Tag Archives: Social Media for Business
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!
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
One of the difficulties we have in social media is measuring just about everything we do. Seriously, how do we know that our efforts on the different social media platforms are actually making an impact? I am not sure we will fully know the answer to that question, but there are some tools that can help you put at least a few pieces of the puzzle together that can give you a glimpse at your influence in the social media world. The three most prominent tools are Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex. Understand these are not perfect, but put them together and I think you will get a decent picture.
This graphic thanks to onlinedegrees.com gives a really nice overview of what Klout, Kred and PeerIndex is all about.
Courtesy of: Online Degrees
Jay Izso, Internet Doctor®
Well it’s officially over. The days of that FREE Facebook business page that you created is no longer FREE. Well, let’s put it this way it’s no longer free if you want everyone to see your posts. Have you noticed recently you are not getting the responses to your posts that you used to? There is a reason for it. Facebook in their great wisdom has decided that if you have a page with over 400 “Likes” and you post something interesting, or you want your “Likers” to see, only about 15% of those people will see it on their Newsfeed. If you want everyone to see it, you will have to pay for it. The costs start at around $5 per post, and then go up depending on how long you run it, who you target, and the number of people, etc. The Bottomline…you are going to pay if you want your post to be seen.
What does this mean for you and your business page?
We all want to know that when we post something in social media that someone is actually reading it, and hopefully is passing it on to other people. Business people regularly ask me what do I have to write to get people to respond to my posts. Honestly it is not easy. Typically I find people who have their own business and use social media, post information such as their latest blog, or perhaps a link to an article, or they try some other trick such as using a famous name or really clever wording to get people to read. So what are those factors that affect whether a post will be read or passed along? It’s a difficult question to answer. However, I recently read a very clever research article entitled, “The Pulse of News in Social Media: Forecasting Popularity” (Bandari et al., 2012). The researchers were interested in what makes a news story popular within social media networks. Based on previous research they narrowed it down to four possible factors:
- The news source that generates and posts the article
- Does it make a difference who publishes a news article?
- The category of news this article falls under
- Does the category of news article affect its popularity within a social network?
I have read from some “social media experts” that social media is whatever you want it to be. There are, in many opinions, no rules. It is a free, open forum, where people can do with it what they want. While on the outside the free speech argument may be partially true, there is within all social media an invisible set of rules that says your “free speech” may cost you friends, followers, and connections.
It is true that there are very few actual written rules when it comes to any social media platform. It is a “free speech” platform for the most part. However, what people are not saying is why a person may “unfriend” you or “hide” your updates on Facebook, “unfollow” you on Twitter, “uncircle” you on Google+, or “disconnect” with you on LinkedIn. It happens more frequently than you know, and in most cases you do not realize it. Occasionally you may notice you lost a friend or follower, but would not know if your status updates are hidden. Try as you will you will rarely if ever get an answer as to why this happened to you. I have listened to many people after being dropped from a social media platform express frustration, sadness, anger, and even try to find a way to plot revenge for being dropped. Clearly they did not know the rules.
Some Twitter Personalities
While I was working on my Twitter psychology article, a friend from Twitter, @spideas asked me a question about introverts on Twitter. I have had conversations with my introverted friends and looked at the deeper psychological implications of Twitter. I realized that there are so many personalities on Twitter it might be fun to go through hundreds of the people I follow and follow me and categorize their tweets. I put together a list of some of the personalities on Twitter and their tendencies based on my knowledge of psychology and personality. This is not an exhaustive list. This is also not a complete description. There are exceptions to every category. Hold off on the hate mail.
Twitter appears to be a great place for introverts to communicate. It is a safe haven because they can write when they want and how they want. They can keep their relationships at a distance and they don’t have to divulge any personal information. They also are free to share information at pace that is comfortable for them. Of all the social places in the world Twitter is far more comfortable than the vulnerability of Facebook and more social than LinkedIn. Keep in mind that just because one is introverted, doesn’t mean they don’t have friends or want to communicate. They just want a safer place to do it.
The extrovert is seen on Twitter regularly. Part of their personality is to be the “life of the party”. They usually are. They are involved, active, quick on their feet and engaging. However the extrovert can get frustrated with Twitter if they are not being responded to. They may not get the attention they hoped. Once the extrovert gains a solid following they love it. If it takes too long to gather that following they move on to other things. The problem with the extrovert is that they can’t stop talking. Because of their many “tweets” throughout the day many people believe they have no life outside of Twitter. They can be, at times, very overwhelming to the average Twitter user.
The logic thinkers struggle with Twitter because there is so much emotional angst going on. Remember Twitter started as a tech forum. Many of the original Tweeps became frustrated and started their own groups. You will still find that many of these logic thinkers have a unique set of followers and do not respond to mundane talk. They like people like themselves. They like being involved with Twitter discussions that make sense and make a difference for their world. They have little time for everyday chatter. They are very good at weeding people out they do not want to talk to.
If you are business using social media or considering using social media as part of your marketing plan then make sure you are considering your audience.
Where and Who – You Can Choose Your Friends, but Not All Your Connections
One of the first considerations you should make before you do business in social media is understand where your audience came from. Not all social media platforms are the same. They each have a distinct purpose, and a distinct audience, they are not all created equal.
For instance, in Facebook you choose your friends. Most people do not accept every friend request, and you probably shouldn’t. Typically on Facebookl we choose friends that we know or have some association with. After all they are “friends”. They can be business colleagues but we have them because we purposely chose them.
Twitter on the other hand chooses us in the form of a follower. We have little or no control over where our audience comes from. It’s easy to get followers, just start following people. You will find that if you start following enough people about 50% of them will follow you back. It’s interesting because people will say they have 1000’s of followers, but do they really? Or do they have a group of people that pay very little attention to what they “tweet” so that they can boost their own follower numbers? Can someone really pay attention to the 100’s of people they follow much less the 1000’s they might follow. Not unless it’s the only thing they do all day. If you are in business you should consider whether you would rather have a few hundred people that follow you because of what you say, or people who follow you so they can boost their numbers?
Then take the social network LinkedIn. Where do those connections come from? Here we have a combination of factors. They usually come from our initial attempts to invite people we know, or people who know us, whether that be friends or business colleagues. Then we start gathering connections from associations we have had, more than likely from business. From there we start connecting because we join a group, or know someone who believes we would be a good contact for someone else. However, what we start to see is that as we move from who we know to a recommended connection our knowledge of where and who connects with us becomes more distant. It can get to the point where you are not even sure who some of these connections are on your LinkedIn network.
The where is important because know where someone came from gives us clues to how they want to be talked to. If you know where a friend, follower, or connection came from, it makes it easier to know how to approach them with regard to social media marketing or if they should be approached at all. It also makes it easier to determine what message I want to send them. Consider this, do I want to send the same message to people I chose vs. people that chose me?
Knowing who your social media audience is, may be the most overlooked part of social media marketing. The more I research the so called “experts” and “gurus”, the more I find that they ignore this part of the social media for business marketing strategy. As a matter of fact they may be the biggest abusers of social media marketing!
If you are business who is using social media marketing right now I have a question for you. What do you really know about the people who you are connected with in your social media networks? If you are like most businesses you probably have not even looked at the data. You probably were not even told to consider it. You may have even been told by some social media expert to just blanket all your social networks with the same marketing message. This is not the most effective way for any business to run a social media campaign. Why? Does the term “target marketing” mean anything to you? The one thing we absolutely know is that “target marketing” works, it is the most effective means by which business tailors their product or service to the exact people that have the potential to purchase their product or service. We already know that there is a difference of where our connections come from in each social network, we are just as certain we know there is a difference in who those people are.
In addition, if you are like most people on these social networks you are probably connected to a number of people who are in the same industry as you are. So who is seeing your marketing message? People just like you who are not part of your real “target market”. True, they understand what you are trying to do, but, they are doing the same thing back. If you are sending your marketing message to people who may read your message, but will never buy from you, are you really marketing?
The concept of “target marketing” is so applicable and necessary. Do your research on your own networks. Please don’t ignore it. There are consequences for marketing to the wrong audience. In some cases you may not even know the consequences. For instance, people will start hiding your updates on Facebook, rather than removing you as a friend. Your social media marketing may have backfired and you may not even know it.
In Twitter, you may see more people unfollow you because of your marketing efforts. In LinkedIn, you may just ignored. The problem for business in most cases is not what you know, but what you don’t know. When people ignore your business, or do not comment about it, it is more damaging than when they say something negative about it. At least when they say something negative you can attempt to find solutions to fix the problem. When you get no response, or are ignored you do not know what you should fix. Knowing your social media target markets can help reduce this problem so that you are getting the right message to the right people in the right way.
The argument to what I just said is this: “well if people “unfollow” me, “hide” me, remove me, or ignore me then all I have done is found my target audience”. My answer: Maybe. Understand that in the case of Facebook where we choose our friends there is an expectation of why I chose to be a “friend” with you. I didn’t choose you for business purposes. Most people do not. For most people, they chose you because they expect you to be a friend. The last time I talked with my friends, I talked about what friends talk about, life. I don’t walk up to my friend and say, “Hi Bob, It’s Dr. Jay the Internet Doctor, and I have my new promotion this week, and this week only, take advantage of this great deal!” Can you imagine if you had those conversations with your friends in person? If those are the type of conversations you have with your “friends”, I would hardly call them “friends”, and I would suggest that you need to learn what a “friend” is. It’s just an entirely different audience based on who they are and where they came from.
Twitter is different, but again, many of your followers probably belong to some similar organization or group. As an example, I find this especially true of real estate agents. They follow each other. They do their marketing, and I am sure somewhere in the back of their mind they hope they market to a person who is interested in their latest listing, but typically it is going to another real estate agent who probably is trying to sell their own listings. In most cases the message reaches the wrong audience and goes no where. Just a lot of time wasted on typing up something that has very little chance of reaching the targeted audience you think you are hitting.
LinkedIn, can have much of the same problems as Twitter. While marketing is far more accepted, getting yourself in front of the right target market audience still presents a challenge. Remember these people are business professionals, do they really want their emails cluttered with your self promotion or promotion of your product or service? Probably not. They would rather that you use the market section for your promotion. They probably will not delete or remove you, but you will more than likely get ignored. Unless of course you push your marketing too much and too often, then they may be waving you “bye-bye”, and that does not help you or your business.
1. Go through your social networks and start looking at who your connections are, and where they came from and put together your social networks demographics.
The best thing you can do for your business and social media for business strategy is to know as much as you can about the people who you are connected with. Don’t make assumptions! One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we are overconfident in knowing what we think we know. Start looking at people as if you never knew them and start constructing your frame work. Start with categories of gender, age, children, no children, , type of job or career, approximate income (base that on their job, you can find an average income for any job through the search engines), etc. Be creative and keep your eyes open you may see categories that you would have never thought of.
2. After you construct the demographics of your networks determine how they are different.
Look at each network separately and look for differences, no matter how subtle. For instance, if you see that you have a network that is older in age than another, they are in a different stage of life, you are going to want to approach that network differently than if they were younger. Also if you see that you have one network that is heavy with people that are in your same industry, you may want to start working on attracting people that are more suited to your potential target market.
3. Never use a “one widget fits all” that says the same thing to different social networks.
The first thing it says, is that you are personally disconnected from your social network. It’s also says, you are lazy and don’t want to take the time to talk to people on a personal level. Remember this is “social” networking, not “advertising” networking, or “promotion” networking. Note, that people can see in any social network where you sent a status update from. If you use a widget that is a “one size fits all”, we know it. From a consumer perspective they find that to be very “non-social” in their social networking.
4. Get to know the people in your social network through comments.
The most frustrating thing for people on social networks is someone who wants to be a friend, a connection, or be followed but they don’t want to engage with those people.
they just want to advertise, promote or market. If you want me to believe that you are really the best person for the job, then show me by commenting on my updates, or let me see that you are commenting on other peoples updates. Remember if you want to understand your target market, and I hope you do, then you need to learn what’s important to your potential consumer. Again, do not make the assumption that you think you already know everything about people, even the people in your networks.
5. Track your comments, posts, and status updates.
What is it that you write that people respond to most? You will find that it is some of the most mundane, innocent, unique things that you write get the most responses. Track it. You have found another clue into what your potential consumer is interested in. It also means that you are creating dialogue. If you create dialogue with another person the potential for your business is exponential. They learn that you are human. They learn that you care. They learn that you can be trusted. If they trust you, they will trust what you do. This can be a win-win for both your potential consumer and you.
To you social marketing success!
Jay Izso, Internet Doctor