their needs only puts you on the same level field as any and every other business trying to earn their business. In order to rise above the crowd and stand out you have to address their wants as well, and psychologically speaking, wants are more powerful than needs, especially when it comes to non-essentials. Understanding addressing their wants in addition to their needs creates an emotional connection that is very powerful, and much more likely to inspire action on their part.
Earn their trust
Easier said than done, right? But it can be done. The first step in building trust is to be responsive to any comments or questions they have, to show that you’re actually paying attention to them. This is the equivalent of looking someone in the eye during a conversation as opposed to looking around the room or at your phone. Next, you want to make them understand. Explain your message in simple terms that will answer questions before they ask them. The better they understand, the more they’ll trust. There are definitely times when being oblique or “teasing” them with information is advantageous because it creates interest to learn more, but once they’ve shown that interest makes sure you give them a payoff for taking action.
Make their life or business better
This goes back to the point of your product or service, to provide something they need, want, or preferably both. If they don’t understand how you can make their day easier, or simplify a business process, or give them a better quality of life, they won’t take action. Be sure that you let them know in no uncertain terms not only that your product or service will do these things, but how. And be sure to emphasize how acting right now will make things better than acting next week or next month.