Five Psychology Concepts that Will Improve Your Twitter Marketing Strategy

By 26/02/2018 December 2nd, 2019 Social Media

In this post on Twitter marketing, I’m going to look at five major psychological concepts that can be used in any twitter marketing strategy to the benefit of any company, organisation or charity.

Let’s get into this!

Priming in Twitter Marketing

When we talk about priming, we are talking about using a psychological technique that uses initial stimuli to help influence future stimuli. In plain, everyday (non-psychological) English, that means purposely exposing someone to something that will affect the next thing they see in a positive or negative way.

For example, a study showed that people who were shown a brand logo (in this instance it was the Apple logo) can be primed to respond in a more creatively. On the other side of that study, the people were shown an IBM logo were actually primed to be less creative. People who were shown the Disney logo, were primed to be more honest.

So how can you use this knowledge to your advantage in your Twitter strategy? Well, by priming people with an image combined with a related call to action in a Tweet, you can help influence them to take that action.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) In Twitter Marketing

The fear of missing out (or FOMO for short) is a powerful concept that is hardwired into human psyche. For early humans, a lack of access to information could be life-threatening. In the modern social media world, this means that missing out on an event, competition or news can invoke this fear of missing out.

As psychologist Anita Sanz explains,

“Our survival as an individual within a tribe, and thus our survival as a species, once hinged on our being aware of threats both to ourselves and to the larger group. To be ‘in the know’ when we roamed around in small groups was critical to survival. To not be aware of a new food source, for example, meant you literally missed out on something that could mean the difference between life and death.When humans began to create more stable farming communities, being in the know involved paying attention, being in the right places at the right times to get resources and information, and engaging in the gossip of the day as it filtered through the community.”

A lot might have changed from the early days of our species, but somethings do not change and this includes our tendency toward FOMO. The life-or-death aspect may have diminished in that we no longer really have to worry about a threat of a wild animal or rival tribe, but this fear has moved to the social plane of missing out on information that may be beneficial or rewarding to the individual.

This fear can be utilised within a social media campaign that is only on one platform and so your other platforms could be used to drive traffic to follow your organisation on that platform in order to populate a new following, with the bait of a competition prize.

Mere Exposure Theory in Twitter Marketing

The mere exposure theory states:

“this psychological tendency causes individuals to prefer an option that they have been exposed to before to an option they have never encountered, even if the exposure to the first option was brief. The Mere Exposure Effect can be useful in marketing, as many forms of advertising can be used to create a feeling of familiarity with the product” (Business Dictionary, 2018).

So basically, people tend to prefer something they’ve been exposed to in the past more than something new.

There are a couple ways we can apply this concept to your Twitter marketing strategy.

Mere Exposure Tweeting

One idea here is to consistently tweet your content over and over on Twitter. I know that this might sound spammy, but it’s really not. First of all, only a small fraction of your followers are going to see any given Tweet you post. Therefore, you are re-publishing an old tweet, but in a new way in order to ensure as many of your followers see your tweet as possible.

Let’s have some fun and do math (no really). A quick check of my Twitter Analytics shows I Tweeted 3 times last month with 520 impressions. On average that’s roughly 173 impressions per Tweet – for an account with almost 485 Followers (I know I need to up my twitter game).

With the speed of Twitter, nobody is going to notice you’re Tweeting the same (or similar) content once a week – or even once every few days, as long as you Tweet a lot.

In fact, because of the mere exposure theory, you’ll want people to see the same Tweet more than once. After a few times seeing the same Tweet – coupled with an awesome visual of course – people who have seen it before will be more likely to pay closer attention. Which will prime them to follow your call to action.

Mere Exposure Retargeting Advertisements

This is where we can go further with the mere exposure theory by combining Twitter with your digital marketing strategy as a whole – retargeting advertising.

Did you know you can target an ad to a custom audience of Twitter users who have recently been to your website? If you didn’t, then you do now.

But even if you didn’t know about retargeting advertising before, chances are you’ve seen it in action. Have you ever noticed that after visiting a website, all of a sudden you’re seeing ads for them all over the Internet? They’re in your email, on sites you visit, in your Facebook newsfeed, hanging on your front door – well, maybe not that last one. But they are everywhere.

And do you know why? Because it works and most marketers know this, now you do too!

For this one, you may need a professional developer to get you set up with the technical elements on your website. Or if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person and know a little something about websites, or, if you setup your website entirely, you can probably handle this on your own.

Either way, once you get up and running with a Twitter marketing retargeting campaign you’ll be able to apply a laser target to your prospects. And at the same time, you’ll be using the power of the mere exposure theory. It’s a great way to recapture website visitors and convert them into customers or fans – depending on the purpose of your campaign.

For some basic info, check out Twitter’s remarketing page. And for some real-world advice on how to put remarketing into practice, check out this great post from Social Media Examiner:

Reciprocity in Twitter Marketing

This is a big one. To borrow a phrase from The Sixth Sense, a major part of your Twitter marketing strategy should be paying it forward – favors are the currency of Twitter. When you do for other’s – especially when you do it strategically – there’s almost a compulsion for most people to return the favor.

There is a strong correlation between retweeting a tweet from a person I have a connection with and within the hour they’ve returned the favor and retweeted something of mine. This is really useful when you look at their follower list – they get to see your content and increase the return on your campaigns. However, mutually beneficial connections like this aren’t born overnight. Just like in real life, Twitter relationships must be nurtured and developed over time, and this takes consistent and genuine effort.

Look to build relationships with influencers and your Twitter colleagues by sharing their content, but do it strategically. Don’t just retweet their most recent tweet. Look to retweet something you think they would want the word spread on. It could be a webinar they’re hosting, a new online course they’ve launched, or even their latest blog post. The key here is to make it meaningful to them. When you take the time to share what others are actively promoting, you stand a much better chance of them reciprocating.

And don’t always just retweet their content. When possible, add thoughts of your own. Again, this makes the process more meaningful and helps nurture that connection being built. If someone is promoting their webinar, quote the Tweet and tell people how excited YOU are about it and why. If it’s a blog post, quote it and tell people what’s great about it and why they should read it. This is the kind of sharing that pays big dividends on Twitter.

This is one place where Twitter lists can really come in handy. If you have a group of people you’d like to be sharing your content, create a list of those users. Check the list a few times a day and look for opportunities to share their promotional Tweets. It will rarely go unnoticed. Again, look at favours as the currency of social media. But unlike financial currency, you can’t just spend your social currency any time you want.

If your expectation is that your efforts must be reciprocated and feel slighted if they’re not, you need to adjust your thinking. No one is obligated to reciprocate. But if you’re truly providing value with your own content, chances are people will “pay you back.”

Color in Twitter Marketing

Oh, the psychology of colour. Unfortunately, that’s a blog post – or book – all on its own. Still, I would feel I’d left something out if I wrote a post on how to use psychology on Twitter and didn’t mention colour.

But don’t worry, I’m not going to try to reinvent the color wheel (see what I did there?!). Instead, I’m going to share this amazing infographic from WebpageFX that breaks down the essentials of how to use color in your Twitter marketing. There is so much there, that I would recommend you go of to that site (after finishing reading my post of course) and take as much as you can from that post – it has a lot of information that can be very useful in your social media campaigns.

While it’s not exclusive to Twitter, there is a wealth of info here that you can specifically apply to your Twitter marketing strategy.

Your Turn: Psych Up Your Twitter Marketing Strategy

So there we have it – now that you know some basic psychology , but more importantly how to make it work for you in your Twitter marketing.

By incorporating one – or hopefully more – of these techniques in your Twitter marketing strategy, you’ll be on your way to more engagement and success for your business.

Michael Johnston

About Michael Johnston

I'm a Lecturer in Computing and the Foundation Degree Director in Computing for the Northern Regional College in Northern Ireland. My research interests in the areas of technology enhanced learning, how we interact with technology, blended learning and professional development. Michael currently specialises in the computing areas of web development technologies, cyber security, software development and IoT. Michael has worked in a range of different roles in IT-from teaching roles to running his own web design company, Michael is equally at home working with theory, as he is conducting research, or building a bespoke IT solution. Michael is currently studying a PhD in Cyberpsychology.

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