With the competition online getting as hot as it is, we all need a leg up to get ahead. In the case of marketing, some of the best tricks are psychological. For that reason today we’re going to look at what psychology can teach us about marketing to give your campaign that edge it needs.
Do these tricks really work, you might now ask. And it’s a fair question. A lot of people think that this kind of stuff doesn’t actually have any effect on them. Of course, there’s a name for that assumption. It’s called the ‘bias blind spot’ and it is part of the reason that psychological tricks work so well. What do I mean with that? Well, if we assume that we aren’t affected by psychological tricks, then we won’t do anything to counteract them. And that only serves to make them more effective.
The mere exposure effect
You know how they say familiarity breeds contempt? Well, it’s not true. Instead, it breeds liking. It’s called the ‘mere exposure effect’ and it’s why the big brands constantly hit you with their ads. Because it will make you like their product more.
That’s great, you now say, but how can I use that? I don’t have the budget to hit the whole country with a wave of ads.
But you don’t have to. Hit the people that you’re about to get to commit to something instead. About to approach a company to see if they’re interested in your product? Then select them on social media and blast them for a few weeks with ads about your product. Want to enter a new town? Then hit them up for a few weeks. See the difference and what your revenue grow.
The first thing that you want to know about is ‘social proofing’ which is an incredibly important concept on social media. You probably already know about it – it’s the fact that we like what other people like. If you can get a lot of people to claim to like something on social media then other people will automatically like it as well.
Unfortunately, that is largely outside of your control (though when something important is happening, make certain that everybody who you can get to comment or share it does).
What isn’t outside of your control, however, is not showing when something isn’t liked. A lot of websites have a propensity to show social media likes on websites, even when they’re not getting.
When we’re given something, be it a pen, a compliment or a bit of attention, we feel the need to reciprocate. That’s why cars salesmen will give you a pen before they try to get you to sign a contract. And that’s why you should always reach out to your audience and make them feel included. Because if you strike up conversations with them, they’ll strike up conversations with you, on your site.
And that will make your social media look far more wanted and desirable, thereby creating the social proof that you need.
It’s also why you should always be aiming to give things to your fans. They’ll be far more likely to advise you to their friends if you do. It doesn’t even have to be a big gift. Just enough to activate their sense of reciprocity, really.
Similarity creates connection
We like people that are similar to ourselves – so make certain that your company exudes the same values and ideals as your customer base. This is a simple matter of following who your customers are, finding out what they spend their time on and then posting information about those same concepts on your social media.
Do this consistently and you’ll find that your customers feel far more connected to you than they did before. Something they will demonstrate by liking your posts, sharing what you’ve got to see and commenting on what you’re doing.
People connect with people, not companies
That’s how we evolved. We like faces, people, and the human touch. So make certain that on your website there is always a human element to your social media. This will not only breed liking but will also create commitment and connection.
Even better, use faces that are similar in age, race, and sex to your customer base. This will make it far easier for them to feel a sense of connection with your company, as they’ll unconsciously assume that the company shares their values and their ideas. One great place where you can do exactly this is with the models that you decide to use on your site.
Many companies just pick attractive young models. That’s a good strategy if you’re targeting millennials. If, however, your audience is some other group, then a far better tactic would be to choose models that are more in line with the age, occupation and dress sense of those that actually visit your site.
The tyranny of choice
We’ve been brought up to believe that more choices are always better. The research does not bear this out, however. If people are offered too many choices, they are afraid they’ll suffer what is known as ‘buyer’s regret’ and are more likely not to opt for anything just to avoid it. This is known as the paradox of choice.
So limit the choices to a few good ones. Even better, offer them one choice which is slightly worse than the choice that you want them to take. This will make that choice seem more appealing and will make it more likely that they’ll take it.
People share to look good
One of the main reasons people shares content is to have it reflect well on themselves. For that reason, it is very important that you frequently share content that makes them look desirable, friendly, well informed, educated, sexy, cute or in some other way amplifies their image.
Do that consistently and you’ve got a much better chance that your social media message reaches a far bigger audience. And that is obviously what we’re all after.
One vital element in getting people to share your content is to make certain that it is error free and of the high quality. After all, people are jaded and are becoming more so all the time.
Sometimes that means you should do it yourself. Sometimes it means that you should get somebody – who really knows what they’re doing – to help you with it instead.
In that case, consider using one of the many apps or services out there.
- Grammarly will offer you computer-generated advice at its most basic level and actual expert advice if you’re willing to go premium
- Craigslist is also a great place to find writers, particularly if you want to meet them face to face.
- Or you can find some of the independent freelancers on the web. There are plenty!
Social media marketing is a quickly developing field. This means that what works today might not work tomorrow. This means that it can be hard to keep up to date. It also means, however, that there are still many opportunities.
If you manage to find the next big trick, then you might be able to blow up your social media for a few bucks. Of course, those tricks are getting harder to find. That doesn’t mean they’re all gone yet, however.
So put in the effort, take the time, because like so much in life here too you will reap what you sow.