Getting Social with Freud

Written By

Andy Jorishie
EVP / Ideas & Innovation Bright Red

Special thanks to Kaila Sekula, my planner extraordinary, for this idea. 

I was reading an article recently that applied the Freudian Triangle to how we approach social media. After more than a century and a completely transformed social culture, we are still using his theories to understand human behavior. 

Social media has often been criticized for being self-indulgent, especially with consumer-brand interaction. This audience doesn’t care what the brand has to say, they care more about what the brand says about them. And each platform has different rules for how they want to socialize and be represented. If a brand disrupts this protocol, prepare to be called out.  

Let’s break these platforms down so that your brand can participate without being ad bashed. 

Superego – My ideal self. 

The superego is where you control impulses and strive for perfection. Think Instagram. This is where people go to show an idealized version of themselves. Life is always rosy on Instagram. Brands can mimic this persona through aspirational and aesthetically pleasing video and photos. 

Id – My real desire 

The id is primitive, illogical, irrational and fantasy oriented. This correlates with platforms where people speak their minds and voice their opinions without the fear of society shaming them, like Reddit and Twitter. Brands have to be careful because they are subject to rejection here the most. But when done right, shout out to MoonPie, their engagement and sales numbers skyrocket. Twitter is a perfect platform for brands that want to entertain and excite. 

Ego – Everyday me 

The ego’s job is to balance the id and the superego and stay in touch with reality. Enter Facebook and Snapchat where authenticity is most important. From sharing your weekend plans to announcing your battle with cancer with a photo of your freshly shaved head. The topics that people interact with the most on Facebook are love, life and friendship. Brands that succeed well here are going to be down to earth and relatable. 

It’s always nice to see brands through a fresh lens, even if the lens is nearly a century old. Freud was one perceptive guy. 

Originally published here