For long, businesses deployed advertising & marketing campaigns that heavily depended on human psychology to impact their respective sales and branding efforts.
Those efforts depended on psychology not because it was cool to do so; they did it because it worked.
It still does. It’ll always do.
Apple, Airbnb, and many other large brands heavily depend on human psychology – and the many principles within – to bring about superior results for each of their marketing campaigns, for their general branding, and for their overall advertising regimen.
Humans are the strangest of the creatures. Social media – the way it’s designed – gets all that unusual nature out to you, streaming live, and in real-time.
While some of that bizarreness makes sense on the outset, it’s still as strange as it should be.
Robert Roy Britt of LiveScience writes why humans happen to be the most unusual species. Looking at it with a bird’s eye view, he writes:
The proof is in the many gross, unnecessary, contradictory and utterly inexplicable things we do. And of course, we’re different in our capacity to ponder all these oddities and sometimes figure a few out.
He also points out that we have:
“…an Adam’s apple, get goose bumps, forget car keys, cry when we slice onions, burp, struggle to find a mate, yawn, snore, laugh, cry, ignore exactly the things that lead to our happiness, gossip, get stressed, get déjà vu, struggle with brain freeze, and more”.
We complain, and yet we are altruistic; we feel passion – for right or wrong; we have compassion, and yet we can lose our mind.
That’s how complex we humans are. Now try making sense of a marketing campaign that’s launched to get us to do something. Or even try to make sense of what happens on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Despite the human complexity, and especially on social media, know how to boost social media campaign here:
How to Boost Social Media Campaign: Use Social Proof
According to Nielsen, 83% of consumers in more than 60 countries trust “word of mouth” or recommendations from someone they “know” than any other form of advertising.
Capitalizing on one or more types of social proof, applied to social media, you could use expert recommendations, influencer mentions, “wisdom of the crowd”, “community recommendations”, client testimonials, endorsements, promoted tweets, Facebook Sponsored Stories, and many other forms of social proof to give a definitive edge to your social media campaigns.
Use logos, ride on authority recommendations and get experts to endorse. Bring celebrities in, pump out your PR campaigns, and get some buzz going.
Obviously, the various combinations of social proof that you can use will depend on your business, products, services, and the exact target audience you’d target.
The folks at ConversionXL have a handy research summary of how various audiences perceive social proof variations (such as those above).
Before any of those results begin to cascade positively and get you the results you seek, you’d obviously need to ensure top-notch product quality, stellar customer service, and give the world something to talk about.
How to Boost Social Media Campaign: Authority Bias
When people trust, respect, and like you, they are likely to listen to you. Also called as “Authority Effect” in human psychology, the authority effect relates to our general tendency to attribute accuracy to the opinions of authority figures. We are often influenced by these views.
Daniel Priestley – entrepreneur and author of OverSubscribed: How to Get People Lining Up to Do Business With You – wrote an entire book on how authority bias helps businesses in general.
Daniel writes about running your business by being “oversubscribed” – meaning that you’d limit the number of customers you’d serve, separating yourself from the marketing (and thereby creating your own market), and how to create value in the eco-system.
It’s on the journey of “creating value in the eco-system” that you’ll work to build authority.
Social media is a great channel to give your ideas away for free. You’ll then charge for implementation or the part where your product solves a problem.
Always innovate, but don’t mess with a winning formula (Daniel points to the example of Porsche – they innovate but never move away from the frog-like front-end design of their cars).
Build authority with blogs, social networking, social selling, consulting, writing books, and increasing speaking engagements. Build a brand, and authority just comes with that.
The more authority you build up, the easier it is for you to do business. Your social media campaigns will live on the backdrop of your large brand, much like how Gary Vaynerchuk pulls it off.
How to Boost Social Media Campaign: Pull The Frequency down
There is what is called as a “Mere Exposure Effect” – a tendency to express dislike for something just because of “familiarity” or “exposure.” Plus, other behavioral biases such as “loss aversion,” “Reactance (Reverse Psychology).” All these, in combination, tend to matter when you begin to launch your organic or paid social media campaigns.
Don’t overexpose any social media campaign because your customers begin to ride on the “familiarity breeds contempt” wave. The actual effect of your well-planned social media campaign is lost when you overdo it.
At best, always launch social media campaigns (or any campaign) over a period, in specific intervals (and play by the push and pull theory).
Plus, learn to limit your intake.
The simple act of “limiting” the number of customers you’d want to serve to (or restricting the number of products available to ship) boosts the results of your campaigns many times over.
It’s not like Apple has limited production capacity. For every new launch, there are only a fixed number of iPhones, MacBook Pros, or Apple Watches available for Apple’s customers.
Ever seen automobile manufacturers release limited-edition vehicles of their already popular brands? It also applies to fashion, accessories, services, consulting, financial planning, and possibly almost all industries.
Reduced frequency of campaigns, along with a perceived increasing demand for your products and services helps you with higher-quality leads of high-intent customers.
Sophia Bernazzani of HubSpot lists out various brilliant examples of how brands launched social media campaigns.
Nature Made uses an “expert certification” of the USP (U.S Pharmacopeial Convention)
FitBit uses real recommendations of experts, published on ZDNet, FastCompany, and many other publications.
Amazon has a historical use of customer reviews to drive product sales with real testimonials and customer reviews.
Cars like Range Rover Evoque come with particular input from Victoria Beckham.
You see where we are getting with this?
If you don’t have clout, build it. If you need testimonials, deliver great products and services first.
Once you get there, your social media campaigns will work on nitro-boosters, when you want them to.
Which of these psychological tricks are you using for your social campaigns?