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The Power Of The “Like”

Our Instagram profile is an extension of ourselves. Or so we like to think. For most of us, we make sure everything we put on it is the best part of ourselves, as much as possible.

We obsess over looking good in pictures or posting pretty photos we hope will interest our followers, and we are thrilled every time somebody liked them. In fact, we feel extremely good about ourselves as if the very photo embodies everything we are and the number of likes represents how well-liked we are as a person.

We tend to identify with our posts and the likes they get. We are so addicted to likes we check our posts several times a day just to see whether the number has increased and by how much.

It’s not atypical and there’s nothing wrong with liking so much, unless your social media usage has disrupted your life so completely that you cannot function anymore. If this is you, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.

If, however, you totally don’t understand why people get addicted to social media, it’s worth learning about, especially if you’re a brand. How does social media affect people, and how you can use the power of the like button to your marketing advantage?

Image credit: Mashable

Why We Use Social Media

Being on social media feels good. At the core, this is why we use it. We turn to our social networks when we’re bored and they provide such great entertainment that we don’t even notice the time passing.

We can connect with our friends and engage in activities that don’t seem to require our gray matter for the most part. But oddly, what we do on social media very much affects our brain.

Social media, apparently, stimulates the production in our brain of two major hormones responsible for happiness: dopamine and oxytocin. This is why social media can be very addicting. It has the equivalent of making us feel like we’re being hugged, or that we’ve accomplished something great. When these happy hormones succeed in making us happy, it motivates us to seek to give more of the same and spread our joy.

Image credit: MyFatPocket

As a brand, you can encourage in your viewers these feelings of connection associated with oxytocin. You can also express your gratitude by rewarding them. Dopamine is our reward compound in the brain, and you can press that button by providing gifts.

Incidentally, you can also build your social media presence on Instagram up even bigger by buying Instagram followers. Having a ton of followers will invite more followers to join, because people like to follow people who have a large following.

Why We Like On Social Media

We like getting likes on social media primarily because it makes us feel good. It gives us social feedback on how much we are appreciated. When we click the like button ourselves, however, it is driven more by expectations, according to a study by San Francisco-based digital marketing firm RadiumOne.

When someone liked our posts, we often feel obliged to like back. In psychology, they call this the reciprocity effect.

We also “like” because we want to maintain relationships or add some value to them. Every time we liked our friend’s posts, we reinforce that connection.

The Positive Effects of The Like

The reasons why we seek “the like” are the same reasons that make us human. As humans, we seek approval from people around us.

It’s normal to want more likes — what would you want instead, dislikes? Denying that we are interested in being liked would be the same as denying that we’re human. The only time liking the “like” becomes unhealthy is when we want it so much that we’re always seeking approval, and become obsessed with vanity over substance.

When we get likes, we feel appreciated. In fact, just seeing that notification on our phone that we got new likes is enough to make us happy. When we click and open the app to see who liked our post, we get a second dose of that happiness.

Image credit: neko chan via Instagram

Neuroscience studies show that our brains get huge activation in the areas associated with alcohol, cocaine, and other similar drugs when we get likes. Our brain interprets getting “likes” the same way it does when we get drunk or high on drugs..

In other words, when we talk about ourselves and we receive positive feedback about our actions and opinions, we feel not just emotionally but also biologically rewarded.

Harnessing the Power of Like

The number of times people “like” an Instagram picture works as a quantitative kind of feedback that we often don’t get in real life. In real life, we get our cues from the tone of voice, face, and body. This is complex, and it’s not always easy to tell if you’re getting a genuinely positive reaction or not.

The like button eliminates all that uncertainty and doubt, unless you think that people are ‘liking’ for some ulterior motive. If you’re a brand, you can harness the power of the like button and measure it as well.

Harnessing the power of positivity starts with looking at the kind of posts that resonate with your audience. When you know what gets liked and shared the most, you can improve the posts you deliver.

Closely following and maximizing engagement metrics such as likes can lead to a positive reputation on Instagram. This can also come from having many followers. So, if you’re aiming to build a solid reputation on Instagram, work on getting more followers but don’t ignore those little hearts you’re getting, as well.

Image credit: Instagram

Analyze your likes stat and run a followers campaign. You can also buy high-quality Instagram Followers and combine them with your organic campaigns. The results can be phenomenal. Remember that having many followers will make you look like an expert and someone worthy of a follow. That’s how bought Instagram followers can generate real followers for you.

On Instagram, 62% of users follow brands they like. Instagrammers like connecting with brands,  so all you have to do is be likable and share likeable posts.

The Impact of the Instagram Like

No one is immune to the positive feelings a “like” can imbue. We crave them like we crave a good night’s sleep or a great meal. Our hormones make sure of that.

Whether you’re the social media manager for a brand or not, you can use this knowledge on Instagram by paying close attention to your likes. They not only tell you what’s working and what’s not working so you can always improve, they also help make your posts highly shareable.

Remember also that this quantitative feedback helps others create their own impression of you. Make a good impression, and you’ll have a better chance at getting more likes, shares and even followers.

It all starts with a like.

Image credit: PGP

Date: September 8, 2017 / Categories: Marketing, / Author: Chell

September
8
2017

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