7 Psychological Tricks to Make People React to Your Social Media Posts

Over 3.6 billion people around the globe are active on social media, and by 2025, that number is projected to be 4.41 billion. Is your content strategy successfully tapping into this incredible audience, or are you still scratching your head and wondering how to make people react to your social media posts?

Average screen time drastically increased during the pandemic. Out of 4,500 users surveyed in North America, 72% said their social media consumption rose, and 43% reported that they posted more frequently. Of all the platforms, Facebook still rules supreme with 2.85 billion active users in Q1 2021.

Bar graph of the most popular social media networks in 2021

The competition for social media attention is fierce. But don’t panic!

Instead of taking blind shots in the dark and hoping for results, we recommend a different approach—psychology.

Key points

  • Be trustworthy and authentic.
  • Engage with your audience if you expect them to engage with you.
  • Leverage numbers, lists, CTAs, and images for maximum impact.
  • Use FOMO wisely.
  • Prove your worth with samples.


How to make people react to your social media posts: 7 methods for success

Sometimes it’s easy to become so focused on the data that we forget there are real people we’re trying to connect with on the other side of the screen.

Communication is one of the most important soft skills you can hone, and understanding human behavior is a critical step in the social media equation. Reach your consumers on a more personal level and earn more social media reactions by implementing the tips below:


1. Be authentic and trustworthy

The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer shows record lows in consumer trust. Between the misinformation and politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 U.S. election, people lost trust in news sources.

Edelman 2021 barometer of trust at record lows

What does this mean for your social media content strategy?

Audiences are scrutinizing brands to gauge their reliability. Everything from the tone of your brand voice to the accuracy of the information you post is under the microscope.

People are overwhelmingly rejecting the non-empathetic brands concerned only with peddling sales pitches. It’s more important than ever to do your research and present trustworthy information with an amiable, authentic tone.


2. Consistently engage with your audience

Social media was not designed to be a one-way platform. If you expect your audience to engage with your content, you need to reciprocate. This holds true for every platform, whether your goal is to increase Twitter retweets or boost your LinkedIn followers.

Talk to your base. Respond to comments and private messages. Encourage discussions. Most importantly, let your audience know that you’re listening.

You can go a step further by engaging your followers with giveaways, contests, and other interactive strategies to generate buzz.


3. Use numbers in your headline 

A recent Semrush study found that lists get 80% more traffic than other types of articles.

The human brain loves listicles. This type of article format is well structured, organized within a specific category or classification, and looks instinctively authoritative and trustworthy.

Numbers are particularly eye-catching and make us pause when scrolling through a newsfeed.


4. Have a clear call-to-action 

This technique applies to all advertising, not just getting reactions on social media. Remember that we’re operating in an unprecedented time when trust has to be earned and audiences are more wary than ever. You don’t want someone to feel like you baited them and then failed to deliver.

Be upfront and transparent. Use clear call-to-action (CTA) words such as “subscribe” or “share” to take the uncertainty out of the experience.

Is your goal to increase interaction in a certain post? Give your audience instructions. Tell them to tag a friend in the comments, or like and share for the chance to win a prize, or invite them to post their thoughts on the subject.


5. Choose the right images 

Adding visuals to your posts can drastically increase the engagement rate. Articles that have images receive on average 94% more total views.

But it’s not as simple as slapping a featured image onto your article and calling it a day. You want to make sure you’re choosing high-quality, attention-grabbing images that are relevant to your brand and topic.

If you’re using brand-only images, make a list of what you need and coordinate with the creative team to produce the right assets.

If you need stock images, Pexels and Unsplash are two free options.


6. Harness the “fear of missing out” power 

The “fear of missing out,” aka FOMO, is the anxiety of being left out—whether that’s an activity, sale, news update, or other important event.

This is where clickbait headlines such as “Once you learn X, you’ll never Y again” come from. It creates urgency and triggers that fear of missing out on a critical piece of useful knowledge.

Because FOMO relies on a negative reaction, use caution when exercising this technique. You don’t want to overpromise and then underdeliver.



7. Give a little while teasing a lot more

Share a small sample with your audience right off the bat. If your content is a list, give your readers the first one or two points in the post, and then invite them to read the full article if they’re interested in more.

This method is rooted in trust-building. You’ve hooked the consumer’s interest and shown them that the content is high quality and worth their time. If they like what they’ve already read, they’ll want to continue.


Earn social media engagement by connecting at the human level

The most important advice to remember is that your audience is not a set of data points that can be influenced with a copy-paste formula that works for every brand. You’ll need to experiment and try different techniques to see what connects best with your unique audience.

At the end of the day, we’re all just humans trying to connect with other humans.

Did you learn valuable tips in this article? Connect with us to see what we’re all about.