Category Archives: Social Media Consumer Behavior
Every day as I study and research the psychology of social media and business I hear something along the lines of “social media is a place to exercise my right to free speech”. Well it is true that you can say nearly anything you want, however, there are consequences for what you say or do on these platforms. People will in fact “defriend”, “unfollow”, “uncircle”, or “disconnect” from you because of what you say and do. The fact is what you say is not “free”, there will be consequences for your actions for both you and your business.
As a real life example: I was having this very conversation with a business owner who I challenged about what they are saying on Facebook and Google+ . I told them that what they are saying is negatively affecting their business. This person strongly and confidently told me that their business was doing just fine, and basically they were not changing their strong and sometimes erratic rants. Later that same week some mutual friends who are connected to the “ranter” and I were having a conversation about ranting and behavior on social media. The “ranters” name came up. I looked at friends and said, “My wife and I cannot send a client to their business, because I am afraid that if something goes wrong over there that our client would get blow out and ranted by this person, I can’t trust them”. My friend David said, “I cannot send a client or someone I cared about over there either because of this person’s strong views and angst, I fear for them going over there”. The overwhelming point…your personal posts have consequences and consequences for your business.
I happened to run across an article in the U.K.’s Telegraph about a study that was conducted for a fitness company out of the U.K. called sweatband.com. In this study they asked respondents to tell them what are the most annoying posts on social media. So if you always wanted to know how to “Annoy Your Friends and Tick off People” here are the top 10 results: (Humorous posts and commentary provided by Yours Truly)
1. The Exercise/Fitness/Diet Post Boast.
What We AreThinking: “I hope you go running and get eaten by wolves…but they won’t like the tofu turkey and faux spinach salad either.”
“This is the best thing I have ever eaten.”
What We Are Thinking: “You realize you said this about tofu turkey.”
3. The Cryptic status updates.
“The shoes missed the boat, yep, it’s mall time.”
Our Thoughts: “Seriously…stop doing drugs!”
4. Gamers that Repeatedly Invite You.
“Sandy just invited you to play mafiaville superword bingo three times”
What We Are Thinking: “I really want a block all apps setting, and with it a message that tells this person…I now block all game apps, clearly you did not read my multiple posts that said, PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME GAME REQUESTS!”
“Sally got the princess award today in school…she will always be our princess no matter what!”
What We Are Thinking: “I think I just threw up in my mouth…hmm…yeah princess is a great name for a stripper, you will be so proud.”
6. Over-sharing of personal information.
“I gave myself a white wine enema…I have never felt so refreshed…and my fanny is very happy!”
What We Are Thinking: “…and you wonder why I never invite you to my home for dinner.”
“I just became mayor of Hanks Left handed Wrench Plaza!”
What We Are Thinking: “Wow! That and $3 and you still could not buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks.”
“Please tell your friends to come to the 14th annual “save the snail” charity golf tournament, everyone knows a snail that needs a new start!”
What We Are Thinking: “Now that you posted this to my timeline…again, I have hidden this post, and I have now hidden you so I never have to see or hear another thing from you…again.”
“Sherman ‘liked’ Willy’s Post, “Just popped a zit…huge…filled an espresso cup.” And “Lisa, commented on Willy’s status, “take pictures…did you miss work?”
What We Are Thinking: “All of you need to just stop the madness…you clearly have no lives and you need to stop using our oxygen.”
“I just got a real estate listing on 123 ABC lane, totally excited” and/or “You can change your body and your life by drinking this super powder shake call me, because I can take you from flab to fab”, and/or “Stop working for someone you don’t know, call me and find out how I am making thousands of dollars a month working from home through my laptop and phone”.
What We Are Thinking: “You and I both know the reason you are promoting yourself here is because all your other marketing efforts have completely failed. You are looking for a last ditch effort and did I mention you were a “Loser”. I wouldn’t buy anything from you, or recommend you to anyone because you are a thorn, no an oak tree in my ______. I would defriend you, but I know that you would whine to 30 other people one of which happens to be my spouse.”
Okay so out of the more than 1700 people surveyed 52% of them have said they are using social media less (my guess is in reality they are talking Facebook) because of posts like the ones mentioned above. 38% of those surveyed indicated that they have quit “a” social media site altogether. So what does this all mean.
Yes there are consequences for your actions even on social media. As a business owner you need to be careful. It’s not political correctness you need to worry about it is social media etiquette. Know the culture, chances are you may be taking a selfish view of social media versus a selfless view. I will let you guess which business wins in the end.
To your success!
Have you ever heard yourself or someone say, “they have such a trusting face”, or “they look so innocent”? The fact is that as humans we make judgments about people based on their photo. There is in reality a psychology behind our social media profile picture. We look at facial expressions, eyes, shape of faces, how the hair is arranged, and we make some immediate judgment about what the person and attribute all sorts of personality and behavioral characteristics to them. It is a part of our automatic processing system, and there are a variety of reasons why we automatically do it. The first and foremost is to prepare our selves as much as possible for what we can expect from another human being. Other times it has to do with mate selection, chances of a successful interaction, and yes even trust.
We also make judgments when instead of posting your picture you post a picture of your children, pet, or some group shot. There are all sorts of interpretations and conclusions we come to based on those pictures. There is in fact a whole bunch of research devoted to the “science of vision”.
As serious as that is, and I do believe that the psychology of the social media profile picture is important, occasionally I run across something that is psychologically related, and not all that scientific, but is simply a humorous poke at what people do psychologically on social media.
My Life put together a humorous infographic of the 10 most common social media profile photos and gave a non-scientific psychological explanation behind them. While they may not be scientific…the fact is you may find them psychologically relevant.
Do you have a better explanation for these photos? Do you have some that you think should be included? Make a comment and share the fun.
Staying Psychologically Healthy,
Jay Izso, Internet Doctor®
. Thanks to InternetServiceProviders.org we have a nice infographic that gives us some insight into few ways Men and Women differ when it comes to where and how they use social media.
If you are a small business owner this is more important that you realize. In many cases specific social media platforms are more dominated by one gender over another. For instance, if you are selling a product or service where your main purchaser is women…you probably want to invest more time in Pinterest and Twitter. However, if your main audience is Men, you may want to look more
closely at LinkedIn or perhaps Google+.
Truth is, and not surprisingly, women use social media more than men…now that opens up some different questions all together, doesn’t it? Maybe if you have a male dominated product…dare I say it….social media may not be the best use of your time, money or marketing. Yes I said it…I know it sounds heretical, but facts are facts…if you were selling a luxury car. you wouldn’t focus your marketing efforts in rural USA….yes there are people there, some may be able to afford it, but it is not where you are going to sell the most luxury cars. You may spend some time and money there, but you would focus the majority of your time and money in places where you will get the greatest return.
The more data we are able to retrieve like this…we will continue to find that the psychology of social media will greatly benefit your business and help businesses like yours identify better where your dollars are best spent…or not spent at all.
To Your Success!
I was told by someone, “that what you do to help small business you can do on the corporate level”. Oh this is so not true. There is a psychological “corporate” mentality, and there is a small business mentality especially in marketing and social media, and they work quite differently. What I do for the solo-preneur and small businesses certainly just does not apply to a corporation or visa-versa.
Corporations have a different thought process when it comes to customers. They do not worry about losing a customer or two or in some cases 1000’s. If a small group of people boycott them they can live with the boycott. Nike and Chick-Fil-A are great examples of how a boycott did not affect their business or profit. A small business can ill afford the loss of one customer much less a thousand. Every person is precious. A boycott of a small business can close a business in very short time.
The Small Business Owner has Personal Influence
Is there a psychology to social media? Yes. If one truly wants to be successful using social media you should know that it is less about marketing and more about the psychology of those who use it most.
The mistake most businesses and marketers make is that they fail to realize the motivations of the people using social media. Users are not interested in what you have to sell, they are interested in what they have to say. If you want to make the most out of social media for you in your business, it is not about using it as a billboard, promotion, or advertising medium, it is about having conversations with the poster.
The infographic below from PsychologyDegree.net is just another example of how we need to further understand human behavior and psychology when trying to gain business and less about archaic methods of marketing.
How great would it be for a business to have real conversations with real people talking about the things people are interested in versus trying to tell us how great their business is, or why we need their product or service? People are far more likely to respond and evangelize more about a business that actually talks to them versus talks at them. There are many interesting findings in this graphic, what applications do see for you and your business?
To Your Success,
Jay, Internet Doctor
Small business and Twitter many times is like oil and water. For many they just do not mix. One of the biggest frustrations for the small business person is getting followers, but perhaps worse is losing those followers you have.
Let’s be honest the people who have the most followers are famous in one way or another. For the small business just attracting new followers can be a challenge. If you are using Twitter as a small business person every follower is precious.
So why do people lose followers?