Published on February 5, 2014
Social Media Psychology for entry level brands and absolute noobs
Why are people social anyway and not loners like Mad Max or Amelie? • • • • Once upon a time when humans were new we learned that by staying in groups we were less likely to be destroyed by nature This also enabled us to pool our skills and knowledge and make life a bit better for everyone else through selfless acts like providing food for older or weak people who in return could babysit when the younger folk went out to do drums and eat peyote Over time it became a trait of humans that no matter how introverted you are or dislike every other human, you function within a society in some way or other because that’s the best way to ensure your survival and happiness It also became clear that some people were less likely to get murdered by sabre-toothed tigers and more likely to reproduce for one reason or another, so their characteristics became things that others wanted to imitate
Why do we copy more successful and attractive people? • • • Lots of creatures have a really good system where we pass on experience and solid reasoning to one another, often across generations. However, we have become revisionist by nature because while experience is great, it can sometimes guide us to make bad decisions and by being adaptable you’re less likely to die Most humans learn from an early age that trying to pick up fire is really harsh and that stays constant. We don’t however know the social nuances about things like public displays of emotion and when we are allowed to punch people in the face. Even as adults we need to observe and revise these things as we enter culturally unfamiliar territory. We learn this through observation We copy the behaviour identified as more attractive because we want to be closer to the centre of the social circle where the popular people are, because evolution tells us they are more likely to be live long Davey Beckman
How do these social circles look as a cool visual graphic? Cool people in The Inner circle Successful people who share similar key characteristics Wasteoids
So how come we spend so much time bitching about celebs? • • • • • Aside from first hand experience, the best way to learn how to avoid death and get pregnant is from other people’s experiences When people critique the behaviour of others they are setting the scene, making a judgement and then checking others to make sure that their understanding of the situation was socially correct or acceptable Negative stories are more attractive both when discussing those close to us and celebrities because there are often direct actionable lessons we can learn from the consequences of other people’s wrongs It’s a lot easier to say why someone lost their husband/wife than to map out the thoughts and actions involved in finding someone else to love forever Through checking with our peers we can also gain an understanding of when doing something normally seen as wrong can be acceptable, or how forgiving we are to people who’ve done those things
I’m lost, what does this have to do with Facetweet? Psychologists has identified that people often share stuff on social media because of one of three main motivations: Altruistic • Helping others • Displays of loyalty • Things that they find entertaining • Awesome sales Selfish • Raising your reputation • Drawing attention to yourself • Replenishing low self-esteem Group norm reassurance • Testing what is acceptable within your social group • Checking boundaries for self-censorship • Stereotyping Chelsea fans
Do you have any examples of these kinds of thing? Altruistic
Do you have any examples of these kinds of thing? Selfish
Do you have any examples of these kinds of thing? Group norm
How does this help me sell tat to strangers? • • • • It’s really important to remember that people are much more likely to care about something or trust the recommendation when it comes from a friend or family member than a paid advert If you know the triggers that make people share you can develop content that presents things you want to draw traffic to in such a way that people are more likely to share it with people who are more likely to give care about your stuff Once upon a time it was recognised by loads of people that it was a great idea to promote regular discounts and/or giveaways as a way to reach a broader audience for a lower spend than other forms of advertising. However it’s become clear that doing that only establishes a customer’s relationship with you with your products at a diminished value This means they are likely to be pretty unresponsive to you selling them something at twice the price to what they paid for it, more so if they expect another sale to come up soon. By being relevant you can establish a full price connection
How do I make things look better through psychology? Gestalt psychology is basically the idea that to understand human behaviour you have to look beyond the little bits at the bigger picture. Yeah, I know that sounds hard. But through the work of David Blaine and Derren Brown we now have a good understanding of it. The brain likes to organise things and do some decisions out the back of the shop so it doesn’t get in the way of the important bits at the front like thinking about dinner and watching football. Because of this it makes assumptions that you don’t even recognise doing Here are some really cool examples I will explain in the next couple of slides
What the hell is this Gestalt psychology? When you look at this you probably see a Dalmatian. What you actually see is a bunch of lines and shapes. Your brain does this because it likes to break down complex patterns into simple rules If I asked you how this image would continue, you would probably draw the same shape repeating rather than the top line turning into a swirl and the bottom drawing Bart Simpson. This is because the brain groups shapes together and aligns perceptual wholes to the object
What the hell is this Gestalt psychology? Similarly to the picture you’d probably say this was a circle with some bits missing rather than just some random lines. This is because for closure your brain puts individual shapes together and our perception fills in the gaps Another of the grouping laws says that when we put a random group of objects together we look for similarity and sort the ones that match together. Here you probably see six lines of balls formed together into a square. If we removed the two middle lines you’d further see the remaining balls as columns because of their proximity
How can I use this to make things good? • • • • • Look at the Olympic logo on the right and think about everything that’s on the previous slides. It’s beautiful, non? Now think about your logos and the way you display your brand visually in communications, does it look as simple and pretty? You’re probably thinking “Well, no. Because we have text and other junk” In that case look at how your text is displayed and the fonts you use. You do have choice fonts and a decent visual approach that follows through all your communications, right? Your header images, profile pictures and pictures used on your social media pages probably won’t look like the Olympic logo, but make sure you take into heart the principles of making things not look awful Hopefully this also gives you an idea of how if you present things in a certain way the human brain thinks they are more attractive and worthy of it’s time. This leads nicely to the next section
Can psychology make my links more clickable? Number or trigger word Adjective Link key words Deliverable promise Killer link bait This is a really effective way of seducing people to click links. However, it is also really, really horrible when written out properly and no doubt you see people using this formula a dozen times or so a day in click-bait articles people share anyway. You would be much better off by not treating your audience like dogs and working on your own formula for increasing clicks by testing out ideas and learning from what happens
How do trigger words and numbers work? (“It’s not what you think!”) • • The human brain really likes direct communications or to put things in some kind of order. This means that if you can use a trigger word that people find attractive, or take the blog post your linking to and turn it into a numerical number of points rather than four paragraphs of words, it catches the eye more No doubt you see the same trigger words used over and over again, you may not recognise them as such. Basically they are words that increase intrigue or promise big pay-offs that everyone likes; be that time saving, something entertaining, etc Secret Amazing Fun Effortless Weird • Disgusting Horrific Mind-blowing Shocking Unbelievable Incredible Free Cheap Bizarre Brilliant “5 Amazing lifehacks my awesome product can do to save you time and money” reads a lot better than “Here’s a link to my blog about how my product can help free up your timetable”
Why do I need adjectives? • • • • • Advertising companies often use and abuse adjectives to add value to their brand in a way that is relevant for the audiences. However certain key words were identified a long time ago that carry significant weight but don’t usually help distinguish a brand “New and improved” is a category of adjectives like this. People generally like to know about new things and improvements made to existing stuff. So as a result you’ll often see adjectives related to these bundled about. Words like “fresh” also help convey that something is at it’s best right now “Market leading, better & best” are the type of adjectives used to convey how amazing and good your thing is These are the types of words you will use primarily in your link bait. They add little to the brand, but catch eyes and that’s what you want Think of how M&S advertise their food with long lists of adjectives that turn a pork sandwich into a “heart warming 90 day smoke cured, organic, wild Derbyshire boar, wind harvested acorn fed life experience wrapped in bread.” That’s awesome as far as brand goes and cool when it’s read out by someone on a TV advert, but it doesn’t translate to social media links
What are my link’s key words? • • • Look at where you’re sending people to and what values that has which translate well into the wider messaging of your stuff For example you wouldn't sell a link to your range of organic baby clothing with “5 Unbelievable Things Children Who Didn’t Wear Organobabe Did To Get Expelled!” Sometimes being cleaver can work perfectly, however a lot of the time trying to get witty can just result in confused consumers. For example this will probably make you laugh, but I doubt anyone clicking would be looking for a guide to making sure they were wearing the right sized bra Disgusting! Real life situations where poorly fitted underwear lead to mindblowing deaths!
What is a deliverable promise? • • • If you’re going to promise someone the moon on a stick, you should make sure that they get the moon on a stick Don’t promise outrageous discounts and MEGA MASSIVE SALES if people clicking through only find 3 items in your entire store discounted 10%. Similarly if you promise to shock and amaze, make sure the content on the other end does In a more general sense, if you’re going to ask people to click on something to go somewhere else, try to make sure your content adds value to their lives. Otherwise if you spend too much time hammering them with the poor stuff, they probably won’t bother clicking the amazing ones you post later “heart warming 90 day smoke cured, organic, wild Derbyshire boar, wind harvested acorn fed, experience wrapped in bread.”
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