Category Archives: Consumer Behavior

Your Business Behavior Affects Your Consumer’s Behavior

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stick_figure_holding_membership_card_1600_clr_3914The most important piece of knowledge any business must have is what the behavior of their consumer is as they relate and interact with your business and brand.

What do consumers do when they have a positive experience with your business?

Do they care? Will they come back? Do they tell anyone?

How about when they have a negative experience? What happens then?

Recently Accent conducted a survey to find out what consumers do when they interact with brands before and after a purchase.

Want To Be Seen as Credible, Competent, and Admired? Don’t Conform!

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leader_of_the_pack_pc_1600_clr_1593A recent study has demonstrated that intentionally going against the grain can gain you competence, respect, and even credibility from others.  The study published in the Journal of Consumer Research examined how what people wear does affects others perceptions in a positive way¹.

What did they find?  When people dress in a way that goes against the convention they are seen as more competent and seen as having a hire status than those people who conformed and dressed like everyone else.

Let me give you an example:  You know how you are invited to a party and they say it’s “Black Tie”…the fact is if you intentionally show up in jeans and jacket you more likely to be viewed as successful and competent.  Why?

1.  People who do not conform are seen as truly “FREE”…they have autonomy.

2.  People have a desire to be unique and admire that in others , and therefore are perceived as someone confident and of higher social status.

*Let’s face it…it’s easy to conform…everybody else does…right?*

Shhh…Are You Friends with a Gossiper? Don’t Tell Them This…But…They are Your Best Source for Word of Mouth Marketing.

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rumor_mill_1600_clr_9751Do you have people within your social media platforms who like to gossip?  Sure.  We all do.  Did you know that those gossipers may be just the people you want to develop the strongest relationships with in order to give your business buzz?

What is a gossiper?  It has been defined as “an instrumental transaction in which A and B trade small talk about C for something in return²’’(p. 158)

The point is they are talking for a reason, whether it is power, control, prestige, fame, leverage, or just simply trying to find a way to boost their safe esteem.  The fact is gossipers like to talk.  This enjoyment of talking can, like most thing be used for good or evil.  If you as a business owner do the create the right time of relationship with a gossiper, that gossiper can be your most effective agent for “electronic word of mouth{ (eWOM) for your business.

Recent research from the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking investigated the question “Do Online Gossipers Promote Brands?¹” What they found gave us insights into the psychology of the gossiper.

Here are some of their conclusions regarding the psychology of Gossipers:

Do People Really Read What You Write?

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I am notorious for long posts.  Truth is, I have about 111 words to make my point, before over half of you will go bye-bye.

Still reading? Great! Statistic Brain recently verified some statistics (see below) on our attention span.  Chances are you will only read 49% of a 111 word webpage.

That may sound awful, but you should know that the average web page is about 593 words, and only 28% of the page is read. Are You still reading?

Turning Clients Into Ambassadors for Your Business

introduce_the_figure_800_clr_10905Do you want “Ambassadors” for your business?  You should, they are the most effective free advertising that you can have for your business.  They refer you, bring people to you, and they want to make sure you are successful.  Recently the Journal of Consumer Research pre-released a piece of empirical research for the February issue that identifies the factors that create ambassadors.

The article entitled Place Attachment in Commercial Settings: A Gift Economy Perspective.  The research specifically looked at what factors contribute to clients attachment to a particular business and further looked at are the resultant behaviors of clients who become your ambassadors.

Factors that can turn clients into Ambassadors

sitting_in_chair_relaxing_800_clr_60281.  Familiarity.  This is more than just being acquainted with your place of business.  This is

What Does Your Consumer Really Want…Better Sex or the Meaning of Life?

mad_scientist_holding_brain_500_clr_265If we really want to use social media for business effectively and receive the most benefit, we really do need to understand the psychology of the people who use it.  A little term I call “Social Mediology”.

Recently a related piece of research on the unconscious motivations of consumers from the area of neuroscience conducted by Young & Rubicam entitled Secrets & Lies” has largely be ignored by most social media marketers, strategists, and gurus.  

The study was conducted with people from Brazil, China and the US and provides us with some valuable insights into consumer behavior and applications in your social media use.  

What did they find?

Faceborg Determines Value, Quality, and Relevancy…Resistance is Futile.

faceborgSurprise! Facebook has a new algorithm for Facebook pages.  They recently published in their blog that they conducted a survey with “thousands” of people, entered the data into a number of computers (they call the “machine” and they have determined what content will be valuable to the more than 1 billion people using the platform.

Do you sense my sarcasm and cynacism?  You should because this is all part of Facebook’s plan to get you and your business to pay money…not just a little…but a great deal more.  The bottom line is this.  Facebook will determine what posts are valuable, or I’m sorry, they call it “high quality content”, and what is not, who sees them and how many people will see them.  If your posts are not valuable according to Facebook’s machine…you will not be seen on News Feeds and you will need to pay to play.

Here are some of the questions Facebook asked in their survey:

  • Is this timely and relevant content?
  • Is this content from a source you would trust?
  • Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
  • Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g., asking for people to like the content)
  • Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
  • Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed

Now we are not told what the “high quality content” is or how this “machine” will evaluate the content, but we can see many problems and issues.

Marketing Fail: Being Uni-Directional in a Bi-Directional Social Media Culture

hand_pointing_out_of_phone_1600_clr_9774Can you imagine if you are on the phone, called someone up, and simply did all the talking? Then let us say that all you did was call, talk for a few seconds then hung up? How about if someone called you, but you put the phone down and walked away? Now imagine that you are in business and do this. Let’s play out the scenario.

All Business Company (ABC) phone call to a Prospective Client (PC)

ABC: Hello, you should see our widget it is awesome, I am sure you or someone you know would like to buy this widget. So make sure you tell your friends.

PC: What?

ABC: (Hangs Up)

Some Several Hours Later…

ABC Hey, did you see my widget? Did you tell anyone? What are you waiting for? You know you want to share it!

PC: Hello?

ABC: (Hangs Up)

Sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it? Why is it so ridiculous? Because the phone is a 2-way tool. How can any business expect the best benefits if you just call to promote and hang up with no exchange of dialogue? It just not very effective is it? No business person would act like this on the phone. Yet, I watch businesses on social media do this exact same thing.

Social media is not a uni-directional medium… it is a bi-directional, and in some cases a multi-directional medium.

The Psychology of Social Media Influence – The Power of Klout and Kred

notebook_brain_electrodes_400_clr_10862In my research of what makes us “tick”, “turns us on”, and “how consumers and businesses connect” on social media, one of the psychological and technological issues that has tremendous interest to me is the role that *Klout* and *Kred* play in our social media psychology and behavior.

What especially intrigues me, for those that use these services, is the power and influence Klout or Kred scores have over our social media behavior.   It has even been suggested that Klout and Kred reward social media addiction and anti-social personal behavior.  It clearly is easy to see that if you decide to unplug from social media your Klout and Kred scores will drop off the face of the earth rather quickly.  What is more difficult is to get those scores back up.

klout-score-high-reskred-logoThis is where Klout and Kred become a question for me psychologically.  It appears there are only 3 ways to really boost your Klout and Kred scores and none of them are either healthy or truly social:

1. Become a Celebrity or get Famous

Will the Real Twitter (Followers) Please Stand Up?

tweet_birdie_flying_between_phones_300_clr_9168I like Twitter.  I enjoy it because I am able to get my message out and I think I have for the most part,the right followers who appreciate my message.  I also like Twitter, because it makes me think how I (as one who speaks for a living and having the gift for gab) can put my message into 140 characters in a creative way.  Finally, as a user I like it, because I can search quickly for things I am looking for, as well as scan quickly for things I am interested in and overlook those things I am not.

Recently I have read a number of blog articles about how Twitter has exploded in terms of followers.  Honestly I am not so sure.  Yes, it is true that more teens are leaving Facebook for Twitter (see Pew Internet Study), but the more I have conversed with my colleagues I have come to learn that maybe Twitter is not nearly as big as we want to believe.  For example 4 of my social media colleagues recently had a conversation where we discovered we all had multiple accounts.  In one case one of my colleagues had 9 Twitter profiles.  We also learned that for most of us we only really use one account, and the others are pretty much inactive.  Another colleague told me that quite honestly he doesn’t use his Twitter profiles much at all anymore because he finds his experience on Google Plus (G+) to be much better than his experience on Twitter.  This experience led me to want to search to see if I could begin to figure out how many people really use Twitter.

I also read an article on a computer generated social media guru by the name of santiago-swallowSantiago Swallow.  He was a fake user, his creator paid for fake followers, and at one point he had well over 80,000 followers.  If it was possible to build a “fake” user and completely fool Twitter…how many fake accounts are there on Twitter?

There are so many companies and mobile apps that you can purchase at a very small price where you can literally “buy” followers.  However, the more I dug into “buying” followers, the more I came across the notion that many of these followers are in fact fake accounts that have been simply created to make people look like they have large numbers.  Some of them certainly are computer generated SPAM, but either way the accounts are fake.

This raised my curiosity about fake and inactive accounts and how many may be out there in reality.  

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