With Christmas looming we are in the full swing of thinking about gifts for our loved ones (those of us who haven’t already finished our gift shopping that is – truth be told I haven’t started yet).
We all know what a brow-furrowing task making our buying decisions can be. Some are pure impulsive buying decisions, and some are more thoughtful and considered.
The psychology of this can be very interesting, and something to keep in mind when looking at targeted marketing and social media campaigns.
There are theories that we have 2 separate brain systems, one is the execution of split second, automatic and impulsive decisions (given the snappy name of ‘System 1’), and the other system makes us consider our decisions more carefully, more rationally, and can involve forward planning (‘System 2’). The old saying ‘being in two minds’ seems to have some scientific validity!
So which system is engaged within your customers when they decide to buy your products or interact with you on social media?
Many social media users are so used to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter that many likes and favourites occur almost instinctually, with simple recognition of the content. This is when ‘System 1’ is engaged. When the message is made easier to read in a split second the likes and favourites will come thick and fast as the mouse clicks almost instantly on that little star or thumbs-up logo. This is seen most often with images posted on social media, which when simple and clear can generate the most uncomplicated and instinctual interactions. This is much like when we impulse buy. When we’re stood at the counter ready to pay and we notice the shiny chocolate bar. We probably didn’t go in the shop to buy that specifically, but it grabs our attention. We understand it without thinking, and dammit, we like it.
For more stable and long lasting customer relations based on their thoughtful consideration of you over your competitors, we need to engage ‘System 2’. We can engage customers in this way by making the message a little more complex, which requires a more conscious engagement. Longer social media posts on Facebook or LinkedIn can let your customers know more about you and your ethos, which will play into their decision making process when taking their time and covering all their options. This is why it is so important to reply to any message a friend or follower sends you on social media for full and meaningful interaction. It is similar psychology to how we decide to choose between brands when looking at two very similar products on the shelf – the company that we feel we know on a more in-depth and personal level will often trump the unknown brand.
Here we see how our decisions to interact on social media are very much like our buying decisions. In using both simple and punchy, and longer and detailed social media messages we can engage all of your customers beautiful brains.
Ooooh, a chocolate bar!