In this contribution, Peter Minnium discusses the nature of online relationships, why they’re important, and how to best use them to further your social media marketing efforts.
Clans used to congregate around fires and tell stories to one other to create community norms and form social organisation thousands of years ago. The community exchange of tales and ideas is still an essential factor in social growth, even if the light of internet-connected devices has replaced the embers of a fire.
From a commercial perspective, this development highlights a few key distinctions. Users of social media platforms may now publicly debate their opinions on specific companies or goods, allowing them to coalesce into powerful interest groups capable of applying significant social pressure to such institutions. Everything is now of public attention, from the presidential election to the newest cereal.
The core idea that we have the power to change the world via the act of storytelling has not changed. The social networks we cultivate are the backbone of progressive change. The core of social media marketing is an understanding of how social media relationships are made, as well as their function and potential for manipulation.
The use of game theory to the study of social mechanics
While it’s clear that social interaction is important, it’s been difficult to accurately predict how social systems operate, especially in light of the influence of new media and technology on public debate. Mathematical analysis of rivalry and cooperation between interested parties, known as game theory, offers hope for a resolution.
Game theory, despite its name, has little to do with “games” in the conventional sense. Instead, it aims to decipher the reactions of logical people who are constrained by norms. By applying game theory to social media, we can learn more about what people hope to accomplish and how they plan to go about doing it.
The “players” in the social media “game” are the people who participate in it, both businesses and individuals. While businesses use social media to expand their client base, cultivate brand advocates, and address feedback from consumers, individual users of these platforms typically seek to maintain personal connections, learn about current events, and join in on online debates.
The art of making influential friends on social media
Both brands and consumers may benefit from social influence, but they use it for different reasons. Every social media user is vying for a smaller pool of attention and fewer opportunities to make a splash. Many companies make the mistake of viewing their customers as adversaries rather than the potent friends they may be.
Brands and customers may both gain on social media if they work together towards common goals. In particular, this implies that companies should give their customers the opportunity to boost their own social media profiles and, in turn, their influence in online discussions. Brands may reach more people with their messages and win over their enthusiastic endorsement in this way.
One of the most fundamental human motivations is the desire to advance in one’s social standing. Recent research into how the brain interprets status changes found that it occurred in the same region of the brain responsible for handling monetary transactions, highlighting the importance of this finding. Researchers discovered a clear and measurable neural reward is triggered by a rise in social standing.
By offering customers a platform to express their opinions, brands ultimately benefit from this.
Brands provide their social media followers yet another chance to increase their online standing whenever they solicit customer input or unveil engaging new material. A user’s standing in the community can be raised by posting humorous comments or submitting amusing videos. The brand benefits from this as much as the customer does.
Avoiding criticism is just as crucial as gaining support. It’s just as easy for social media to amplify customer disapproval as it is to enhance support. Many companies have been singled out on social media for criticism when customers voiced dissatisfaction with a product, a badly worded message, or an inconveniently timed marketing push.
How to dominate in social media advertising
In order to succeed in social media marketing, companies are increasingly turning to the insights into consumer behaviour provided by game theory.
Despite outward differences, consumers and companies are motivated by the same desire to make an impact in the world. Brands may create a win-win situation for customers and shareholders by acknowledging this and helping buyers and prospects improve their social standing.