Many, if not most, content sites today show how many social media shares each page or article has earned. This is a classic use of social proof, i.e., building credibility and earning additional shares by showing that others are doing it too. Like a restaurant with a line extending out the door, an article with a large number of shares is presumed to be good. Mashable’s current design goes way beyond what most other sites do. […]
A social media platform like Twitter is a kind of social science laboratory that can be sliced in various ways. (For some serious social media slicing and dicing, check out the work of my friend Dan Zarrella.)
Traditional community dynamics apply – there are high-status individuals who have legions of followers and wield considerable influence, and lower-status individuals who have little impact on the community. Principles like reciprocity are at work – if one individual retweets another’s post, it creates a little social obligation for the second to reciprocate. (As in real life, if there’s a big status difference between the two people, the drive to reciprocate may be much smaller or even nonexistent.) New research on monkeys shows that the tracking of social gestures may be hardwired into our brains. […]
Hiring a social media manager or a salesperson? Maybe you should have the finalists’ brains scanned in an fMRI.
A larger orbital prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with decision-making and cognitive processing, has been shown to correlate with greater social skills, according to a study by a team of UK researchers. Among the scientists was Robin Dunbar, who pioneered the idea that the average human is limited to a social circle of about 150 people (see Your Brain’s Twitter Limit: 150 Real Friends), a constant now known as the Dunbar number. […]
When can a Mountain Dew make you smarter than a glass of a nice Pinot Noir? Well, beyond the short-term cognitive boost from the caffeine-rich soft drink, being seen holding a glass of wine can reduce your intelligence – not in real terms, but in the eyes of others. As I posted on Forbes.com the other day in Proof: Alcohol Makes You (Look) Dumb, even a stone-cold sober person holding a glass of wine suffers an apparent IQ drop. […]
People toss around the terms "thought leader" and "social media expert" lightly these days, but Brian Solis is one of the few people who actually lives up to those names. In The End of Business as Usual, Solis shows how the widespread use of social media is fundamentally changing the business environment.
Those of us involved in social media know that people love to talk about themselves. They seemingly enjoy sharing the trivial, the personal, and occasionally the weird, details of their lives. Sometimes they overshare – as a longtime online community builder, I’ve found that “poster’s remorse” is common – people post something too personal and later regret doing so. So why do people share so much? New research from Harvard shows, in simple terms, that talking about yourself makes your brain feel good. […]
Book Review: What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us by Guy Kawasaki
Google+ seemed to get off to a running start, but more recently has been termed a “ghost town” by some pundits. Experience with the service suggests less than robust usage by consumers, despite the large number of registered users. When my Why Jersey Shore Drops the National IQ post went mildly viral last week, it quickly garnered more than a thousand Facebook likes, but a mere five +1s. Does this mean Google+ is headed the way of Friendster and MySpace? […]
Three Ways to Avoid Creepiness
Marketers are being offered unprecedented new capabilities to target consumers by interests and behavior. There’s growing evidence, though, that consumers are finding these personalized pitches off-putting. A new survey of UK social media users showed that nearly half “don’t like having ads targeted to them based on information included in their social media profiles, including activities, interests, and other personal data.” While Google’s motto has been, “Don’t Be Evil,” perhaps a more appropriate one would be, “Don’t Be Creepy!” […]
Want your content to go viral, or at least get shared? Then don’t overdo the adjectives. That’s one of the interesting findings Dan Zarrella shares in his book, Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness. […]