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Presentation held at Lavacon 2010 in San Diego, Oct 1st, 2010

Presentation held at Lavacon 2010 in San Diego, Oct 1st, 2010

The Psychology of Social Media

Mario Lehenbauer
Clinical Psychologist and Health Psychologist

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Lavacon 2010: The Psychology of Social Media Lavacon 2010: The Psychology of Social Media Presentation Transcript

  • For Homo Zappiens: The Psychology of Social Media Mario Lehenbauer @ LavaCon, San Diego #MarioLehenbauer @ The 1st, 2010 Conference on Digital Oct. Lavacon Media and Content Strategies Please note This is a shorter version, for more questions about the contents or sources, feel free to ask/twitter/facebook me!
  • This is the short version of my presentation For more information, comments, or if you have questions about the contents or sources, feel free to ask/twitter/facebook me! Twitter: #MarioLehenbauer Facebook: Mario Lehenbauer Web: http://www.psycho-logic.at Email: mario.lehenbauer@univie.ac.at
  • About Me • Clinical Psychologist and Health Psychologist • New Media Consulting • Industrial and Organizational Psychologist • Researcher and Lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna • Research interests – Psychology and New Media • Psychological Aspects of Social Media Networking • E-health: Delivering psychological interventions via New Media; Serious Games and virtual realities
  • „Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from the fire hydrant.“ (Mitchell Kapor, without date)
  • Psychology and Digital Media: WHY? • As of December 2009, 74% of American adults (> 18) use the Internet • Six in ten Americans go online wirelessly using a laptop or cell phone (Pew Internet study, July 2010) • 75% of U.S. adults have cell phones with apps • Watch and download videos: 69% of online adults – Comedy has supplanted news as the most viewed type of video online • … as marketers it is your responsibility to observe and interact new trends and interact with the people
  • The Digital Divide • Most definitions of web 2.0 employ a user-centric approach: „Web 2.0 is about making computing and media social“ (Cooke, & Buckley, 2008) • Social networking sites (SNS) among the most popular sites worldwide • But: WHO is online? What„s about the digital divide from a psychological perspective?
  • World Internet Users (1)
  • The Digital Divide (1) • People with effective access to digital and information technology vs. those with very limited or no access at all – includes the imbalance both in physical access to technology and the resources and skills needed – Age divide – Education divide
  • The Digital Divide (2) • Users ages 18-29 continue to be the heaviest users with 86% • Older adults are the fastest growing users in the U.S. (Pew Internet study, August 27, 2010) – Social networking use among those ages 50 and older nearly doubled over the past year (22% in 2009 to 42% in 2010) – Half (47%) of internet users ages 50-64 and 26% ages 65 and older now use social networking sites – Between April 2009 and May 2010, internet users ages 50-64 grew 88%; compared with a growth rate of 13% for ages 18-29
  • What are SNS? • Web-based services that allow individuals to – Construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system – Articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and – View and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system (Boyd, & Ellison, 2007)
  • Brief history of SNS (1) • Social networking applications started in 1997 with sixdegrees.com (1997-2001) • Since then, features have expanded • Followed by more successful sites like – Friendster (115 mio registered users; 90% traffic from Asia) – Myspace (66 mio users) – LinkedIn (75 mio users) – Xing – Facebook (500 mio users) (Boyd, & Ellison, 2007)
  • Brief History of SNS (2) • Top Social Networking Sites among US Internet Users (thousands of unique visitors): – Facebook 70,278 – MySpace sites 70,255 – Twitter 17,592 – Classmates.com 15,136 – MyLife.com sites 9,862 – Windows Live Profile 9,666 – Buzznet 9,273 – … – LinkedIn 7,470 – Hi5 3,848 (Boyd, & Ellison, 2007)
  • Psychological Perspective on SNS • Why is the Internet more successful than any other media in the human history? • Short summary of several studies„ outcome you can use for your Internet strategy • There are several significant psychological characteristics (Lehenbauer, 2007):
  • Availability and Interactivity • The Internet is available 24/7 • Many people feel mighty, powerful and successful, to log in any time, and to seed content • You are part of the game (vs. TV and newspaper) • Ease of use
  • Intensity and Fostered Intimacy • Feeling of intimacy grows faster online than offline, because all senses are reduced to text and pictures = more space for own fantasies – People talk more about their thoughts and feelings – (sexual) disinhibition – Online interactions generate more self-disclosures and fostered deeper personal questions than f2f conversations
  • Flow experience • Flow: a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity • Many people report a feeling of flow when they engage in online activities • Feelings of timelessness (Csikszentmihalyi, M.)
  • Anonymity • Everyone can engage anonyme in the Internet • Low-threshold possibility to reach specified sub- groups online (for research: recreational drug users, user suffer from social phobia)
  • Stimulation • Connected to a whole world fully stuffed with information • Many people feel stimulated by the huge amount of information to nearly any topic • A book is finished with the last page. • The internet? Endless! • Stimulate your users!
  • Seeding Behavior (1) • Why is someone contributing content? Difference between high-seeding and low-seeding behavior (Courtois, Mechant, De Marez, & Verleye, 2009) • Uses-and-gratifications approach in Psychology • Patterns of gratifications, why people are seeding – Personal function (self-improvement, fame, representation of one self) – Informational function (economic gain, information-learning surveillance, finding the adequate information) – Entertaining function (entertainment, excitement, relaxation) – Escapist function (escape from reality) – Social function (social companionship, social relationships, social bonding)
  • Seeding Behavior (2) • How do users divide into high- and low- frequency seeders? • In general, seeder/lurker ratio 1/5 high-f seeders, 4/5 low-f seeders – Some studies about the net-behavior of digital natives state a ratio of 10% seeders and 90% leechers • No gender differences in seeding behavior • High-f seeders are „gatekeepers“
  • Seeding Behavior (3) • WHY and WHEN is someone seeding and sharing content? • Make your content AWESOME • Look for the gatekeepers, your “sharers” on digg, facebook, twitter… – Connect with them
  • Focus on: Twitter (1) • Twitter went online 2006, microblogging site • One of the fastest growing sites on the Web in terms of usage (year-over-year growth at over 1300%) • Fostering new relationships in the commercial sector – Gauging marketplace reactions – External communication – Gathering marketplace information
  • Focus on: Twitter (2) • Studies state that Twitter is a potentially rich and reliable source for informations – Connect directly, near real time with your customers • Twitter (and other SNS) increases the production of the cuddle hormone Oxytocine! • Again: Build your community, look for groups, follow people, most people follow you back
  • Focus on: Facebook (1) • THE SNS today (Alexa ranking: second most visited website; www.alexa.com) – Offline to online trend: meet offline and add online • Nonymous setting (vs. anonymous) • „Visibility rule“, a hard place for fakers • Identity construction (Zhao, Grasmuck, & Martin) – Not the TRUE self commonly seen in MUDs or Chat rooms – Not the REAL self presented in f2f interactions – The REAL self, combined with the highly socially desirable identity individuals aspire to have offline
  • Focus on: Facebook (2) • Again: Seeder/lurker ratio from 1/10 to 9/10 – Depends on studies, from 1/4 to 1/10 seeders • Main reasons to use facebook: (Pempek, Yermolayeva, & Calvert, 2009) – Facilitate social relationships – Communicate with friends and relatives – About 10% use it to make new friends
  • Focus on: Facebook (3) • As an employer, checking out an applicant„s facebook page (Smith, W.P., & Kidder, D.L., 2010) : – A wealth of information about persons, a potentially useful tool, BUT – Ethical?! – Biased if some applicants have pages, some not – Legal challenges, if facebook is part of the selection process • Companies recruit job applicants via facebook – Policies and guidelines for the use of SNS
  • Post facebook trends? • Location based services (e.g., foursquare) – Users become trackable • More pervasive and imminent – Connected to the TV, mobile phone, Navigation system • Digital natives will keep their social networking behavior (Pew Internet study, July 9th, 2010)
  • SNS for Managers (1) • Main question: To be (online) or not to be (online)? • Do certain types of online social networking structures predict an entrepreneur„s success?
  • SNS for Managers (2) • Several (offline) studies about the network behaviors of entrepreneurs – Previous studies indicate: startups are more successful, when CEO‘s communicate more with their peers – 100 software startups 1997 before the e-Business bubble burst; check back 2004; the communication intensity of the CEO‘s was significantly correlated with probability of survival (Raz, & Gloor, 2007) – Canadian biotech industries: chances of success of a startup increases with the size of its alliance network at the time of founding (Cummings, & Cross, 2003)
  • SNS for Managers (3) • The intensity of communication in these groups is correlated with the success of the group members (Nann et al., 2009) • Conclusion: It does not matter if you network online or offline. Use your network for success! • It„s all about network, network, network!
  • SNS for Managers (4) • Managers who frequently used SNS were more likely to report feeling empowered – The information they gain from SNS may be used as tool for marketing strategies • Gain of expert power: Use and understand SNS! • You as a manager have to know what information is relevant for your clients – SNS offer news, information and story ideas, you can use them as information source (Diga, & Kelleher, 2009)
  • Impression Management on SNS (1) • .. is a central process in interpersonal interactions • Users try to present themselves in a positive manner – Online easier than face-to-face • Careful construction of an ideal self-presentation  mostly on dating sites (Ellison, Heino, & Gibbs, 2006) • SNS can avoid fakers, friends provide a social context that can confirm the self-presentation
  • Impression Management on SNS (2) • Brunswick lens model: the behavior of individuals and the artifacts produced by them reflect their personality
  • Impression Management on SNS (3) • Environmental cues can be used as a lens by observers • Personality impressions based on facebook profiles showed accuracy! • Therefore: • YOU are what you post, blog, twitter, facebook!
  • Studies concerning SNS • Onlinesample: 20% suffer from social phobia (Lehenbauer, 2007) • Shy people were more likely to report using chat- and instant messaging services with the motive of decreasing loneliness • Twitter increases the production of the cuddle hormone oxytocine (Fastcompany, July 2010)
  • Tips from a Psychological Perspective Tips from a psychological perspective: • Be real! • Attention and Appreciation • Create NEW exciting contents • Put people in the spotlight!
  • Be real! • Authenticity is – The truthfulness of origins, own opinions, attributions, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions • Be real, and acknowledge your followers for following – Be authentic, and acknowledge people that they are now in the social media scene, that they are your followers • Take the time to acknowledge • Be REAL (don„t hide behind a company logo)
  • Put people in the spotlight • People love acclaim • Find good stuff and share it! – Good posts – Good notes on facebook – Good tweets on twitter – Good articles in newspapers • Be part of it and let others be part of it!
  • Create NEW Contents • Be awesome! • Be creative! • Be funny! – (People share more comedies on youtube than news) • Create excitement! • Be positive! • Participate, share and let share!
  • Contact me! • Facebook: Mario Lehenbauer • Twitter: #MarioLehenbauer • Email: mario.lehenbauer@univie.ac.at • Homepage: www.psycho-logic.com • Blog: http://mariolehenbauer.blogspot.com/
  • References Boyd, D.M., & Ellison, N.B. (2007). Social network sites: definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11. Boyle, K., & Johnson, T.J. (2010). MySpace is your Space? Examining self-presentation of MySpace users. Computers in Human Behavior, 26, 1392-1399. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihalyi „The flow experience“. Available via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXIeFJCqsPs Courtois, C., Mechant, P., De Marez, L. and Verleye, G. (2009), Gratifications and Seeding Behavior of Online Adolescents. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 15: 109–13 Davis, F. D., Bagozzi, R. P., & Warshaw, P. R. (1989). User acceptance of computer technology: A comparison of two theoretical models. Management Science, 35(8), 982-1003. Diga, M., & Kelleher, T. (2009). Social Media Use, Perceptions of decision-making power, and public relations role. Public Relations Review, 35, 440-442. Ellison, N.N., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook „friends“: Social capital. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), article 1. Ellison, N., Heino, R., & Gibbs, J. (2006). Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11, 415-441. Fastcompany (July, 2010). Social Networking Affects Brains Like Falling in Love. Available online, http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/147/doctor-love.html?page=0,0 Hargittai, E. (2007). Whose space? Differences among users and non-users of social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 14. Krämer, N.C., Raz, O., & Gloor, P. (2007). „Size really matters – New Insights for Startups‘ Survival“. Management Science, February 2007. Lehenbauer, M. (2007). Internetspezifische maladaptive Kognitionen: Sozialphobie und Problematischer Internetgebrauch (Maladaptive Cognitions Concerning the Internet: Social Phobia and Problematic Internet Use). Unpublished Master Thesis, University of Vienna Nann, S., Krauss., J., Schober, M., Gloor, P.A., Fischbach, K., & Führes, H. (2010). Comparing the structure of virtual entrepreneur networks with business effectiveness. Procedia Social and Behavioural Sciences, 2, 6483-6496. Pempek, T.A., Yermolayeva, Y.A., & Calvert, S.L. (2009). College students‘ social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 227-238. Pew Internet study (July, 2010). Mobile Access 2010. Available online, http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Mobile-Access-2010/Summary-of-Findings.aspx Pew Internet study (August, 2010). Older adults and Social Media. Available online, http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media/Files/Reports/2010/Pew%20Internet%20- %20Older%20Adults%20and%20Social%20Media%20-%20FINAL.pdf Pew Internet study (July, 9th, 2010). Millenials will make online sharing a lifelong habit. Available online, http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Future-of-Millennials.aspx Valkenburg, P.M., & Peter, J. (2007). Online communication and adolescent well-being: Testing the stimulation versus the displacement hypothesis. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), article 2. Venkatesh, V., Morris, M. G., Davis, G. B., & Davis, F. D. (2003). User acceptance of information technology: Toward a unified view. MIS Quarterly, 27(3), 425-478. Vergeer, M., & Pelzer, B. (2009). Consequences of media and Itnernet use for offline and online network capital and well-being. A causal model approach. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 15, 189-210. Zhao, S., Grasmuck, S., & Martin J. (2008). Identity construction on facebook: Digital empowerment in anchored relationships. Computers in Human Behavior, 24, 1816-1836.