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How Social Media Apps Are Built to be Addictive + How You Can Leverage It To Grow Your Brand

How often do you get on your phone, look up, and realize 30 minutes have passed? Yeah. Us too. Social media is built to keep us scrolling for as long as possible. In 2006, the “infinite scroll feature” was developed. Notice how you never get to the bottom of your Instagram feed? That’s on purpose.Our brain don’t have time to catch up with our bodies' impulse to scroll. “We’re hardwired to find social interactions rewarding,” said Dar Meshi, a cognitive neuroscientist at Michigan State University. Every time we get a notification on our phones, it feels like we’re having a social interaction. Break that rewarding feeling down again and again into every single notification that pops up on your phone and boom - you’re hooked. How can you positively use these hooking features to get customer’s hooked on your brand? We have the answers.

Use FOMO (Responsibly)

FOMO (or Fear Of Missing Out) happens in real life when we can’t attend an event, and we worry that we are missing out on a fun experience. FOMO translates perfectly into social media because we don’t want to miss out on new information - which keeps us checking our phones frequently. Leverage this FOMO carefully. Use it for big, special announcements. Don’t tease your followers with an important update every week to only reveal a new Instagram post. This will turn users off quickly. But when you do have big announcements to share (ex. new product line, brand new website, a location move) it’s great to build up the excitement and use followers’ FOMO to keep them checking for your updates.

Post Positive Emotional Content

Do you ever feel happy when you see a friend share a post about one of their successes? Or a friend post a picture of their giggling baby niece? You can create the same feeling in your followers by posting content that features the emotion of happiness. Posts with high emotional value get more shares on average than posts that don’t evoke emotions. Happiness is the best performing emotion by far on social media. Draw on humor and happiness to get your engagement up. Don’t be fake - authenticity is important. But if you have the option to bring positivity to your followers' feeds instead of negativity, the choice is obvious!

Use the Baader–Meinhof Phenomenon

When we are exposed to something new, we begin to see it show up in our lives everywhere. For example, if we start researching different kinds of blenders- suddenly that subject seems to be popping up everywhere. Every character on TV is making their breakfast with a blender and all of our friends are posting about the new blenders they bought. It’s not that there is suddenly more information being produced about blenders, you’re just noticing it more because you’re aware of it. This is the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. You can use this phenomenon on social media. Posting frequently will bring your brand into your followers’ awareness more often. Suddenly, they’ll be relating your brand to things they see in their daily lives. You’ll start popping up in their thoughts simply because they’re more aware of you.

Engage Your Followers At Every Opportunity

Remember that rewarding feeling that comes along with notifications popping up on our phones? You can use that rewarding feeling to get followers attached to your brand. If someone comments on your post, make sure you respond to their comment. Dopamine is released in our brains when we are tagged in something on social media. If you respond to a comment and tag the original commenter, they will receive a hit of dopamine attached to your brand when the notification pops up on their phone. The same is true for re-sharing content users have posted about your brand. Never miss a chance to tag a follower and make a notification pop up on their phone.

Social media is a mine field that can be used for good and evil. Make sure that you use these tips to create a positive impact on people's feeds and that the content you're creating is making the world a better place. And remember, it's okay to take a break from social media for your mental health. If staying on top of social media 24/7 for your brand is negatively affecting you, remember that hiring a professional to take that burden off is a great option. Reach out to us at for help.

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