Psychology of social media Archives - Kara Lambert

Category Archives for "Psychology of social media"

Why social media for business

So what are the latest tales of woe you have heard about social media and business? I usually hear, “Facebook Reach is dead”. I’ve heard, “They’ve changed the way posts appear on Facebook”. I’ve heard, “Twitter wants to allow us to edit tweets”. I’ve heard tales of woe about IGTV and stories. I’ve heard grumbles about the increased use of video on LinkedIn. They all complain of the same thing, social media isn’t working for us any more – it’s the technology’s fault.

Hang on just one minute! Have you heard the saying, ‘A bad tradesman always blames his tools’? Sure these platforms are free and we get what we are given. But did you ever stop to think that it’s also a matter of we get what we give?

Here are some other things I’ve heard non-business owners say about social media lately. “I went to restaurant XYZ’s Facebook page, they hadn’t posted in 18 months. I wonder if they’re still around?” “Why am I just seeing ads, I can’t see my friends?” “I always feel like they’re after my money” “I know I saw it here somewhere *scrolls endlessly* but I can’t seem to find it, it was really good but I’ve forgotten where it was from” Think about your time on social media personally, what do you think and say?

Now think again.

Why is your business on social media?

Is it to sell to a person? Yes

Is it to gain new customers (people)? Yes

Is it to educate people about your business so they will either buy from or recommend you? I’d hope so

When you look at these three questions the central theme is PEOPLE. This is ‘why’ businesses get on social media.

Somewhere we’ve lost track of this and focused on the ‘how’. The how being the social media platform.

But there are so many “hows” out there and they change. The why remains the constant.

Simon Sinek tells us to start with why.

Why not focus your social media efforts there first.

Why does the person you want to buy what you’re selling use one social media platform over another?

Why do they use social media at all?

Why would they choose you over any other business and not just your competitors? Why should they spend $20 with you rather than spending $20 on their pet/child/partner?

To reduce customers to numbers, even social media ones, is to turn them into conquests on a bedhead. We are not numbers nor are we conquests. We are people. Just like you.

The skill in this is realising this has nothing to do with you and your business and everything to do with the customer and their “why”. Do not make this about you, remember that you do not have to convince you to buy from you. So make it about them.

 

Not sure how to do that?

You can read this article.
You can download this free checklist.
You can book a FREE 30 minute strategy session.
You can access my hour long training.
Or if you want something more personalised, we can work one on one in a deep training to help you connect &engage with your client on social media.

What is human-centred social media?

Over the past six months I’ve attended a few social media conferences and there’s one consistent trend – human-centered social media. Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you will know that this is actually nothing new to me. In fact, I first wrote about this back in 2014. I have to be honest, I didn’t think I was that much of a ground-breaker and I hoped that it would take less time for the idea to filter through. Clearly I was wrong. Anyway, what is human-centred social media and why should we care?

Human-centred social media is more than benefits and WIIFM

Guy Kawasaki quote human centred social media Kara Lambert social media marketing coach psychologySay what now? Ok, so some of you might be surprised and others will be scratching your head wondering what I mean and some will be high five-ing me. Let’s start with those scratching their heads.

WIIFM, or what’s in it for me, is the principle of perspective taking and looking at what the client gets out of the transaction. Benefits are a business looking at the features of their offer and telling clients what they will get out of it. It’s essentially two sides of the same coin. However there is no guarantee that they will match or align in any way.

I have to be honest there are two main flaws in this approach:

  • Who has time to assess benefits against needs as a customer?
  • It seems a little shallow.

The vast majority of the time I hear this, businesses will talk about outcomes and benefits. I really don’t believe that’s putting the client at the centre of their social media, I feel they are putting their offer at the centre. As clients, there is so much more that drives our decision making than outcomes and benefits and in fact, there are a lot of things which go into these alone.

As a customer, when presented with a list of benefits, I still have to match them with what I want to achieve or what I want. I’m still trying to work out if the offer is the right fit for me. I’m not at the centre of this transaction.

At this point, some of you might think that this is awfully self-centred of me. But stop and think for a moment whose money you’re trying to acquire. It’s the customers. Do you want to raise doubt in their mind? Do you want to make it hard for them to part with their money? Then it also raises the question of how you even come to understand them anyway???

Personally, human-centred anything comes back to putting the following at the centre: what drives us to do what we do, know what we want, make a decision, spend money, like/comment/share. I believe that human-centred social media is more than what we are being told it is. In fact, I know that it’s more than what we are being told because there is a whole heap of psychology which drives what we define as a benefit or ‘what’s in it for me’.

Matt Goulart Quote human centred social media Kara Lambert social media marketing coach psychologyI want human-centered business practices, not just social media, to be a strategic focus. I firmly believe that it’s good business practice and not just some fluffy feel good add on or differentiator. We rely so much on people, people power, and goodwill. The thing is, I believe that taking the approach I advocate is a strategic focus as it looks at people at their base level, their psychology and their motivators.

I believe it’s time to move social media marketing away from a focus on the platform and the tools, to the person you’re aiming for who is using the social media. This is human-centred social media. By focusing on the person, the platform becomes somewhat irrelevant. By focusing on the person, we can address them the same way across platforms. By focusing on the person, we can continue conversations more fluidly between platforms and off of them. By focusing on the person, we reduce the overwhelm felt by business owners trying to understand the platforms. By focusing on the person, our message becomes clear. By focusing on the person, they feel understood. By focusing on the person, they don’t have to guess how we serve them. By focusing on the person, they are more closely aligned with our brand. By focusing on the person, they are more engaged. By focusing on the person, they are happier with the service they receive. By focusing on the person, they are more likely to buy from us. By focusing on the person, we grow raving fans.

How do I define human-centred social media? I define it by looking at what motivates us. I believe that there are five key motivators of any and all human behaviour. I’ve put together this 30 minute training package which outlines precisely what these motivators are and from there you can use them in your human-centered marketing to align and motivate your clients to action. You can purchase access to the training through the online shop. If you have any questions or would like to interview me on this, please contact me via email at kara@karalambert.com.

Swimming in a blue ocean

For those familiar with the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” by Kim & Mauborgne, you will know what I’m talking about. For those who haven’t read the book, and I have and it’s a slog, a blue ocean is where you are out in a new marketplace/industry. Think of Uber vs taxis and when self-check in came in on flights vs heading to a counter. It’s revolutionising an industry with a new way of delivering the same outcome. I don’t want to regurgitate the book, what I want to chat about is what it’s like to be swimming in a blue ocean, because that’s where I am.

Back in 2014, or sometime before then, it became clear to me that Facebook had psychologists on staff and that they were using social psychology principles on their platform; and I wrote about it. I wasn’t working as a social media coach or consultant then, in fact I was working as a proof reader but I had my qualifications and I was managing 2 of my own Facebook pages. So the psychology of social media was a side interest. The following year I wrote about it more and by then I’d started coaching on some ideas around how to leveraging how psychology works on social media.

I was full of self-doubt about whether niching myself to the psychology of social media was the right thing to do. I turned to a business coach who told me not to speak about psychology because it would just confuse my followers. Try as I might, I just couldn’t. I had to be genuine and transparent to my audience that this was what sat behind it all. That this wasn’t just some other cock & bull, get rich quick scheme and that it was solid science. So I stayed true to me and told my truth my way.

By the middle of 2016 it was clear to me that I was alone in teaching Facebook this way and I got scared.

I was plagued by comparison-itis, where I constantly checked in with what my competitors were doing. It was awful. It filled me with such self-doubt! They were doing so much more. They had more clients. They were successful and I wasn’t. They were making money and I wasn’t. I sucked! Or so I believed.

I told myself that it was ok, I was a relatively new business and it was just the fact that people didn’t know me and that it takes 7 years for a business to really take off. But my competitors weren’t 7 yet either?! I looked at their messages and saw glaring holes in what they were teaching. I saw the same bad advice being passed around by various coaches. Heck, I even got on a webinar on how to be a social media coach to be told, “all you need to do is follow Social Media Examiner and you can do this”! I was a failure!

I have to be honest, up until 2016, I had a constant internal battle between the pull of having to teach people what I saw about psychological theories being manipulated and used on social media platforms and the need to get a J.O.B to help pay the bills. The pull to expose and teach the truth was too strong and the needs of my family came first. I kept treading water in my blue ocean.

Now I’ve told you that in 2017 I hired a business coach, not the one I mentioned earlier. Now one session I was in tears over this and she told me that I had to let go of the shore to cross the sea. I had to stop looking at competitors, stop worrying that what I was doing was different, stop trying to sell what I think my clients wanted but didn’t align with the path I needed to take in my blue ocean. So I let go and swam, not drifted, deep into my blue ocean.

It was lonely.

It was stormy.

Occasionally I saw a distant boat or shore (customer).

But I was living my blue ocean, true to myself and my message.

Here’s the thing. The blue ocean is exactly this. Nothing worth doing is ever easy! When you’re out sailing, all alone, no landmarks, out in the middle of the ocean, you’ve got to set your course and stick to it.

 

The other thing to remember and to research is diffusion of innovation theory by E.M. Rogers. The theory sits that until you have at least 16% reach into your marketplace, you will be in the blue ocean. That doesn’t mean that your idea or market isn’t worthwhile, it just means that they’re not ready for you.

You have to be patient and persevere. It pays off. The world will catch up to you or your market saturation will hit 17% and it will start to tip and like a boat with wind in its sails, you will take off.

You will take off, at first it might be a small breeze, but it will make those landmarks close in & that is good. I am taking off, unfortunately it has been as a result of some pretty shocking revelations around Facebook & Cambridge Analytica, all the same I am grateful that these things have opened people‘s eyes to the fact that psychology is part of social media. It has meant that I have needed to speak on how this can be done ethically and I worry that when the majority marketers catch on that there will be a flood of them teaching the psychology of social media without truly understanding the mechanism or more importantly that they are talking about people and not technology. I can see that this will become my new blue ocean, but that’s ok as I’ve now become accustomed to being alone & I’m ok with that.

To hear more about how businesses have succeeded, or failed, because of the law of diffusion of innovation, I suggest watching this video from Simon Sinek.

Fear marketing

The other day I sat down with a group of business owners and a number of them said to me that they had an issue with marketing to their customers’ fears. They said that they had paid for marketing advice and been told to market to their ideal client’s fears. But they didn’t like it and in fact, they no longer used that advice. Sound familiar.

This is what annoys me. There is so much information out there which we throw by the wayside but believe it to be true because everyone says it. It’s like learning lemmings. (My Mum would say, if everyone jumped off a cliff would you too?) Ok, so that’s a little harsh but it seems like a big waste of money to pay for advice and not use it because you’re not comfortable with it.

Let’s consider a couple of scenarios.

My toaster broke and I am looking to replace it. Will fear help me in my decision? Generally not. It would be things around the colour, cost, shape, size, how many slices, and if it will toast the tops of my crumpets without burning the bottom. (Boy did I make a poor choice on my last toaster)

I’m looking for a business coach to grow my business. Will fear help my decision? Maybe. In the main though I want to know if our personalities match, if they have had past success, and if they coach how I like to learn. (I made a good choice here)

My kids need to see a physiotherapist. (True story and we found a great one) Will fear help my decision? As a parent, I have enough guilt and if someone tries to tap into my Mummy guilt I’m thinking it’s a low blow. I want to know that they can & will treat kids, they are the best in the area, that their expertise meets my child’s needs, and that my health fund will come to the party in some way.

It’s like saying the only way to motivate a donkey is with a stick and forgetting all about the carrot.

Where does fear sit in my stories? They don’t. I’m pretty confident that I’m not unique in these (especially the toaster one) reasons for making a particular choice. I have to be honest, even the fear of missing out (FOMO) is having less of an effect on people as it is more widely used and people realise that it’s generally fake.

So why fear? It is primordial. It drives our fight or flight reaction, triggering some strong neurochemicals (love that adrenaline kick). It’s what we’ve always done.

I want to crush this as I am tired of business owners being told that things are just one way (Ask me what I think about client avatars) and realising that it just doesn’t resonate personally, fit or work for their business. People are not two-dimensional. We are not motivated by our fears alone, just as what we are is not the only way to define us.

I believe, and teach, that there are five key motivators of human behaviour (on and off line). One of the motivators is fear. Looking into the research, fear is actually a poor motivator. If you use fear to motivate someone, they will comply and follow, they are not making a choice and they are not using their free will. It is also not the way to build trust or grow a relationship. Fear is not an incentive to take action, it’s an incentive not to. Fear is there to keep us safe.

So what I want, if you’ve been told to use fear in your marketing but just can’t seem to do it – I want to applaud you. You’ve made the right decision, to follow your instincts, to listen to your clients, to stick with your values, and to honour yourself. If you’re not there yet and are trying to make it work because you’ve paid for this advice and damn it you will make it work – I give you permission to stop using fear to motivate your clients. If you believe that fear is a great motivator for your clients, I want you to consider how much they trust you and to think about the carrot.

I teach five key motivators to human behaviour. People are multi-faceted and we need to honour that and to meet our clients where they are and not just beat them into submission. If you’d like to learn more, search ‘psychology’ here on the blog or email me at kara@karalambert.com .

Ethics, Psychology, Facebook & Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica has brought to light the ethics of understanding the data which sits behind Facebook. It has made people aware that Facebook employs psychologists to help them optomise the platform. It has made people nervous. I had intended to write on how data mining is nothing new and that the #deletefacebook phenomenon only scratches the surface and that the sale and scraping of data is rife across the internet. I decided against it. I want to talk about something I fight with most of the time doing what I do.

The ethical use of the psychology behind social media, particularly Facebook.

Back in June 2014 I wrote about some research Facebook participated in. The thing is that the research was conducted in 2012 and I remember being part of it. People’s newsfeeds were altered to see either predominantly positive or negative posts and they measured their reactions and the posts they wrote to see if there was a relationship between the posts you saw and the posts you wrote. There was & you can read what I wrote here.

I can’t exactly remember when I first realised that Facebook had Psychologists on the payroll. I think it was around the time the research was conducted. It made perfect sense to me. It was a social media network and the laws of social psychology seemed to fit perfectly with what I saw.

Through the years, my Psychology Degree has come in handy. It has helped me as a mother. It has helped me through trauma. It has helped me through grief. It has helped me connect with Veterans and the Veteran community in my 12 years of working with them. It helped me in my time supporting the research functions of Veterans’ Affairs. The one place I never thought it would help me was when I moved to helping businesses with social media. Boy was I wrong & I quickly changed my opinion.

I have been on Facebook since 2009 and in that time how I use the platform has changed. I’ve moved from it being purely social to it also being a business tool. I have to admit, there was a time a few years ago where my friends and family couldn’t grasp how I used it as a business tool, but I stuck with it. I could objectively see the platform as a way to connect with clients (this was before ads started).

So what have I learnt about Facebook in the intervening years and how does that apply to psychology and ethical psychology?

I admit, there are times where I feel a little uneasy knowing what I do. The thing is - I’m not alone. When you understand a mechanism behind something and you can project what will happen, it’s like being able to see into the future or predict it and it can be unsettling. Just ask a doctor who is faced with a family member’s terminal diagnosis, it’s sickening to be able to see what will happen before it does. (I’ve been there and it’s the same feeling)

So what do you do? Do you hide what you know and pretend to be ignorant? Do you use your knowledge to help yourself? Do you use your knowledge to help others? All the while knowing that the state of affairs will march forward regardless of what you do.

So I help others.

I can see where things are headed. I can see the social psychology at play. I can understand what happens to our brains when we’re online. I can see the motivators. I also know that I am not the only one who sees them, but I know I’m one of the few who understands why & how they work not just that they work.

Some would say that I should try and stop the use of psychology in social media. It’s too late and it’s innate. We bring these principles to a situation regardless of if there is someone gamifying it. As humans, we have a set of social constructs and norms we adhere to when we are in a group. Social media is no different, they’ve just created new layers where previous constructs never met.

So if I can’t beat them, join them?

No, that’s not my style. I’m not one to have knowledge and not share it. Could that be considered profiteering? I suppose, but if you’re part of my Facebook Group you’d know that’s not the case. That and I don’t believe it’s any more a case of profiteering than seeing a counsellor for any other mental health scenario.

Can you help people to understand the psychology of social media ethically?

Well of course I’d like to think so but let me tell you the premise behind what I teach.

I know that we come to situations with a set of motivators.
I believe that customers want to feel heard, just like anyone with a problem/issue/need.
I know that our brain chemistry changes using social media, I will teach you why so you are more aware of your behaviour online.
I understand the psychology that underpins each of these and I am determined to share this knowledge with business owners so that they can create better relationships with their clients.

If you would like to know more of what I do, please send me an email to kara@karalambert.com or we can organise a time to chat.

Write engaging content customers want to respond to

“Kara! How do I get more likes comments or shares on my Facebook?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions I receive. Essentially, how do I increase Facebook engagement? Most people ask about Facebook engagement because that’s where they hang out. On occasion I’m asked about Instagram engagement and that’s generally the same answer. (And it’s not, I don’t know)

My usual response to wanting increased engagement is the following:

People want to be educated, entertained, or inspired. Do that and ask for the engagement.

Sadly, most businesses are still in the ‘buy my shit’, ‘we are so great’, ‘share and win’ mentality. Now, I maintain that part of that is not knowing any different and part of it is old school marketing in new school technology. The thing is that some business owners are looking for more information on how to improve and they are following, reading, and studying – which is great – but it generally leads to more of the same.

So what have I done differently about engaging social media content?

Anyone who knows me well will know I’ve looked at some research. That’s my thing. I want to know the why behind things. And of course, it’s some psychological research because – PEOPLE.

I will keep coming back to that point again and again.

Social media is a tool to PEOPLE use to connect.

Sadly, I feel businesses are lost in the technology and have lost sight of the people actually using the technology.

So let’s start with the people and how they see brand content

The information in this article is taken from research by Ashley & Tuten (2015) and their analysis of previous research and study of the top 100 branded companies according to Interbrand’s Best Global Brand survey.

The research looked at why consumers use social media. By and large, we use social media to build ‘social capital’, feel better, and communicate to meet our need to be sociable.  The team go on to say that our need to communicate falls into 3 categories: around a topic, around a relationship, and around ourselves. Studies have shown that on Facebook, consumers use Facebook to ‘consciously portray images about themselves’.

The other thing that they discovered was that when a ‘consumer’s knowledge about a brand increases (through social media) so does the emotional attachment to the brand’ and this is regardless to the type of content a brand posts on social media.

However, they mention that engagement is dependent on the consumer’s needs, motives & goals. Their engagement is important as consumers are not on social media just to absorb information, they’re also there to be educated, entertained, or inspired. Unfortunately, brands suffer if the consumer believes that the relationship is one-sided or if it does something that does not match how the consumer sees them and the brand’s identity.

What makes good engaging content?

Consumers can engage with content which falls into one of five categories: values, resources, time/geography, impact, and their goal for engagement (what they want out of a brand). Most of the time, content delivered by brands is ‘form’ or what the service or product is.

Researchers found that consumer values driven content works best for emotionally driven purchases  and for consumers who do not, currently, have a strong relationship with the brand. This content could also be considered as image-driven, where brands meet the desired image of their consumers. This matches where I say that customers use social media to be inspired and relies on a deep understanding of customer values.

This emotional content was also found to be more likely to give an emotional reaction. In Facebook, that would mean that this content would be more likely to receive a Reaction (like, laugh, heart etc) rather than a comment or a share.

On the other end, researchers have found that ‘cognitive engagement’ and ‘functional’ posts, the responses which take a bit more thinking, are related to logical or problem-focused situations and will have a greater impact on consumers who have a closer and more interactive relationship with a brand.

It was interesting to read that consumers were more tolerant of advertising that appeared in games online than they were to ads which appeared on social media. For businesses using the Facebook Ads platform, my suggestion is to include ‘Audience Network’ when setting the placement for the ad.

When looking at the research around Facebook, researchers found that there were only 3 post types which truly drove engagement: image, exclusivity, and incentive. Based on the information above, it means that businesses need to have more posts that align with the values and image the consumer wants to portray on Facebook, that they value exclusivity and they want to receive some incentive to engage on Facebook. The researchers point out that this matches the overall culture of Facebook with our sanitised profiles, desire to have something someone else doesn’t/be the first, and ‘share to win’. A word of warning, remember that it needs balance and that consumers are put off if they feel the relationship is one sided; for example you will lose them if all you post is ‘share to win’, not to mention that you’ll attract people who want freebies.

As stated earlier, researchers found that the functional posts are the most common on social media. They found that these were also the least effective and had no impact on a brand’s social media performance. The most effective posts for engagement were ‘entertainment’ style content.

What does it mean for businesses wanting engaging content?

What this research boils down to is:

Of the three reasons I’ve identified for consumer social media use, entertainment and then inspiration are the most effective post types to drive engagement. Informative posts receive the least engagement.

When developing the inspirational (image driven) posts, businesses need to address and align themselves with their consumer’s values to ensure engagement.

I would add a third point, specific to Facebook, when looking to increase your engagement on Facebook businesses need to consider and leverage the Facebook Algorithm as this is what drives what content  a consumer actually sees in their Newsfeed and then use the above-mentioned content tips to write the engaging content.

Click on the image below to download my checklist for engaged Facebook Posts.

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Facebook Explore and the Facebook Algorithm

There is a buzz around Facebook Groups about the roll out of the Facebook Explore feature and how it will kill organic reach in the Facebook Algorithm. If you haven't heard what the buzz is all about you can read Facebook's overview here.

What is Facebook Explore?

The thing is that Facebook Explore, at time of writing, is actually two separate things!

The one that people are all up in arms about is that Facebook Explore will take page posts and put it in a separate feed to friends and family posts. This is just a TEST! It is a test in a set of 6 developing countries and is NOT guaranteed to be rolled out.

How do I know this? Well other than the fact that Facebook say it, I've experienced something similar.

Huh?

I am a Facebook Beta Tester, that means that I will generally have a different version (a test version) to the general Facebook User. In fact, at the start of 2016 I tested a categorised news feed where personal posts and pages were separated.

This is what I saw when I went to post on my personal profile. The ability to categorise my posts. The posts then appeared in tabs that were located across the bottom of the screen (unfortunately I don't have a screenshot of this). Here's the thing, there was still a Newsfeed and these categorised tabs also included posts from relevant Pages that I hadn't liked.

Now as a Beta Tester, I am encouraged to provide feedback and I told Facebook that although I didn't like the Categorised tabs, I did like having new (and relevant) Pages shown to me. So you can sort of blame me if you like.

What does this mean for the Facebook Explore rollout?

Facebook have said that you will still have your normal Newsfeed of friends, groups, and pages - all mixed in together. You will ALSO have a tab where you will see the posts of relevant pages the Algorithm believes you would like to 'Like'.

Quote taken from Facebook's announcement 23/10/17

That's it, no segregation of page and friend. Just an opportunity to add to those pages we like (as if we need that help).

What does Facebook Explore mean for the Facebook Algorithm?

Yes, they need to change the Algorithm. No, no one but Facebook truly knows what's in it. They have to change the Algorithm purely to populate the Explore tab. It's that simple. There's no one person or team of people in Facebook physically moving Pages into your Explore tab and another for me. It's controlled by AN algorithm.

Does Facebook Explore mean the death of Organic Facebook Page Reach?

Honestly no one can say, other than Facebook. Here's my take on it as a specialist on Organic Facebook.

Boring posts and pages kill organic Facebook Reach. 

The Facebook Algorithm, as broadly understood by the community is a function of how many people like, comment or share a post, how often you do it, how often your friends do it, and how close you are to your friends. (In the main)

So what is at the core of the Algorithm? People's reaction to the content YOU publish. So if your content is not relevant to them, doesn't engage them, then they are not going to react to it and so it will not trigger the Facebook Algorithm. It's not the Algorithm hiding your content, it's your inability to engage your audience.

I know that sounds harsh, but when you think critically about how we understand the Algorithm and what drives it, you come to this conclusion that it's a human reaction to what they see.

So how do you achieve good Organic Reach and be seen on Facebook Explore?

At the core, you need to understand your target audience and you need to explain to them, up front, how you solve their problems and how you can relate to them. We are, at our core, hard-wired for these connections and to solve problems.

This is where I bring in my qualifications in Psychology, over a decade of developing user-centric online content, and seven years of successful Facebook Page ownership and management.

I always bring it back to understanding your target audience and targeting them.

If you'd like to learn my secrets, sign up for the waitlist for my Organic Facebook Course and have the knowledge which saw me ride out all Algorithm changes.

What this comes down to is businesses knowing that they need to be on Facebook but forgetting that it's merely the medium, they are the ones who have to deliver the content which drives a Facebook user to action.

 

Australian Consumer Social Media Use

In this analysis of the Sensis report into how Australians use the Internet & Social Media, I will be focusing on social media and how customers use social media for purchasing decisions. While it’s important to know when we are online to work out when we need to post on social media, it’s the behaviours which drive purchasing decisions which interest businesses. This post is to be read with the previous article and can be compared with the previous year.

When and where do Australians use Social Media?

92 % of Australians access social media at home. When we are at home, Australians are most likely to check their social media in the lounge room and then the bedroom. This is no great surprise when you look at when we are most likely to check social media.

Australians are most likely to check social media in the evening (71%), first thing in the morning (57%), and at lunch or in breaks (equally 47%). So it’s no great surprise that our lounge and bed rooms are our most popular location. This also matches the likelihood that we are using smartphones to access social media. (Note: the 65+ age group are most likely to use a laptop)

Below is the chart of when we check our social media by age and by decreasing popularity

18-29 30-39 40-49 50-64 65+
Evening Evening Evening Evening Evening
Breaks First thing First thing First thing First thing
First thing/Lunch Lunch Breaks Lunch Lunch

 

What you can see in this table is a good indication of when you should be posting on social media depending on your target age group. Unfortunately, may businesses are still posting outside of these hours because they do not schedule their posts.

Why Australians use Social Media for purchase decisions

Firstly, only 18% of Australians use social media to follow brands and of them it’s most likely to be the 30-39 & 50-64 year olds who do. Now that does not mean you don’t need social media; that means that you shouldn’t worry about low follower numbers. You see, 16% use social media to access brand promotions (again the favoured by 30-39 year olds) and 16% to research purchases (most likely for those 65+). There’s a good chance that they are seeing what you post without even liking or following your social media profile. Here’s proof…

52% of people who researched a product on social media went on to purchasing one of the products they saw

61% of those purchases were made online

What can you do to influence the purchases made using Social Media?

Use reviews

61 % of Australians will read between 1 and 5 reviews before making a purchase. Remember that this is across all social media and there are many ways to post reviews. While you can use the review function on social media profiles, I actively encourage business owners to regularly post reviews on their social media to push the good news out to followers. By doing this you control the design of the review and you can organise them how you choose.

There has been an increase in people likely to change their opinion (to be positive) if you respond to a negative review. This means that you should keep negative reviews on your social media and respond to them.

I have previously written about the psychology of reviews, it contains information on why people give reviews and the aspects needed to have a convincing review.

What to post

This year, Australians said that it was more important (than previously reported) that businesses interact positively on social media, update their content regularly (post regularly), and post engaging and relevant information. Here’s the key to all of this, it’s what your customer thinks is engaging & relevant – not you. So it’s crucial that business owners understand their ideal customers.

Here’s the thing about engaging and relevant content – not having engaging and relevant content is the biggest reason why people unfollow social media accounts. It’s not ads. In fact, Australians, while not necessarily happy to see them they are not turned off by them nor will they ignore them. So, consider ads as part of your social media, they’re not going to push clients away.

If you are considering ads, you might want to consider the following things people want from brands on social media:
- 54% want discounts
- 48% want giveaways
- 30% want information, and
- 29% want nothing at all.

So before you think that your ad has to offer a great discount, consider that nearly 1/3 of your fans actually don’t want anything from you at all.

I have one more thing for you to consider when using social media for your business and what Australians like when online. All Australians are excited when our posts receive more likes than usual. While this statistic is higher for those <39, there was some degree of agreeance across the ages. So, give some positive feedback to posts and comments on your social media account, even if it’s a like. If you want to know why this works, read my post on what happens to our brain when we use social media.

So all in all, it seems that Australians are increasing their use of social media and while some want special offers a good proportion don’t want anything at all other than: good content, they like to be liked and if they research online they are more likely to buy online. It still points to the need for brands to have some sort of regular social media presence where the client is put first.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s guide to attention

The other week I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s 2016 Sales Machine Keynote. In this presentation he spoke of his lemonade stand days. He had a collection of them and he had his friends staff them. He would then ride between them and as he did he would observe the traffic. He would watch where they were coming from and where they were headed. He would watch the cars and look around the intersections. What was he looking for? The perfect spot to place his advertising to grab their attention. He knew that too soon or too late and he had lost them, but pitching at the right time, place, and style had them.

In this age of digital bombardment it’s hard to get attention. Well that’s what it feels like. All this chatter we need to compete with. All those tweets, posts, and grams flying through the feed. Messenger messages and chat bots chirping away. Ads, sponsored posts, offers, optins, pixels, adwords, tracking codes. All of these are ways we try to gain our client’s attention. Do they work?

Well there’s an art to getting their attention.

Gary mentioned that part of the issue in gaining their attention came down to location and another to copy, he didn’t mention motivators or influencers.

Location and attention

I’m a firm believer in that you can not convert unless you are in the right place at the right time with the right thing. So how do you know you’re in the right place?

There are two ways you can do it. You can go to where your fans hang out or you can pull them towards you. Going where your fans hang out may narrow the field but it can stack the deck in your favour. Pulling them to you, cold, from across the internet is a tough gig.

I’m a fan of gathering, and keeping your fans, where they like to hang out. Why? They’re comfortable and you’re less likely to lose them there.  Though you do have competing distractions, they’re comfortable & generally happy. Done well, you won’t even seem like an interference.

In this example, Gary watched where the drivers looked and placed his posters on the trees they looked at the most. Perhaps it was mechanics, perhaps it was something else distracting them, but it was where they were drawn.

If we use Facebook as an example, there is a lot competing for our attention. This is precisely where Gary said the copy on his poster came into play.

How copy grabs attention

Now I am not going to go into some long winded discussion on the perfect copy and copy formula. I can write copy, but I don’t teach it. It’s just not my passion. What I do know is this… too many small businesses and sole traders write copy with the wrong intention. They think that they have the answer. Wrong! Your client has the problem.  I understand that that might seem backwards so let me explain.

Want to get someone’s attention and diffuse an argument, repeat their issue back to them so that they realise that you heard them and you get them. I don’t just know this from some text book, this comes from speaking to injured Veterans, their spouses, and their lawyers for five years. They didn’t want my pity or placation, they wanted to be heard. Your client is no different. They have a problem they want fixed and they want you to hear that.

The easiest way to grab someone’s attention, and even buy in is to repeat their words back to them. So you don’t necessarily have that luxury, but with a little research you can.

To grab attention in copy you need to:
- tell them their problem (and actually do)
- use their language
- speak to their values.

Too often businesses are stuck in the old push, ‘buy my shit’, mentality and they forget that the audience is flooded with messages and signals to buy someone’s ‘shit’. What they don’t get is someone who genuinely gets where they’re coming from and where they want to be.

So the attention getter for them it’s their motivators/influencers

So Gary didn’t get into the copy but he spends a ridiculous amount of time talking and listening to people and working out what their motivators are. When he speaks to people, he pins their motivator and problem and spits it back at them and they buy it.

So how do you understand their motivators and influencers? They tell you. They tell you in their feedback, in their reviews, their friend s tell you. If you don’t have this then you ask and research, you go to other sources and competitors and see what is being said. In one way or another, you listen. You listen to the emotions they use, the feelings they have, the problems you solve. You pay attention and then you grab theirs.

About Scarcity Marketing

Let’s get down to it. Scarcity marketing. Have you seen it? Have you succumbed to scarcity marketing? Have you used scarcity marketing in your business? Can I honestly say its never sat well with me, I’ve tried it, it’s failed and I thought it was me. I’m not so self-centred to believe that’s not the case, but I’ve been thinking about scarcity tactics a bit and a video interview between Marie Forleo & Seth Godin helped me see why it doesn’t work.

So what is scarcity marketing?

Scarcity marketing is saying things like: ‘must end 9pm tonight’, ‘must close 5pm Sunday’, ‘valid for the first x people’. It’s imposing limits around the availability of a ‘thing’. Availability is generally restricted by volume or by time available. The idea being that it elicits as sense of urgency, and don’t get me wrong a good scarcity campaign gets my heart pumping, and that is meant to drive you to take action NOW!

The last time I fell to scarcity marketing was trying to get Ed Sheeran tickets. I subscribed to the pre-sale, I tried to no avail, to get early tickets. Nada. I had FOMO, I wanted those tickets and I wanted them BAD! So when they went on sale the following week, I logged in early and I waited, and waited, and waited. Two and a half hours later I was still waiting, but you know what, I got those tickets. I was elated. But I promise, every time the ticker reset my heart skipped a beat.

The aim of scarcity marketing is to kick off that FOMO feeling. They want you to fear missing out and being left behind. Would it have actually been the end of days if I didn’t get the Ed Sheeran tickets? No, I could go and listen to him at the venue (standing outside of course) for free. I can listen to his songs I already own. But they wanted me to fear seeing him live. Um, the idea of ‘seeing’ him is actually really to hear him sing. Anyway, I digress. When you are in this FOMO fight or flight mode your body is pumping adrenaline, cortisol & norepinephrine. Now most people know that adrenaline is the one that gets your blood pumping, cortisol is the stress hormone, norepinephrine is there to keep you focused & on the ball. Wow! That’s some hormonal cocktail! You’re switched on, pumping, raring to go and you’re thinking that this thing just ‘has to happen’.

So what’s the reality?

So in the case of the tickets, I was right, there were only a certain amount of tickets, but me being inside or outside has no impact on my ability to listen to the songs. Ironically, in some locations the scarcity marketing was lost when they announced additional shows!

So what’s the point?

There rarely, if at all, is true scarcity. We are no longer trying to hunt that one lone woolly mammoth traipsing across the grassland. In fact, the internet removes scarcity. Like I said, I already have the songs. If you want tickets to an event, access to a product, see a person, the internet has untold number of options to you past the one presented to you right at that point in time. When we do come across a true woolly mammoth situation where scarcity is actually a matter of life and death, then our adrenaline, cortisol, & norepinephrine were warranted. But it’s not.

We’re being played. Manipulated. Our innate instincts are being used against us.

So what’s the answer?

Look, just because I’m not a fan doesn’t mean that it’s not the right thing for you. I just want you to realise why it might not work. You are not Robinson Crusoe in your business journey, there’s a high probability your product or service is available elsewhere. Let’s face it, there’s more than one cola company around and they are able to survive and thrive. Your customers are learning, if they don’t already know, that you are not the only one and this is why they ‘shop around’. So I’m just making you aware that it might not work as you expected & this is why. I want you to consider how your audience is reacting on a cellular level to your marketing. As a consumer, I want you to understand why you react the way you do. Finally, I want to let you know that I will not use scarcity marketing unless there’s a mammoth around.

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