Savvy Social Media Marketing: Playing With Emotions

Getting your content seen is easy. There’s a specific protocol for optimizing content so search engines throw it at readers, but not every throw results in a catch. That’s the hard part, the ultimate question: How do I get readers to engage with my content? It doesn’t matter if a million users see your article if no one is clicking on it, sharing it, commenting on it, or talking about it. Without engagement, you have no investment.

So again: how do I get readers to engage with my content? Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof process for this. What we do have is research that tells us consumer behavior and what influences people to interact with social media content. One of the most interesting and responsive ways to provoke engagement through social media is, to put it shortly, play with their emotions.

This week’s Savvy Social Media Marketing post will cover how to use emotional marketing to get those clicks and shares, rather than a mere glance-over.

The Role of Emotions in Successful Social Media Content


If all else fails in your social media marketing, there’s always puppies.. and kittens! Just look at their little noses. You KNOW you want to boop them. This is the kind of fluffiness made for emotional marketing.

According to Psychology Today, “fMRI neuro-imagery shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (personal feelings and experiences) rather than information (brand attributes, features, and facts).” Content designed to appeal to the reader’s emotions is much more likely to be engaged with than content that is merely informative.

Think about brand name vs generic products. Most people opt for brand name pain relievers, even when the generic equivalent is just that—the exact same thing! Emotions influence us to believe the brand name is somehow better.

The same thing applies to social media marketing. Take two sites writing an article on puppies. The first site includes a lot of photos or gifs of adorable puppies doing adorable puppy things (naturally), uses a lot of exciting language!!!, and emphasizes on how cute and loveable they are. The second site uses few or unexciting images, has an informative tone, and lists facts about diet and exercise needs for puppies. Which one are you going to share? (hint—it’s the first one.)

Becoming a Player

..Of emotional marketing, of course. This is where evaluate how to create content that engages with your reader on an emotional level. This is also one of those social media marketing things you’ll need to play with a bit to get it right (pun intended). Here’s where you start:

  • Positive, shareable content. Studies show more people respond to emotional content that evokes positive emotions and makes the reader feel better about themselves, such as humor, ‘awwwww’ content (again, puppies!), and inspiring stories. If you can find a way to meaningfully design your content around these themes, it’s likely your content will be more shareable.
  • Take advantage of images and videos. A straight wall of text is intimidating and boring. Break it up with relevant images and videos that appeal to the reader. Funny, happy, inspiring, and colorful photos and videos are more likely to engage the reader. The brain is more responsive to images (including logos) than text.
  • Update your call-to-action. Users browsing online content have sales pitches hurdling towards them from all angles. Most users have learned to unconsciously tune these out. So ditch the sales-y call-to-action, and replace it with something provocative. Encouraging readers to share, comment, or otherwise engage in your article is far more productive for sales than a pitch.

Don’t let Social Media Marketing get you Emotional

If it doesn’t work for you the first time, don’t give up. Emotional marketing, like ALL marketing, is tricky. But it does work, and once you learn how to implement it into your content, you’ll see the results you were looking for. And if not, well, there’s never enough adorable puppy posts. Never. Enough.

If you need additional help with social media marketing and website design, this is a reminder there is an awesome, free guide for redesigning your website right here on Adventure Web Interactive. Emphasis on the free.

Want to try your hand at emotional marketing? Tag us on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Youtube with a link to your post, article, or content. We want to see how your content inspires and engages your readers!