Category Archives: Social Media Research

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.

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?

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…

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.  

The 10 Most Annoying Social Media Behaviors and the Psychology Behind Them

mad_at_computer_400_clr_8355Every 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.

stick_woman_toe_touch_300_clr_12023“Woke up at 3 am, did a marathon run before work, was so hungry but didn’t give into temptation and ate my tofu turkey and faux spinach salad, I feel sooooo good”

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.”

whats_for_dinner_400_clr_113362.      Sharing a picture of every meal.

“This is the best thing I have ever eaten.”

What We Are Thinking: “You realize you said this about tofu turkey.”

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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!”

jenny_holding_book_sit_apple_150_clr_4705.      The Proud Parent Posts.

“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.”

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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.”

blue_check_mark_in_box_pc_400_clr_16177.      Check-in Posts.

“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.”

donation_can_hands_400_clr_55398.      Event SPAM Posts.

“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.”

9.      The “Like” and “Comment” notifiers.mechanical_thumbs_up_anim_150_clr_11988

“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.”

megaphone_protest_300_clr_1073810.   Self-promotion Posts.

“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!

Jay

Men are From LinkedIn, Women are from Pinterest…Social Media Psychologically Speaking.

finding_your_way_compass_400_clr_5613When it comes to the different aspects of social media psychology for business it is always interesting to look at gender differences and social media use

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.  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!

Jay

Social Gender Infographic

Social Media Psychology & Business: Focus on the User…Not the platform!

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

Psychology of Social Networking

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