Tag Archives: social media psychology
I 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 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.
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
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 been reading and hearing more and more conversations about Facebook Business Fan pages. The most frequently asked question is, “are they really effective”? Honestly, the reviews are mixed. If you ask 10 people how effective their Facebook business page is, (provided they are not lying to you…oh and they will, and they do.) you will get everything from “waste of time” to “they’re great!”.
In my personal and professional research I have come to the following conclusion: You and your business may not be able to do a Facebook Fan Page. That’s not an excuse for you to avoid creating one, but I am convinced that there are reasons why some “Fan” pages are more successful than others. Even if you were to do everything suggested there is no guarantee that the will be effective for your business.
Typically I focus on the “what to do to make you and your business better”. Today I am going to focus, “how a Facebook Fanpage Fails”. Here are a few of my observations.
- Lack of a Plan and Strategy.
- This is perhaps the number one reason why business pages fail on Facebook. People will create a page and just expect it to work. They believe in their own “Field of Dreams”, “if you build it they will come”.
You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry, You Better Not Pout, I am Telling You Why Your Social Media Marketing is Causing Santa to find Another Chimney.
Psychology is what I study, teach, and speak about. Particularly psychology as it applies to business and the internet/social media world. I am a consumer behaviorist who gleans through the research to help businesses understand the trends and behavior of consumers and why they may or may not be attracted to your business. One area that particularly fascinates me and I a passionate about is social media marketing and its effects consumer behavior.
Being an avid Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube user I have ample opportunity to do my own research and see what people are responding to and what they are not responding to in regard to what people “post”, “tweet” or “update”. I have even noticed my own behavior of what “turns me on” to want to respond to someone and what “turns me off”. So much so, that I either “unfriend”, “unsubscribe”, “unfollow” or “disconnect”. Let me just say that just because you have large numbers of people that does not mean they are paying attention to you. In fact, the greatest danger I believe for a business is when they believe that by having a large number of friends, followers, and connections that their company is truly “reaching” those people. The sad truth is you may actually have a large number, you may be talking, but no one is paying attention. To be part of the holiday spirit…here are just a few reasons why Santa is avoiding you and your business.
1. No one, including Santa really cares about your product or service.
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.