Nina Simons, Digital Nomad and Blogger
In order to be as effective as possible in your marketing endeavours, you have to know a little bit about human psychology. As much as we’re all different as people, we all share some common traits especially on the web and a good marketer can discover and utilize them to get the best results possible. Here are some social media marketing tips to help you optimize your campaigns and reach your target audience more easily.
Part of the Community
When it comes to social media, we must not neglect the power of the community. In a way, these websites are smaller reflections of our society, mirroring most of its characteristics. For example, human beings are social creatures and have innate longing to belong to a group or community. This is also true on the web.
A couple of studies published in 2013 in the Journal of Social Psychology examined the effects of Facebook community on the individuals. In the first study, a certain number of test subjects were prohibited from posting anything on Facebook for 48 hours and, as a result, they felt left out and meaningless. In the second study, a half of the participants were intentionally not given any feedback on their status updates, which made them lose self-esteem and feel lonely.
How does this relate to your marketing needs? First of all, your goal should always be to create a healthy and responsive community among your social media followers and your target audience. A friendly and accepting community will result in more comments, shares and better social activity. Offer feedback whenever possible and your audience will feel appreciated and important.
Reasons Behind Sharing
Sharing is one of the most important aspects of social media activity. As a marketing expert you should always strive towards creating content that the users will want to share on their own. So, how do you do it? By finding out the reasons behind their need to share.
An interesting study conducted by The New York Times (that for some reason isn’t available on the web anymore) found that there are five main reasons why people share things on the web:
- To inform or entertain other people
- To show others who they are and what they love
- To stay connected with friends and acquaintances
- To feel more involved in world affairs
To spread the word about a cause they care about
About 68% of the respondents in the study stated that they share posts that seem to describe them, while 84% of users think it’s a great way to support a cause they care about. What can you conclude from this? People love posts that can help them identify themselves and show the world what causes they care about.
Although content is still the core of every good marketing campaign, visual data will always be much more appealing to a regular internet user. Research conducted by the famous Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group way back in 2008 concluded that people usually read only about 20% of text on web pages. Although it’s been 10 years since this research, it’s safe to say that things have probably only become worse now.
The internet is a fast-paced environment and if you want to attract your audience, you need to be visually compelling and memorable. There is no need for dozens of paragraphs explaining the content of your website, when you can visually present it like most of these popular websites have done. It’s that old “show, don’t tell” principle all over again.
How does this affect your social media marketing efforts? Put the focus on the images and videos as they are the ones that will draw your audience and invite them to share your content. If you have to include some content, make sure it’s presented in a fun and visually intriguing way like, say, infographics. Combine visuals with comedy to create comics that present your company and amuse the readers at the same time.
As much as we’d like to think it’s not really true, the fact remains that human beings are prejudiced by nature. We form opinions as soon as we meet someone and it takes a lot of conscious effort to change this perception later on. Of course, the same goes for people online. Just think about the last time you saw a friend request from an unknown person on your Facebook only to proceed to examine his or her character based on the profile picture.
According to a Princeton research, people decide whether someone is attractive or trustworthy in a tenth of a second. In this study, they tested 200 people and found out that, as time went by, people were only becoming more and more certain of their first impression. That’s quite a scary thought, isn’t it?
In the world of social media marketing, this means that your online personas and posts only have a single chance to win over the audience. It pays off to spend a little more time making sure that that first post leaves a solid first impression. If you win them over at the start, your job is half-done.
In the end, we can conclude that there are many parallels to be drawn between how people behave in real life and how they behave on the web. People want to be a part of the community and love to talk about themselves. Besides that, they are generally quick to judge and don’t really like reading too much on the internet. So, basically, offer them a fancy-looking mirror they can share with others and you’ve got a winning product.