The Psychology of Online Influence


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Despite the plethora of social channels and unending releases of more powerful technology, we are still at heart cavemen and cavewomen.

We still have the same basic instincts and brain patterns as our ancestors who emerged from Africa 100,000 years ago which is why social media channels are so successful. They fulfill the age-old desire to sit around the campfire and share stories and information. Social media and technology don’t change that instinct. They amplify it.

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The Psychology of Online Influence

  1. 1. ThePsychologyof OnlineInfluence The Breakfast Club 27th March 2012
  2. 2. The cavemanbehind thecomputer
  3. 3. Social media channels are so successful becausethey fulfill that age-old desire to sit around thecampfire and share stories and information. Socialmedia and technology don’t change that instinct.They amplify it.
  4. 4. We are allindividuals I’m not!
  5. 5. The Caveman Consumer in…Which Waterhole?
  6. 6. #1 Influence Who do you trust?
  7. 7. “I trust people I know”
  8. 8. “I trust people I don’t know”
  9. 9. Trust your customers
  10. 10. Trust your staff
  11. 11. #2 Keep it Simple
  12. 12. Get visual
  13. 13. “Our lives are composed of millions ofchoices, ranging from trivial to life-changing and momentous. Luckily, ourbrains have evolved a number of mentalshort-cuts called heuristics and biasesthat allow us to quickly negotiate thisendless array of decisions”.Wray Herbert – “On Second Thoughts”
  14. 14. #3 Get Emotional
  15. 15. How we make decisions 95 % System 1 (Non-rational brain) 5 % System 2 (Rational brain)Source: Daniel Kahneman, Nobel for Economics, 2002
  16. 16. “Emotion leads toaction,while reason leads toconclusions”Donald Calne, neurologist
  17. 17. #4 The journey hasmany paths
  18. 18. Nudge people
  19. 19. Scarcity
  20. 20. #5 A numbersgame?
  21. 21. Freemium
  22. 22. Collaborate
  23. 23. #6 Make them feelgood about theirchoice
  24. 24. “When people feel confidentabout their decisions two thingshappen. First they derive moreutility from the product, andsecond their excitement makestheir decision contagious”Professor Baba Shiv: Sanwa Bank, Limited,Professor of Marketing,Stanford Graduate Business School
  25. 25. 6 steps• People trust people• Keep it simple• Get emotional• Faciltate the journey• Quality not quantity• Continue the journey after purchase.
  26. 26. But it still all comes down to story-telling
  27. 27. "We fixate on the latesttechnologies and the outerreaches of cyberspace, butforget that there is acaveman or cavewomanbehind the mouse and thekeyboard".Michael Gilbert,Senior Fellow at theCenter for the Digital Future,
  28. 28. Martin Talks• @Talksy••