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Psychology of websites and social media campaigns

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Psychology of websites and social media campaigns

It's not only your website’s information architecture that you need to worry about. You also need to think about your website’s psychological architecture.

The big secret behind successful websites is rarely a design feature that you can emulate or a marketing campaign that you can copy. Their "secret sauce" is something conceptual that you cannot directly observe. However, if you understand the psychological architectures that lay behind their success, you'll be able to apply their winning principles to your own work, helping you to build better websites, mobile apps, social media campaigns, or other interactive technologies.

In this session, we'll introduce you to the psychology of online design. We will show you a number of simple principles that you can use to understand website psychology. By the end of this session, you'll be better equipped to understand why some online ventures are successful, and others miss the mark. We will give away a number of research tools that you can use to reverse engineer the psychological architectures behind successful websites, whether you just want to understand how they work, or whether you need to learn from their success to strengthen your own projects.
We'll begin this session by discussing the psychology of human-computer interaction and then highlight some of the popular thinking used to describe the psychology of interactive design. Next, we'll present a communication model that explains how people interact with websites and social media, which also offers a comprehensive system that you can use to explain the psychology of interactive design. We will discuss user psychology, user feedback, media channels, social networks, source factors, messaging, and how messages are expressed.

As an introductory session, we'll just focus on a few principles of persuasive online design. Then we'll review how these principles are commonly used in social media profiles, campaign messages, mobile apps, landing pages, and other examples. We will walk you through the first few examples. Then afterwards, we'll invite you to participate in a group discussions where we explore the psychology behind several popular websites.

Your facilitator, Brian Cugelman (@cugelman) has used the Internet for social change campaigns since 1998, working as a campaigner and evaluator for United Nations agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies. Brian completed his doctorate in online social marketing with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, a world leading team of Internet researchers. Brian's research publications focus on the psychology of online interventions that can influence individual and societal level change. At present, he works in Toronto as a freelance consultant with AlterSpark Consulting (@alterspark), where he provides strategic consulting and research services for online campaigns, projects, and social media engagement.

Based on: http://www.jmir.org/2011/1/e17/

It's not only your website’s information architecture that you need to worry about. You also need to think about your website’s psychological architecture.

The big secret behind successful websites is rarely a design feature that you can emulate or a marketing campaign that you can copy. Their "secret sauce" is something conceptual that you cannot directly observe. However, if you understand the psychological architectures that lay behind their success, you'll be able to apply their winning principles to your own work, helping you to build better websites, mobile apps, social media campaigns, or other interactive technologies.

In this session, we'll introduce you to the psychology of online design. We will show you a number of simple principles that you can use to understand website psychology. By the end of this session, you'll be better equipped to understand why some online ventures are successful, and others miss the mark. We will give away a number of research tools that you can use to reverse engineer the psychological architectures behind successful websites, whether you just want to understand how they work, or whether you need to learn from their success to strengthen your own projects.
We'll begin this session by discussing the psychology of human-computer interaction and then highlight some of the popular thinking used to describe the psychology of interactive design. Next, we'll present a communication model that explains how people interact with websites and social media, which also offers a comprehensive system that you can use to explain the psychology of interactive design. We will discuss user psychology, user feedback, media channels, social networks, source factors, messaging, and how messages are expressed.

As an introductory session, we'll just focus on a few principles of persuasive online design. Then we'll review how these principles are commonly used in social media profiles, campaign messages, mobile apps, landing pages, and other examples. We will walk you through the first few examples. Then afterwards, we'll invite you to participate in a group discussions where we explore the psychology behind several popular websites.

Your facilitator, Brian Cugelman (@cugelman) has used the Internet for social change campaigns since 1998, working as a campaigner and evaluator for United Nations agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies. Brian completed his doctorate in online social marketing with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, a world leading team of Internet researchers. Brian's research publications focus on the psychology of online interventions that can influence individual and societal level change. At present, he works in Toronto as a freelance consultant with AlterSpark Consulting (@alterspark), where he provides strategic consulting and research services for online campaigns, projects, and social media engagement.

Based on: http://www.jmir.org/2011/1/e17/

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Psychology of websites and social media campaigns

  1. The psychology of websites and social media campaigns<br />Brian Cugelman, PhD<br />Online strategy and research consultant<br />PodCamp 2011 (#pcto2011)<br />Ryerson University<br />Toronto, Canada<br />26 Feb 2011<br />
  2. Agenda<br />1. The psychological architectures of daily life<br />2. What is the psychology of the Internet?<br />3. Quick tour of influence systems<br />4. Two simple models to begin with<br />5. Let’s analyse website psychology<br />2<br />
  3. 1. The psychological architectures of daily life<br />3<br />
  4. Have you ever successfully persuaded:<br /><ul><li>Anybody to quit smoking?
  5. A web user to click on a sales link?
  6. A customer to give you a larger tip?
  7. A family member to change their political views?</li></ul>4<br />
  8. Some ways to increase tips<br /><ul><li>Satisfying customers’ needs
  9. Building trust through honest advice
  10. Making a personal connection
  11. Being liked
  12. Doing favours
  13. Target marketing
  14. Sex appeal
  15. Making tipping easy, and forcing higher tips </li></ul>5<br />
  16. With a dependent variable, we all figure out the psychology of influence<br />In person<br /><ul><li>Service industry: tips
  17. Comedians: laughs or boos
  18. Authors: public reaction
  19. Sales person: Sales or door in face
  20. Live musicians: rock or roll</li></ul>Online<br /><ul><li>E-commerce: sales funnel
  21. Social media campaigns: buzz metrics
  22. Non-profit campaigns: donations, volunteers
  23. Software developers: downloads, support calls</li></ul>6<br />
  24. The art of toilet tipping<br />7<br /><ul><li>Greeting with a smile
  25. Showing the tip bowl
  26. Dressing professionally
  27. Holding the door
  28. Ringing the coins
  29. Holding the door again
  30. Handing you a towel</li></li></ul><li>Psychological architecture of toilet tipping<br />ABOVE THE SURFACE<br /><ul><li>What you see and experience</li></ul>BELOW THE SURFACE <br /><ul><li>Social proof, social norms
  31. Memory, attention, focus
  32. Source credibility
  33. Reciprocation
  34. Social proof
  35. Liking</li></ul> <br />What if they omitted reciprocation techniques?<br />8<br />
  36. Psychological architecture oftoilet tipping<br />9<br />
  37. 2. What is the psychology of the Internet?<br />10<br />
  38. Media equation<br />Mediated experiences = real life experiences<br />Human-computer psychology is like human-human psychology <br />People reciprocate to computers (desert survival)<br />11<br />
  39. How technology can persuade<br />12<br />BJ Fogg with social facilitator added <br />
  40. How do you feel about a person who<br /><ul><li>Brags about how great they are?
  41. Belittles others to make themselves look good?
  42. Speaks in confusing terms and can't get to the point?
  43. Prefers to talk all the time, and never allows you to speak?
  44. Makes promises and does not deliver?</li></ul>13<br />
  45. How do you feel about a website that<br /><ul><li>Brags that they're the best in their industry?
  46. Belittle their competition?
  47. Uses complex writing with a confusing navigation?
  48. Has content focused on them, and little that addresses your needs?
  49. Makes unbelievable claims?</li></ul>14<br />
  50. Persuasive websites and social media actors are like persuasive people<br /><ul><li>They’re reputable
  51. They’re likeable with personality
  52. They demonstrate expertise
  53. They appear trustworthy
  54. You understand them easily
  55. What they say is engaging and relevant
  56. They respect you and your time</li></ul>15<br />
  57. 3. Quick tour of influence systems<br />16<br />
  58. Many systems/theories available<br /><ul><li>CAPTOLOGY
  59. Stages of change (transtheoretical)
  60. Evidence-based behavioural medicine
  61. Community-based social marketing
  62. Cialdini’s principles </li></ul>Models: Health belief model, Theory of planned behaviour, Social learning, Exchange theory, etc...<br />17<br />
  63. Some problems with these systems<br /><ul><li>Too many models/theories to choose from
  64. Too many conceptualizations, with numerous overlapping concepts
  65. Big systems group many small techniques under broad concepts, causing over-fit and under-fit
  66. Niche systems are excellent for specific uses, but fail in other domains</li></li></ul><li>Solution: Communication-based Influence Components Model (CBICM)<br />19<br />A system to integrate all persuasion and influence systems into a comprehensive package, suitable to many applications<br />CUGELMAN, B., THELWALL, M., & DAWES, P. (2009) Communication-based influence components model. Paper presented at the Persuasive 2009, Claremont.<br />
  67. Social context (theories)<br /><ul><li>Diffusion of innovations(Rogers)
  68. Personal influence (Kats and Lazerfeld)
  69. Social network analysis metrics (centrality, betweeness, etc..)
  70. Strength of weak ties (Granovetter)
  71. Six-degrees of separation
  72. Viral spread
  73. Social influences (social norms)
  74. Environmental context and resources (Environmental constraints)
  75. Moral appeals</li></ul>20<br />
  76. Source interpreter<br /><ul><li>Credibility (expert, trustworthy)
  77. Attractiveness
  78. Similarity
  79. Liking </li></ul>21<br />
  80. Source encoding<br /><ul><li>Rhetoric
  81. Writing style/clarity
  82. Framing
  83. Psychology of graphic design/layout (human perception)
  84. Eyeball tracking and web heat maps guidelines
  85. Tunnelling (and providing clear sequences)
  86. Reduction
  87. One time vs multiple interactions (relationships)
  88. Foot-in-the-door technique
  89. Door-in-the-face technique</li></ul>22<br />
  90. Media channel<br /><ul><li>Audio
  91. Text
  92. Pictures
  93. Video
  94. Multi-media</li></ul>23<br />
  95. Intervention message<br />Provide information on consequences of behaviour in general, Provide information on consequences of behaviour relevant to the individual, Provide information about others’ approval, Provide normative information about others’ behaviour, Goal setting (behaviour), Goal setting (outcome), Action planning, Barrier identification/Problem solving, Set graded tasks, Prompt review of behavioural goals, Prompt review of outcome goals, Provide rewards contingent on effort or progress towards behaviour, Provide rewards contingent on successful behaviour, Shaping, Prompting generalisation of a target behaviour, Prompt self-monitoring of behaviour, Prompt self-monitoring of behavioural outcome, Prompting focus on past success, Provide feedback on performance, Provide information on where and when to perform the behaviour, Provide instruction on how to perform the behaviour, Model/ Demonstrate the behaviour, Teach to use prompts/ cues, Environmental restructuring, Agree behavioural contract, Prompt practice, Use of follow up prompts, Facilitate social comparison, Plan social support/ social change, Prompt identification as role model/ position advocate, Prompt anticipated regret, Fear Arousal, Prompt Self talk, Prompt use of imagery, Relapse prevention/ Coping planning, Stress management, Emotional control training, Motivational interviewing, Time management, and General communication skills training. Plus exchange offer and trigger.<br />24<br />Abraham, C., & Michie, S. (2008). A taxonomy of behavior change techniques used in interventions. Health Psychology, 27(3), 379-387.<br />
  96. Audience interpreter<br /><ul><li>Knowledge
  97. Emotion
  98. Beliefs about consequences
  99. Motivation and goals (Intention)
  100. Behavioural regulation
  101. Memory, attention and decision processes
  102. Skills
  103. Beliefs about capabilities (Self-efficacy)
  104. Social/professional role and identity (Self-standards)
  105. Nature of the behaviours</li></ul>25<br />Michie, S., Johnston, M., Abraham, C., Lawton, R., Parker, D., & Walker, A. (2005). Making psychological theory useful for implementing evidence based practice: a consensus approach. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 14(1), 26-33.<br />
  106. Feedback message<br /><ul><li>Tailoring
  107. Personalization
  108. Provide feedback on performance
  109. Adaptation/content matching </li></ul>26<br />
  110. The Psychological Architecture of 30 Health Behaviour Change Websites<br />27<br />CUGELMAN, B., THELWALL, M., & DAWES, P. (2011) Online interventions for social marketing health behavior change campaigns: A meta-analysis of psychological architectures and adherence factors. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 13(1), e17. http://www.jmir.org/2011/1/e17/<br />
  111. Using the Communication-based Influence Components Model (CBICM)<br />28<br /><ul><li>Detailed model for analysing online psychology of influence
  112. Guide development of behaviour change, persuasion, or sales technology
  113. Aid discovering problems in your existing work
  114. Help reverse engineer the principles behind a successful website</li></li></ul><li>4. Two simple models to begin with<br />29<br />
  115. First, we need a simple analysis tool<br />Communication-based Influence Components Model is a comprehensive tool for deep understanding. <br />For time’s sake, we’ll use two theories instead:<br />Foggbehavior model (and exchange theory)<br />Cialdini’s six perinciples<br />Powerful for niche applications, but limited in scope<br />30<br />
  116. Motivation by social exchange theory <br />Behaviour is more likely when motivators outweigh demotivators<br />31<br />(-) Demotivaror: Costs, disincentives, barriers, effort<br />(+) Motivator: Goals, carrots, benefit, drivers<br />Value proposition<br />
  117. Fogg behaviour model<br />32<br />
  118. Cialdini<br />Reciprocity - the human desire to repay another person in-kind<br />Consistency and commitment- a person’s desire to be consistent with past behaviour, and how to leverage past commitments to influence future behaviour<br />Social proof- peoples’ tendency to take behavioural cues from their social context<br />Liking- the principle that people are more compliant with people they like<br />Authority- how people are more likely to act on the advice of authority figures<br />Scarcity- how people assign more value to things that are less available<br />33<br />
  119. These theories blended together<br />34<br />+<br />+<br />=<br />
  120. 5. Let’s analyse website psychology<br />35<br />
  121. 36<br />SOCIAL PROOF<br />RECIPROCATION<br />-<br />+<br />TRIGGER<br />
  122. 37<br />+ VALUE PROPOSITION<br />TRIGGER<br />+<br />SOCIAL PROOF<br />SCARCITY<br />SCARCITY<br />SOCIAL PROOF<br />RECIPROCATION<br />LIKING<br />
  123. 38<br />+ VALUE PROPOSITION<br />+ABILITY<br />SOCIAL PROOF<br />-<br />TRIGGER<br />+ VALUE PROPOSITION, ABILITY, TRIGGER<br />
  124. 39<br />LIKING, AUTHORITY,VALUE PROPOSITION<br />SOCIAL PROOF<br />RECIPROCATION, AUTHORITY<br />+ or – VALUE PROPOSITION(depending on the content)<br />
  125. 40<br />LIKING<br />TRIGGER<br />LIKING<br />SOCIAL PROOF<br />TRIGGER<br />LIKING<br />SOCIAL PROOF<br />TRIGGER<br />SOCIAL PROOF<br />
  126. These two models work well for landing and persuasion pages, but you’ll need different tools for social media.<br />The Communication-based Influence Components Model provides a detailed list of concepts and factors that can explain website and social media psychology.<br />41<br />
  127. 42<br />
  128. 43<br />
  129. 44<br />
  130. 45<br />
  131. 46<br />
  132. 47<br />
  133. 48<br />
  134. Thank you. <br />I hope you enjoyed our presentation. <br />If you have any questions, get in touch.<br />Brian Cugelman, PhD<br />Online strategy and research consultant<br />@cugelman<br />www.AlterSpark.com<br />brian@alterspark.com<br />+1 (416) 921-2055<br />Toronto, Canada<br />@AlterSpark alterspark alterspark alterspark<br />49<br />

Editor's Notes

  • We can see that people are easily swayed in some areas, while in other areas, it&apos;s almost impossible to sway entrenched positions.
  • What if they stopped playing with the change?
  • A persuasive experience is sum effect of all psychological influence componentsInfluence components: the individual psychological components that makeup a persuasive experience
  • Personal story of my journey to find the magic list of behaviour change techniques?None exists. Literature is divided up into different systems
  • Behaviour = Motivation + Ability + Trigger

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