There are now over 800 million people on Facebook; that’s roughly 1 in every 13 people on earth. And that’s just Facebook; it isn’t counting the countless other social networks. That is a huge audience to market your business/product to.
The bad news is that every 20 minutes 1 million links are shared, 2.7 million photos uploaded, 10 million comments are made, 1.8 million status updates are made and 1.6 million walls are posted on. That’s a whole lotta’ competition, and a whole lotta’ content tossed by the wayside, without action. But, to turn this good news/bad news situation around—there is a way to connect with your audience and make your social content stand out from the crowds: by using mental triggers.
Mental triggers are as old as marketing itself. Mental triggers in marketing are words or images used for two things: one, is to elicit our basic instincts and senses by stimulating different sectors of the brain; the other is to create a sense of urgency.
Images and Video
The first way to trigger your audience is with visually effective images or video. In the social media marketing world this includes uploaded photos, videos, tags, etc. Visually effective means choosing colors to denote the mood you are highlighting, using humor, leveraging trending topics, and other forms of directed content. You likely have studied how to make your visual offline marketing and advertising the most effective; translate that to the online world of social media.
The Power of Words
The mental triggers that are most effective in social media marketing are words. The power of words has been proven time and time again effective. Also, the majority of social media content is made of words: wall posts, status updates, messages, comments and hash tags (Twitter).
Trigger words are used to affect emotion in the reader. The most powerful emotions in marketing (meaning the most likely to create urgency and action) are: health, hope, anger, frustration, betrayal, revenge, the forbidden, powerless and passion.
The most-effective words used to trigger the above emotions are:
For health: boost, cure, energize, flush and vibrant.
For hope: bright, destiny, empower, overcome and undo.
For anger: arrogant, cruel, greed, hate and unscrupulous.
For frustration: had enough?, never again…, pointless, temporary fix and tired.
For betrayal: burned, conspiracy, disinformation, fleece and swindle.
For revenge: avenge, payback, reclaim, turn the tables and vindication.
For forbidden: banned, controversial, exposed, insider and taboo.
For powerless: agony, floundering, helpless, paralyzed and surrender.
For passion: blissful, delightful, jubilant, rave and thrilled.
In all likelihood at least a few of those words had a physiological effect on you as your read them. A slightly quickened pulse, an increased heart rate, dilation of the pupils. Pay close attention to the categories because depending on your personal outlook on life or current situations you may identify with specific emotional categories: like health and hope, or powerless and betrayal. That is exactly the point; your users will align themselves with certain feelings—emotions that will create a sense of urgency to act.
Putting Them to Good Use
The next step is to figure out how to leverage the feelings above and their keyword triggers in your social media marketing campaign. If you are running a lawn-care company for example you can use the passion and pride for their lawn to sell them a new lawn nutrient, or sell your services by evoking a sense powerlessness by showing how lawn diseases or crab grass can run amok.
Once you have figured out how the above triggers can be applied to your business or product you can use them regularly in your social media marketing. One very important thing to keep in mind though—use them casually and don’t overuse them or you risk irritating your readers.