Here’s a simple psychology project you can do yourself this weekend in your local High Street. Sit yourself down in the café or restaurant of your nearest department store and do a bit of “people watching“. All you have to do is count the number of shopping bags each person is carrying and the number of people they share a table with. My prediction? When people are alone, they will have fewer shopping bags than when they are in a group. The reason is that shopping is a social experience. Your local British Home Stores, for instance, doesn’t just have a restaurant because they can make some extra cash selling pie and chips and a latte. They also have a café because shopping is a social experience. When shops make shopping social, they do better.
So it is not much of a surprise that when people are really social online, they tend to be more interested in buying things. That’s because their increased level of social activity on the web allows more chatting about purchases, wish lists and so on. Truly sociable people chat happily about their buying behaviours. When we are less social, we chat less about what we buy and more about what we do.
This is borne out to some extent by new research on the impact of adverts on Twitter. The study has found that when people use Twitter more, they also proportionally engage more with advertising on Twitter. Of the people who logged into Twitter up to 10 times a month less than 2% of them actually engaged with an advert. But over 20% of the people who used Twitter more than 100 times a month engaged with an advert. The study shows that the more social people are, the more they are likely to engage with commercial messages.
This suggests that if you target your commercial messages at social people, you will make more money. It is yet another reason why your business needs to focus on social media in preference to every other kind of online marketing.
- 5 Ways To Double Your Social Media Results (hubspot.com)
- 5 Tips to Optimize Your Social Media Engagement (hubspot.com)
- Following Brands on Twitter Increases Purchase Intent [STUDY] (mashable.com)
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+