Category Archives: Psychology and Business

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?

R.I.P. The Death of the Facebook Business Page for Small Business

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If you are a small business with that “FREE” Facebook Business Page…it is in a coma…and soon DEAD!

RiP Facebook 1Remember the good old days.  Facebook allowed you to build a business page for free and people could voluntarily “Like” your page and if they did, when you posted something it would show up on your fans news feed?

Then you remember when Facebook decided to limit the number of people who could see your posts from your business even though they “opted” in because Facebook wanted to make money?

So now Facebook is saying, “yeah, well we are just going to stop that whole organic thing, if you want really anyone to see your posts from your business page you will have to pay for it…pretty much all of it”.

In an article from AdAge Digital Facebook has made it clear

Holiday Gifts for Your Business and Social Media

holly_bell_pc3_1600_clr_1602It’s the holiday season.  Most people are smiling a bit more, there conversations are a bit lighter, and their countenance is a bit brighter.  I also find that not only is it my daily face to face interactions, both personally and professionally, but I am noticing it even within the different social media platforms.  Now perhaps it is my own confirmation bias, but perhaps you are seeing the same thing.

How often do we see pictures with the holiday sweater as the profile picture.   Especially the ever popular “ugly sweater” holiday parties.  Pictures of the family, posts about where we are going for the holidays, what we are doing, what we are eating, where we ate it, who made the meal, and the list goes on and on.

I guess social media takes on the same changes as any other part of our life.  Perhaps we post a little different, we are not nearly as controversial, we “Like” a little bit more, “Comment” a little more thoughtfully, “Share” a few more posts, “ReTweet” more quickly, and “+1” with emphasis.

red_white_presents_pc_1600_clr_1452I know that as psychology professional that social media can be narcissistic, ego driven (well maybe perhaps Id driven), but honestly

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?

The Social Media Business Secret You Haven’t Been Told

top_secret_envelope_1600_clr_5266Recently I read an article from Jay Baer @JayBear entitled “Is Twitter Massively Overrated?”  he has research with some very impressive data that quite frankly demonstrates that Twitter is probably not nearly as powerful from a business standpoint as many social media marketers, gurus and “experts” would have us to believe.  I personally agree with many of his conclusions and I have even done my own data collection that supports some of his data (see “Will the Real Twitter (follower) please stand up?)

In his article Mr. Baer’s data makes a very sound case for Facebook.  However, I would express caution here, because there is a little secret that is rarely discussed when it comes to business and social media.  Make sure your eyes are focused and you get your neurons ready to fire, because here is the secret…

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.

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