Sometimes when you are scrolling through your social media feed, looking at photos of shoes or food or selfies, it becomes easy to wonder why people feel the need to post all these things.
It’s a fair question. And diving into all the deep psychological rationales behind social media posting activity is certainly the stuff of a book, not a blog post
That being said, from my perception, people ultimately make posts for reasons which are either internally driven or externally driven.
An externally driven person is relatively easy to recognize — they are usually posting things that are aimed at getting people to talk to you. They talk about events coming up, the things they do, the activities they are involved in either online or in their offline communities. They want to know about what you are up to as well
The objective of an externally driven person is engagement — especially comments. Some of them have figured out how to get paid for whatever they are talking about and others haven’t… but at the end of the day, they’re all looking for conversation and they hope you like a post, share it, or (most often).
An internally driven person, on the other hand, can be recognized by content that is typically focused on expressing their own feelings and thoughts and random moments. This could range from selfies and food photos to vague complaints and rants.
The objective of an internally driven person is to broadcast. While they may care about the personal validation that comes from comments, most of the time they are not trying to get anything from social media. At times it often looks more like a daily diary than anything else. Ultimately, they are interested in saying what they want to say, and in most cases do not care about whether it gets results or not.
On a basic level, both motivations for posting on social media are perfectly valid. And lots of people combine a little bit of both approaches. However, when it comes to getting marketing results, external motivations usually win the day with potential audience members.