Connect Over Convert: Understanding the Social Media Psychology

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Connect Over Convert: Understanding the Social Media Psychology

Do you find it hard to grow your brand’s following on social media?

It is not a secret to anyone that the potential of this medium is massive. According to Statista, social media users worldwide stood at more than 4 billion in 2021. In another report by Hubspot, 77% of social media marketers across various industries in the US confirmed that this type of marketing is “somewhat to very effective” for their company.

But, still, many brands fail to gain and retain followers. So, despite its popularity, why is marketing through these platforms not working out for so many marketers?

To answer this question, we went back to the basics – human psychology. When working on your social media strategy, it is very important to consider how humans think on such platforms and what directs them to form or break connections. It all starts with following the standard social media rules. Brands should get their foundations right first if they want to keep their performance unaffected. 

To understand this problem better, let’s look closely at your users’ behavior:

Start with the foundations

Each platform has specific rules that your brand should abide by. Otherwise, your account won’t appear appealing. In addition to the general rules like not posting someone’s picture without their permission and not liking an old post, there are also others that companies often ignore. Unfollowing someone right after you follow them or posting too many story updates falls under this category and is often considered spam. People will refer to these rules to evaluate the content quality and the value of the profile, and violations can be reasons not to engage with the content they put out. Don’t let your users hit the button “unfollow.” 

After keeping these prerequisites, brands should usually decide on how to strategize and plan their content and what to be their main goal – connecting or converting. 

The choice may seem straightforward, but it usually isn’t. Below we will explain why.

The way forward for marketers

Users consider interactions on social media platforms similar to physical ones. For instance, many countries enforce personal privacy by law, and social media platforms must follow the same rules for their users. Similarly, like in real life, when people have social disconnections online and offline, they actively try to avoid communicating with them. On social media, users do that by choosing NOT to connect with you if you don’t bring any value to their lives. In scientific terms, this is called the loss aversion bias.

When marketers focus on ‘CONVERTING,’ they have their messaging around the brand, product, or service and don’t pay much attention to what the audience needs and wants to see. This creates an imbalance as the company gets to be heard but doesn’t offer anything in return to the user. 

Here is why CONNECTING will work better for organizations. This means the democratization of social media interactions following a give-and-take policy. As long as you provide value to the users, you will receive a good following and more interactions. So this method is more powerful than you might think and will eventually help you reach conversions as well. 

Let’s see some examples:

The art of connecting

As mentioned earlier, brands can achieve connections by bringing in more value. They can establish good bonds with their users by providing solutions, education, customer service, entertainment, and much more. 

Here are some great ways to practice the art of connecting:

1. Solve a problem – We have a great example of Humphrey Yang, a financial influencer with over 869k subscribers on YouTube, who posts content on personal finance management. Users find it valuable as it directly relates to their life and is also problem-solving oriented. Watch this YouTube Short.

2. Entertain – many people turn to social media for entertainment, making it an excellent opportunity to leverage. Here is an example from Microsoft, where they bring back the discontinued Clippy, the office assistant on Microsoft Office, that many users are already familiar with as it is still present in popular culture.

3. Build a community – this is one of the best ways for your organization to build strong social connections with your users, as a sense of group or community brings more space to grow brand loyalty. An example is Meta’s Creators of Tomorrow, where the company helps influencers grow their audience, which leads to more engagement for the platform itself. #CreatorsOfTomorrow is their hashtag to promote this community, and they also host events to inspire content creation among the participants.

4. Educate – using educational content can make the brand look knowledgeable, increasing its value among users. Here is an example from Samsung, where they have combined education with inspiration to deliver a killer environmental post. The video is related to World Ozone Day, and it talks about the importance of protecting the ozone layer. It is of really good clarity, and in the end, they imply that it was being displayed on Samsung’s Neo QLED 8K Smart TV.


We all know that the attention span of consumers is getting shorter with time. In the digital world, it has been reduced to approximately 8 seconds, meaning most people prefer skimming over reading. Social media is one of the prime accused of this problem, and ironically, the low span will also affect the consumption on such platforms, and it will get harder to connect with people going forward. As social media saturation climbs to new levels, marketers must figure out how to hold the users’ attention for longer. The key here can be to invest in connecting with people rather than converting them. When you learn to create meaningful connections, your business will also feel the difference. As conversions will not only follow, but they will be repeating over time, leading to more loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value for your organization. 

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