The Emotions of the Sexes and How To Capture It In Social Media


social media

You have been using social media psychology in your marketing.  You may have not been aware of it, but you have. You have responded in some way psychologically to someone else’s social media update as well and it made you react or respond in some way.

Sure, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that all responses come from either motion or emotion.  It’s a powerful thing when you understand that the only thing separating people from taking action on your social media is one letter.

For a while, I have been studying the art of social media psychology in depth and how we can start to master it.

Either way, it prompted me to dig a little deeper into these trigger factors and social media psychology prompts that people have on different platforms. What actually causes someone to react to our social media posts? Aside from a person being influential and trusted, most people have to struggle to get that attention. This caused me to realize that in order to find the true meaning behind these results, I was going to have to go further back into their childhood to figure out why men do what they do and why women do what they do.

Back Before Social Media Psychology

In a study done on a group of 30 infants, 15 boys and 15 girls, scientists wanted to see how each child would react at an early age to things they presented them. The one study that really impacted them was when they placed a female on one side of the room and a crib mobile toy (you know, the one that hangs and spins?) on the other side of the room. The female was not to do anything but smile at the babies and the mobile was turned on to spin around.

The results were that every female infant in the room turned to look at the woman and every male baby in the room turned their attention to the mobile. This proved the theory that girls, at an early stage are attracted and drawn to faces and boys are responsive to movement.

Another study done in a pre-school proved this theory once again when a boy and a girl was asked to draw any kind of picture they wanted. The girl returned with a picture and was asked to describe what she had drawn. This is mommy, daddy, and me. She went on to explain why she had drawn hearts and a house, an emotional connection to those she loved.

The young boy returned with his picture. He had chosen one crayon-a black one, and the whole page was full of scribbley circles. This is a spaceship crashing into the earth! When asked if he wanted to draw people in the spaceship, he said “No, it looks good to me.”

Motion and emotion

Men and women are different. That’s why little boys are responsive to toys that move: cars, trucks, racetracks, skateboards, etc. The male brain is wired differently. Male brains tend to rely primarily on their dominate or language side to process information. A female can use both sides of her brain to process, information, but she also has access on her non-dominate hemisphere that brings out her emotion.

This is the reason women get emotional looking at photos of their children, watching a puppy swim in a pool, etc. And probably why #Caturday exists in the first place! Thanks a lot for that by the way!

Men focus on the motion in the ocean, the way things work, motor skills, functions, and other manly stuff, like my buddy Jeff Sieh and The Manly Pinterest Tips Show. We want to create, build, dominate, and conquer, while women want to do all of those things too, but don’t mind stopping and smelling some roses on the way.

How Can We Use These Triggers in Social Media

Let’s talk about Google Plus. One of my favorite platforms can really show you how the battle of the sexes can be won by just some simple tweaks to your marketing.

I still think 2014 will be the year of imagery. Whether you are male or female, there’s something out there that you’re going to respond to. That’s why we can’t discount them. However, can we create an image that attracts both genders? Given the information above, it would seem impossible to create motion in a still image for the men (unless you’re really good at GIF’s), and also capture the emotional side for the women as well.

Very few companies have a deep understanding of exactly how social media interacts with consumers to expand product and brand recognition, drive sales and profitability, and engender loyalty.

Read this quote from

We believe there are two interrelated reasons why social media remains an enigma wrapped in a riddle for many executives, particularly nonmarketers. The first is its seemingly nebulous nature. It’s no secret that consumers increasingly go online to discuss products and brands, seek advice, and offer guidance. Yet it’s often difficult to see where and how to influence these conversations, which take place across an ever-growing variety of platforms, among diverse and dispersed communities, and may occur either with lightning speed or over the course of months. Second, there’s no single measure of social media’s financial impact, and many companies find that it’s difficult to justify devoting significant resources—financial or human—to an activity whose precise effect remains unclear.

It seems that this is still a mystery to most companies.  We all seek visibility and brand recognition and, to a point, we understand that stimulating visuals and articles get the job done.  However, there is still an unsolved question as to how to get both genders to react properly to every social media promotion we do.

It’s no secret that men and women are different on social media, but there is still that childhood factor that we must dig up in each individuals past.

Remember, men are attracted to motion or things that create motion. It CAN be a still image of a car, their imagination will do the rest. Women are attracted to things that make them feel emotional, or create some type of feeling that draws out this emotion. Even though we have grown up, we still hold on to the actions of our past and this is how to create trigger responses in social media.

I wanted to share some images that show you just how men and women can respond visually from your social media updates:
For The Men:

social media psychology for men

Men are easy.  Less is more with them.  Believe me, I know.  Throw in something flashy and you’ve got our attention.  Remember to keep it in the motion category.  There may be a problem if you’re in my niche because we can’t be throwing images of cars on social media every time we have a post about Twitter strategies.  However, as long as you can depict the “motion” of moving forward, i.e., showing them how to be better at something, taking the next step in their marketing strategy, then that is, in a sense, forward movement.
And The Women:

social media psychology

The women are a little harder.  Because they do have access to both sides of their brains, it’s hard to determine what state you get them in when they see your social update.  Studies have shown that women are more emotional than men, however, not to tick off any of my female colleagues, I want to stress that sometimes they’re just not in that state of mind.

Here’s something funny I came across while researching this out and it talks about why women are type-casted as being more emotional than men and the user asks this question because they feel that women are taught to be emotional, which is totally incorrect. You are emotional because you have access to more regions of your brain than men do…and that’s not a bad thing!  For the most part, (and I have consulted my wife on this) women want to feel secure, healthy, needed, comfortable, independent, etc, and the more you course correct your images to that aspect, the more results you will have for the better looking gender.

The Final Thought

Social media is going to be here for the duration and you need to understand what is best for your business. Simply posting and hoping for the best is just not going to cut it. People are getting smarter at this type of marketing and making it harder on the new person to break out and show people what they’ve got!

Remember, the next time you use social media, there are only two types of people that you have to attract.  Men and women.  Understanding how they react and respond to different things will help you create a better social media marketing strategy.  And, if you have to use a little social media psychology to do it, you’ll be glad you did because perhaps you have something that can really benefit people and the way they do their business.

About the Author:

Wade Harman

This monthly Social Media Psychology column is contributed by Wade Harman. Wade is a full time blogger and social media psychology expert. He earned a Cognitive Psychotherapy graduate degree in 2000, and he now uses that knowledge to research and develop social media strategies and methods that create action and emotion in the reader. Wade can show you how to spark an emotional reaction, get the reader’s attention, and create action that drives traffic to your site through social media.

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