Social Media: Behavioural Imprinting

Written by Martin Lucas

If you dislike math then worry not, my job is to make the complex simple for you and, in this case, using stuff I love…

The Math of People

Whatever you think about social media, it is a behavioural science dreamland. I’ll explain why.

You know that ‘friend’ who posts on Facebook about every cup of coffee they have or the one who talks about their kids’ every movement or a picture of every cookie they eat?

Whether they like it or not, they are addicted to the attention that social media gives them. Each like, each view, each comment is a dopamine hit in the brain. Not sure to believe me? Facebook is now part of stuff people give up as New Year resolutions just like sugar, nicotine, alcohol and shopping, it’s an addiction.

I use Facebook as an example as we use it for life and it is easy to relate to, but the same is true for all platforms. All of us leave our behaviours imprinted on social media.

What is Social Behaviour?

Do you like to talk a lot or are you quite quiet?

Do you love to imagine things or are you more practical?

Do you get overexcited about things or are you more rational?

The type of person you are is what you put out there on social media. This is true whether it is life or business, it’s your natural way. If you like to read and read and check and check something, then you will put more of that type of content out to the world as that is what you think works best. That is what is known as behavioural imprinting. It’s hard to hide who you are because your behaviours in person are the same as the behaviours you project on social media.

Data to Stories

What is really cool is how you can take this math of people and analyse what they are saying, what they need, what different types of context they need and give them more of what they want and less of what they don’t.

You might say well how can I account for so many different types of people?

Well there is always a pattern and the biggest thing to recognise is what your aims are. Take me for example, I love the Fashion and the Consumer Shopping market and so I focus on analysing that. The more I understand about that market, the more I can present information that they will find interesting and the more people I interact with. That’s my aim and here is a Tweet showing what I mean:


Huge reactions which is pretty cool.

The thing to note about this article is that behaviours are everything and everywhere. Science is in a state of flux as we are prying open more and more doors about how people think, behave and act. However, it’s science so business is slow to react and if that is your need, to grow, to sell, to understand your audience better, then the data is sitting there for you. No one is focused on behaviours and how people feel, that’s why we are winning and how you can win too.