But color both changes and creates emotions. It inspires, excites, calms, connects, and even heightens anger and stress. 

No doubt you’ve heard digital marketing gurus boast of boosting conversions on landing pages and websites by tweaking the color of CTA buttons and headlines. And you’ve probably used some of these tips when creating your business website. But how can you harness this power to boost engagement on social media?

Let’s find out.

What is color psychology?

Color psychology is the science of how color affects how we feel and behave. Psychologists in this field look at the cultural and social means we give colors and the effect they have on our physiological state. 

For example, studies show that the color red has a direct effect on our nervous system. When we see red, our heartbeat quickens – a phenomenon that scientists suggest makes us more likely to act aggressively or feel more confident. The effect of red is so strong that in sports like boxing and taekwondo, red and blue outfits are randomly assigned and yet contestants wearing red still consistently outperform those in blue.

Color psychology explains why:

  • We don’t want to eat blue foods
  • We feel more productive in some environments than others
  • We feel so relaxed in nature

And much more. But what does this have to do with social media? 

5 reasons to use color psychology in your social media strategy 

An effective social media strategy is one that grabs and holds people’s attention. It’s part messaging, part delivery and all confidence. Color is just one visual feature that will make or break your digital presence, but here’s why it’s worth your time… 

  1. People prefer to read information presented in color and understand more of what’s written when it is.
  2. The emotions we feel when we see colors are closely tied to our experience. So, we feel calm around green because it reminds us of nature, but we feel disgust toward greeny-yellow because it makes us think about being sick.
  3. 62-90 per cent of a person’s first impression of a product is driven by color. And it takes just 90 seconds for that impression to be formed.
  4. The amount of trust and satisfaction we feel for a particular website is driven by its color. That’s true across different cultures and applies to anywhere your brand has a visual presence.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three ways you can use color psychology to your advantage.

4 ways to boost engagement on social media with colour psychology

Use color contrasts to grab attention

According to leading conversion optimisation eLearning platform CXL, the key to grabbing attention with color is not to focus on red… It’s to use color contrasts. 

We’re naturally drawn to contrasts. In nature, high-contrast colors are used to warn off predators and signal fertility, and often give away the location of food (think ripe fruit on trees). 

So when we see a high-contrast image in our social media feeds, we stop and pay attention. Getting seen is the first step to boosting engagement, so grab a color wheel and find the most contrasting hue to your main brand color and start using it in your social posts.

Use emojis to draw attention to in-text CTAs

In most social platforms, you can’t alter the look or feel of a post’s CTA. But you can write CTAs in your description and highlight them with emojis.

I know, I know… your brand doesn’t ‘do’ emojis. But hear me out! 

You don’t have to go full gen Z. There are plenty of more basic emojis like red crosses, arrows and ticks that can add a splash of high-contrast colour to your text and draw attention to your CTAs.

Match image background colours to your message

If you take custom shots for social media posts, choose your background colours wisely. As we’ve already discussed, contrasting colours are great for grabbing attention. But you could also use background colour to enhance the message of your post. 

For example, if you’re running an offer, use colours that are known to excite – even if only liberally. Yellows, oranges and reds work well in this context. But don’t go overboard. Little pops of colour work just as well as big blocks, especially if block colour isn’t well suited to your brand.

That’s all folks

Social media marketing is a tough gig. But by making a few colourful tweaks to your posts, you can grab more attention and inspire more engagement with your brand.

**About the Author: Jodie is a Conversion Copywriter and Content Strategist working with bold B2B SaaS and tech brands. Before founding This Copy Sticks, she spent a decade selling the toughest value proposition around and raised £2 million for charities before her 25th birthday. After 10 years in fundraising, Jodie now helps tech-mad trailblazers grow their businesses”