Motivational Drivers Of Social Networking


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A topline analysis and understanding of the emotional drivers of social networking

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Motivational Drivers Of Social Networking

  1. 1. The Motivational Drivers of Social Networking Photo source: Jeffrey Heer, Stanford University by Steve Massi
  3. 3. Background • Social network growth continues
  4. 4. Background • 26% of American adults use social networking services, with younger cohorts much more likely to use SNS than older cohorts* *PEW – Social isolation and new technology, 11/2009
  5. 5. Background • One third (35%) of American adult internet users have a profile on an online social network site –4X as many as four years ago • Still much lower than the 65% of online American teens who use social networks Source: PEW – Adults and social networking sites, 1/2009
  6. 6. Background • But usage and share are concentrated
  7. 7. Background • Facebook growth is exploding* – 400MM active users – 35MM users update status daily – Avg. user has 130 friends – Avg. user sends 8 friend requests/month – Avg. user spends 55 minutes/day on site – Average user becomes a fan of 4 Pages each month – Average user is a member of 13 groups *
  8. 8. Background • 19% of internet users now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to see updates about others* – This represents a significant increase over previous surveys in December 2008 and April 2009, when 11% of internet users said they use a status-update service *PEW: Twitter and status updating Fall 2009
  9. 9. Background • MySpace* –Avg. app. 54.8MM users/month • YouTube** –Every minute, 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube –Fifty-one percent of YouTube users visit weekly or more often –52 percent of 18-34 year-olds share videos often with friends and colleagues • LinkedIn*** –50MM+ members –Adding 1 new member/second * ** ***LinkedIn blog
  11. 11. Reasons for using social networks • Online social network applications are mainly used for explaining and maintaining personal networks, and most adults, like teens, are using them to connect with people they already know Source: PEW – Adults and social network sites, 1/2009
  12. 12. Reasons for using social networks • An important difference between social networking sites and earlier forms of many-to-many conversations such as chat rooms and blogs is that social networking sites are predominantly based on social relationships and connections with people, rather than a shared interest* *, 4/2008
  13. 13. Reasons for using social networks • DISCOVERY – for self-development or to learn from others • ALTRUSIM – to help others make the right decision or become involved in the brand’s product decision • SOCIAL – to connect to the like minded, reinforce tribal identity or gain a sense of belonging • FAME – for personal notoriety or to challenge their ability against others • ESCAPISM – for entertainment and an escape from the daily routine • EXPRESSION – as an outlet for their imagination or expression of personal identity Source: TMW social media research 4/2009
  15. 15. Underlying drivers of motivation • Are social networks here to stay or just another technology fad? • A deeper understanding of human motivation may answer this question
  16. 16. Underlying drivers of motivation • Abraham Maslow’s, A Theory of Human Motivation, identified the key building blocks of human motivation: 1. Physiological needs - food, air, water, homeostasis 2. Safety needs - safety, shelter, basic stability 3. Love needs - love, affection, belongingness 4. Esteem needs - self-respect, self-esteem, esteem of others 5. Self-actualization – desire for self-fulfillment Source: A.H. Maslow, A Theory of Human Motivation, 1943
  17. 17. Underlying drivers of motivation • These needs are often expressed visually as a hierarchy of needs
  18. 18. Underlying drivers of motivation • Expressed as a hierarchy due to perceived stacking of each • Generally, lower level needs must be satisfied to some degree before next level need begins to exert itself • But this is not a fixed rule: – “There are some people in whom, for instance, self-esteem seems to be more important than love.” – “There are other, apparently innately creative people in whom the drive to creativeness seems to be more important than any other counter-determinant.” – “Perhaps more important than all these exceptions are the ones that involve ideals, high social standards, high values and the like. With such values people become martyrs; they give up everything for the sake of a particular ideal, or value.” Source: A.H. Maslow, A Theory of Human Motivation, 1943
  19. 19. Underlying drivers of motivation • Additionally, there is a false perception that a lower level need must be completely satisfied before a higher order need exerts itself • Here are Maslow’s thoughts on this subject: – Degree of relative satisfaction. – “So far, our theoretical discussion may have given the impression that these five sets of needs are somehow in a step-wise, all-or-none relationships to each other. We have spoken in such terms as the following: "If one need is satisfied, then another emerges." This statement might give the false impression that a need must be satisfied 100 per cent before the next need emerges. In actual fact, most members of our society who are normal, are partially satisfied in all their basic needs and partially unsatisfied in all their basic needs at the same time. A more realistic description of the hierarchy would be in terms of decreasing percentages of satisfaction as we go up the hierarchy of prepotency…” Source: A.H. Maslow, A Theory of Human Motivation, 1943
  20. 20. Underlying drivers of motivation • Maslow also identified a set of higher order, B-values, that motivate during the self-actualization phase – Wholeness: unity, integration, one-ness – Perfection: necessity, just-right-ness – Completion: ending, finality, destiny, fate – Justice: fairness, orderliness, oughtness – Aliveness: process, spontaneity – Richness: differentiation, intricacy – Simplicity: honesty, essentiality – Beauty: Rightness, form, aliveness, simplicity – Goodness: rightness, desirability, benevolence – Uniqueness: idiosyncrasy, individuality – Effortlessness: ease, grace, lack of strain – Playfulness: fun, joy, amusement – Truth: honesty, reality – Self-sufficiency: autonomy, independence Source: A.H. Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being, 1968
  21. 21. Underlying drivers of motivation • Let’s compare recent insights on social network usage with Maslow’s hierarchy Reasons for usage • Discovery • Altruism • Expression • Fame • Social relationships, connections w/people • Stay in touch w/friends • Make plans w/friends • Make new friends
  22. 22. Underlying drivers of motivation • Summary: –Needs for connection, friendship, love, respect and acknowledgment from self and others are an essential part of the human condition and growth –Once lower order needs are fairly met and sustained, people seek out higher order needs, or B values, related to fulfillment, goodness, truth, etc. –Online social networking enables people to more easily and more fully satisfy their needs for connection, esteem and self-actualization
  24. 24. Implications for brands • Social networking is here to stay –It is part of the human condition • Social networks provide an opportunity to increase the depth, not just number of relationships • Ideas and platforms, not tactics, will drive 2-way communication, engagement and connection
  25. 25. Implications for brands • Engagement will require a level of openness and transparency brands are not accustomed to –Clear goals, strategies, responsibilities and on- boarding, are mandatory • Brands will need to become more human and flexible in their interactions –Consistency, not rigidity • Maslow’s insights on human motivation provide a roadmap for engagement
  26. 26. Thanks Please RT if you enjoyed this! • Steve Massi • • • •