Eggs Painted With Faces

Facebook is a powerful social media platform that’s used by millions of people worldwide.

For businesses, Facebook is an effective advertising tool that can be used to reach a wider target audience.

However, while you can create Facebook ads easily, it can be difficult to create ads that really drive in the traffic.

This is where utilizing the psychology of Facebook will help you create better ads that will drive the results you’re after.

So how do you do this?

By following these 3 steps:

Step 1. Get To Know Your Facebook Audience Better

To create better ads, you must first understand the personality traits of Facebook users to build a foundation for your ad.

The 5 most common personality traits of Facebook users include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Neuroticism
  • Openness
  • Extroversion
  • Conscientiousness
  • Agreeableness

Laptop with Facebook

In digging deeper into these main traits, you’ll have a higher chance of developing ads which target individual people. The idea of great Facebook advertising is to connect with people on a more personal level.

If you can do this, you have a winning advertising method.

Let’s take a closer look at each trait:

  • Neuroticism – Neurotics are traits in those who tend to display negative behaviour such as heightened paranoia and low self-esteem. Generally, these people will post updates of their relationships to seek attention and affirmation along with driving the perception their relationship is weak. Those who have neurotic traits also tend to rant on Facebook because neuroticism is related to threat sensitivity and anxiety.
  • Openness – Those who have the open trait generally share content frequently and update their Facebook status on a regular basis. This openness also brings with it a strong desire to explore new ideas and learn new information through Facebook instead of casual socializing.
  • Extroversion – Extraverts tend to update and post on Facebook regularly and the most frequently. Extroverts are generally upbeat people who are very talkative and positive. They encourage frequent updates and communication through Facebook messenger. They like to update regularly to socialise with their larger network of friends.
  • Conscientiousness – Conscientious people tend to have strong work ethics, are highly organized, and are responsible. They use Facebook less frequently but when they do go on Facebook they’re drawn to controversial discussions and topics. They also reframe from talking bad about someone of Facebook.
  • Agreeableness – The agreeable trait in users is seen through their cooperative and helpful nature. They have interpersonal relationships that are better than the other traits and use Facebook as a way to maintain genuine friends. They are less likely to badmouth someone, and use Facebook as a way to communicate with someone which is of value to them.

All these traits have a strong influence on what users are drawn to when an ad is shown in their news feed.

How Do You Determine Which Trait Reflects Your Audience and Which Emotions To Target? 

To determine which traits best reflect your target audience and which emotions you should choose to advertise to, you can: 

  • Analyse previous ads to see which ones gained the most engagement from your audience and Facebook followers.
  • Ask questions on Facebook about different topics to see which questions trigger immediate and heighten responses.
  • Analyse your audience to see what people are saying, how often they share your content, and whether they are willing to answer questions or interact with you.
  • Test the different ad methods once to see which one engages your audience the most by likes, shares, and comments.
  • Work out what type of trait you believe you or your business is and analyse whether your audience is similar. Generally, similar traits follow one another. 

Step 2. Create Better Facebook Ads By Targeting These Traits

When creating your ad, you need to keep these different user traits in mind.

Here are some of the best ways you can utilise these traits while creating better ads at the same time.

  1. Harness Anger

When someone is outraged and angry, they’re engaged.

Provoking anger from your audience is a great way to get their attention.

The only way to do this is to create ads that are controversial or that will capture the attention of armchair activists – those who are passionate about climate change, endangered animals and other similar environmental/social issues.

Anger is a powerful motivator and should be utilised where possible to gain wider attention from your audience.

Sample Tweet

  • Harness Fear

Just like anger, fear is also a motivator and a way to get your audience’s attention. Fear tends to provoke a sense of urgency mixed with negative emotion about the topic that’s been talked about.

Generally, fear can be generated by using powerful words (such as death, fatal, terrorist, bomb, plague, disease) that trigger fear in most people.

When creating a powerful Facebook ad, fear should be considered. However, to stop your ad creating mass panic when the user clicks through to your post, you need to give them reassurance of some kind.

  • Whether it’s a product that helps with preventing disease or anti-terrorism procedures, the government is putting in place to protect the people, you need to reassure your audience that things will be ok.
  • Men in Hazmat SuitsHarness Sadness and Happiness

Happiness and sadness go hand in hand when advertising. Generally, powerful Facebook ads feature an element of both which are utilised to gain

Generally, powerful Facebook ads feature an element of both which are utilised to gain more emotional response from people.

To do this, you start by creating an ad that evokes a sad emotional response, similar to what’s seen in animal cruelty campaigns. Then you add some happiness to it by indicating that the viewer can do something about the situation at hand.

The psychology of harnessing sadness and happiness comes down to making the person feel sad about the situation at hand and then giving them a way they can help make a difference which in turn generates a hopeful and happy emotion. Evoking both sadness and happiness creates powerful marketing for any Facebook ad.

Rescue Dogs

Is There A Downside To Creating Ads Which Trigger Negative Emotions?

In some ways yes, depending on the audience you’re looking to target. Targeting the wrong audience can cause a chain reaction that can be damaging to your business, especially if you don’t add a solution or a happy outcome when they click through to the article they’re reading.

When triggering negative emotions like anger, be mindful that some people may become more passionate about a subject. If you’re against the subject they’re for, then it may cause them to go on a vendetta against your business.

Conscientious trait individuals are generally more drawn to posts which evoke anger. However, you can also market your anger-provoking ad to those who have an open and agreeable trait as well.

If you initiate a fear response, you also need to be mindful not to cause panic amongst vulnerable people. Those with neurotic traits shouldn’t be marketed with fear as this may cause ongoing anxiety in their own life.

Fear advertising needs to be marketed to those who can look past the initial fear and see a logical side. Traits that are best suited for fear advertising are extroverts and agreeable as they would be able to recognize the fear and work on resolving the problem.

Step 3. Use Clear Powerful Images

To make your post really evoke a powerful emotional response, always back up your claims with powerful, clear images which mimic that with what you’re talking about (however keep it rated accordingly, no need for really graphic imagery). Incorporating a relatable image to what you’re talking about helps to trigger emotions in a much deeper way.

Reading about animal cruelty will make you sad. Seeing an image of a sad, hungry dog along with the story, now that’s going to get someone’s attention.

The Takeaway

Facebook is a powerful marketing tool for any business or organization to really boost their audience and traffic’s interaction and interest.

By developing stories around the psychological traits of users, you have a better chance of gaining more interest in what you’re talking about.

So are you ready to create better Facebook ads?

 What tips do you have for creating a strong Facebook ad? 

Written by Aaron Gray
Aaron is the co-founder of Studio 56 and is a passionate digital marketing expert who has worked with some of the largest digital marketing agencies in Australia. He has been working in the digital marketing field for ten years. Aaron loves to travel the world to not only enhance his cultural experiences but learn and enhance his skills in the digital marketing industry. He is dedicated to helping others reach their online marketing goals.

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