Category Archives: Social Media for Business

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

rumor_mill_1600_clr_9751

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:

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

RiP Facebook 1

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

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?

Social Media Lessons from Miley Cyrus: She Twerked it Worked

miley twerkingMiley Cyrus did her “twerking” and while people and critics were confused, appalled, and outraged, her social media said one thing…twerking was working.

Check out these stats*:

1.  Topped Googles “hot searches”

2.  Added 100,000 Instagram followers

3.  Added 50,000 Facebook likes

4.  Peaked at 300,000 Twitter mentions per minute (Oh BTW the best last years SuperBowl did was 231K)

So what do we learn from this?

1.  Moving outside of the normal creates buzz

Too often we want to fit in, avoid the critics, and be part of the status quo.  Why?  No one cares if you look like everyone else.  Boring is still boring.  Even if you cause a stir or is  possibly unpopular, it creates buzz, creates conversations, and creates interest.

2.  Calculated ploys work

Do you think for one minute that Miley just showed up and did this impromptu.  NO WAY!  This was calculated.  This was about creating a buzz.  This was not only carefully calculated it was rehearsed.  If you plan your social media well enough  and it is different or something outrageous you may go viral.

3.  You must take risks

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.

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.

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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