The Psychology Behind Why We Like, Share and Comment on Facebook (Infographic)
Your crazy bro-in-law ran with the bulls in Pamplona. He posted video proof on Facebook and you liked it. Your neighbor posted a photo of herself geeked-out as Lady Thor at Comic-Con. Pics on FB or it didn’t happen. Well, by Loki, it did and you shared it.
If you’re like the rest of us, you share your friends' posts often. You like, you comment, you interact like crazy on Facebook, sometimes all day, almost as if it’s a knee-jerk reaction. But you’re not quite sure why.
Why??? Why do you do what you do on Facebook, you complicated human lifeform?
Well, research predictably suggests that clicking “like,” the superficial currency of online human connection, makes you feel involved. Like you care. And you bet Facebook knows this, and, up until recently, it cashed-in on what you like and more, big-time.
Liking this, that and the other thing on Facebook gives the impression -- to you and to others -- that you’re an attentive, engaged individual. You’re a good person who openly displays empathy toward people in your friend circle, deepening relationships with every like. At least it seems that way in your activity log.
Or maybe you’re just too lazy (admit it) to leave a comment. A “like” does the trick quick, the digital version of an acknowledging nod or a thumbs up. When liking branded content on Facebook Pages, your motivations are probably more self-centered, sometimes scoring you a sweet coupon or decent discount. Selfish? Nah. We just call that smart.
So why else do we like the heck out of pics, pages and status updates? And what compels us to comment? Is there a method to our social media madness? Well, lots of people -- marketers, researchers, psychologists, bloggers, you name it -- seem to think so. There’s no shortage of theories.
Here’s a neat and tidy compilation of them, packed conveniently into another insightful infographic from Entrepreneur contributor and online marketing expert Neil Patel, co-founder and CEO of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. If you own a business and you’re on Facebook, it’s worth a good look. Even if you don’t, if you simply use Facebook for fun, you won’t want to miss it either.
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Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.