The Psychology Behind Instagram

It’s safe to say Instagram has become one of the happiest places on the web. If you’re an Instagram user, you know it’s filled full of cute animals, delicious food, beautiful sceneries and motivational quotes. It definitely has an uplifting aura, however there are some key psychological components to it. Once you get to know these components, you can make use of them to enhance your posts and gain more followers.

1. Instagram Is Addicting

Thinking of sharing an activity on social media rewards distinctive brain centers. Just try to remember the most recent time you went outside and saw an opportunity to take a photo- you were probably thinking how you can’t wait to post it on Instagram. A chemical substance called dopamine which is associated with addiction, is released when you post on social media and people engage. This basically means that people can get “addicted” to social media accounts. In everyday life, we don’t talk about ourselves most of the conversation. However, when we’re on social platforms that time usually doubles. A study by New York Times revealed that people usually share photos on Instagram to keep in touch with family and friends. With social media, we create an image of ourselves as we’d wish to be viewed, which in turns develops some sort of self appreciation.



2. Psychology Behind Engaging

Liking other people’s posts is a good way to gain followers and enhance your profile. However, there’s this one thing called the effect of reciprocity that has more influence on your likes than anything else. The effect of reciprocity is quite simple: people return back favors. Whenever you see a like notification, our brains dictate us that we should return the likes to the people who liked our posts. Basically that’s how you enhance your account: you engage.




3. The Principle Of Likeness

This principle is just what it sounds like. When people like something, it’s because they are usually influenced by it since what they like is usually similar to themselves. This can be seen in the way people dress, talk, walk and everything else they do. Use this and make your Instagram account look like something that people will connect and engage with. Make use of hashtags by creating your own unique ones. Using universal hashtags that people like, such as ones about holidays will help keep people interested your account. For example, if you tag a location your account will have that human element which will make people engage with it- they can comment that they’ve been there or how pretty it looks.



4. Reality Check

Before we had social media, we thought celebrities are untouchable. Nowadays we can see these celebrities and what they’re up to all over Instagram- from waking up in the morning all the way to cooking dinner for their kids. The gates have finally come down for all of us on the internet. Now people have become  reachable because of Instagram, but because of its nature, reality has gotten a bit blurred. It’s important not to get lost into a fake world of social media, but you should use the effect that pictures have to market your brand.




5. Delay Of Gratification

This one is mainly for all the food enthusiasts, but it can be easily true for the entire Instagram world in general. Photographing your food gives you some time before you actually eat it,  which creates some sort of a reward sensation after you’re done. Journal of Consumer Marketing wrote that posting photos of your food on Instagram makes it taste better. We’re not kidding- it can even make you healthier. Studies show that scrolling through photos of food like oatmeal, fish and salads made them appear more delicious, hence making people want to eat them.


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