Massage therapists who use social networking to promote specials, market their practices and educate clients could be tapping into a deep need for human connection.

Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter provide social connections that meet the need for affiliation, research suggests—and a feeling of affiliation can prompt people to log in more often.

“As social networking sites increasingly provide social connections that meet the need for affiliation, people are developing symbiotic relationships with these sites,” the researchers noted in an abstract on “Drawing on the notion that people motivated by affiliation may increase their attention to sources that provide social connections, we conducted a lab experiment to explore whether priming affiliation needs would prompt the idea of online social networking.

“Results suggest that the idea of online social networking seems to have become deeply rooted in human social practices,” the researchers added.

“Keep Logging In! Experimental Evidence Showing the Relation of Affiliation Needs to the Idea of Online Social Networking” was published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior,

and Social Networking, published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.