Understanding and respecting digital consumption psychology and the role it plays on Facebook is crucial to the success of your organic reach. When you’re conscious and aware of this psychology and behaviour, you can begin to amplify, hack and gamify your organic reach.
Personally, I’ve spent the last 12 years using social media – Yes, I was rocking a Friendster Account on my parent’s 56k Dial Up before Myspace was “cool”. Professionally, I’ve spent the last 7 years working in social media marketing, tirelessly devoting myself to working out how to best amplify, hack and gamify my client’s content on Facebook. In this time, I’ve come to notice there are two main reasons people use social media (specifically in this article – Facebook).
1. To Socialise (Creep)
It’s called “social” media for a reason.
Facebook has built their global success on a very simple value proposition. Their platform gives their users the ability to digitally socialise and connect with their loved ones through the content they post and the opinions they share.
Being conscious of this value proposition is crucial to understanding how to create successful organic content on the platform. When you log onto Facebook with the intent of socialising, your behaviour will be focused on doing exactly that – i.e. catching up and connecting with your loved ones, sending personal messages, wishing people “Happy Birthday”, learning about events etc.
So when an advertiser enters your Newsfeed and attempts to distract you from this your intentions (for the purposes of shoving product or advertising down your throat) it’s likely their message will either fall upon blind eyes or be met with extreme apathy.
2. To Escape, Procrastinate or be Entertained
Social media undeniably offers its users escapism and procrastination in the form of free entertainment. From click baiting headlines such as “Ricky Gervais: Comedian Criticizes Hunter Rebecca Francis for Posing With Dead Giraffe” in its Trending Feature to the latest viral video at the top of your Newsfeed, Facebook gives its users the ability to lose themselves in a downward spiral of clicks that can span hours at a time.
When you’re stuck in this mind set, it’s likely you will be more receptive to the content that has been shared by Facebook Pages (providing it’s of quality). Even still, this doesn’t mean you gave consent to have your day’s pointless procrastination hijacked for commercial gain (well not knowingly anyway…)
If you want people to care about what your Page has to say on Facebook, you have to provide content that is as entertaining as it is engaging. One of the best ways to do this (no matter what type of business you have) is to provide value.
Related: Facebook Marketing Strategies
What is providing value?
Providing value to your community on social (for the purpose making sales) is akin to a TV Network providing free to air content to their viewers (for the purpose of generating advertising revenue).
The value you provide through your social channel is the reason people stay connected with you, in the same way your desire to watch TV Series is the reason you were willing to sit through commercial after commercial (in the days before On-Demand TV).
The more people are connected to you, the more they will Like, Comment and Share your content organically with their friends.
The more your content is shared, the higher your Page’s engagement level becomes, which means – you guessed it – the more organic reach you will receive.
If the value you’re providing is subpar, you can expect your community to grow tired and bored of the content you are sharing.
This type of behaviour isn’t a new concept that came about because of social media. It’s just basic human psychology. All this digital consumption behaviour is doing is mirroring the analog consumption behaviours from yesteryear.
Think about it, if you were following a TV Series back in 2002 and it started becoming dry, predictable and repetitive – you would stop tuning in. Why? Because the TV show’s value proposition changed – it no longer provided you with value or entertainment – so really, why would you waste your time? Just like a TV Series from 2002, you must ensure your Facebook Page is constantly providing your viewers with value. If you don’t, your community will stop tuning in, it’s that simple.
How do I provide value?
Value has a different meaning to all of us – what is one man’s trash is another man’s treasure (and all that).
One common misconception I often hear when I talk about about providing value is the belief that:
Providing Value = offering discounts, freebies or coupons (in an attempt to bribe your community into liking you).
While there is a time and a place to provide value through discount and coupon promotions, it is often met with apathy and disinterest from your community (unless the value is undeniable). I would advise steering clear of this strategy as one of your main areas of focus. Oh, and if you do decide to try your luck with it, I strongly recommend implementing it by following the Pareto Principle.
The best way to teach you how to provide value through your social channel (without running a workshop with you in real life) is to revisit our TV analogy above.
Let’s assume you operate a night club within a specific music niche that caters to a certain demographic. In the interest of simplicity, lets say you play the Top 100 of the minute and your main business comes from 18 – 23 year olds. Analogically, your night club could think of itself as MTV, and you could think of its Facebook Page as a Premium Cable TV Channel.
Question: In order “stay on the air” (read: sell advertising units and promote products), what kind of “shows” (read: content) would your night club have to “broadcast” (read: share) on your Channel.
Answer: Shows that entertain, provide value, engage your audience and motivate them to return for more.
Literally speaking, this concept would manifest itself in the form of a Social Strategy, built on the following examples of content pillars:
- Professional yet natural, watermarked photos of those that attend each week, uploaded in a timely manner (leverages innate vanity, voyeurism, socialising and “creep” motivators to incentivise people to return to the page)
- Entertaining, crowdsourced Snapchat content from the previous night (this leverages the power of sharing native content that capitalises on pseudo celebrity status within a community while also Talking the Target’s Talk)
- Easy to digest, quick to read Event Information (we are living through an era of collective ADHD; if you want your message to be heard, you better make it easy to digest and quick to process)
- Bar / VIP Card Competition where you trade Likes/Comments on a Post for your customer’s chance to win a Bar Card or VIP Experience (just make sure you do this according to Facebook T&C’s and your State’s Gambling / Liquor Licensing Legislation)
Actioned correctly, these content pillars will form a solid foundation that will support engagement and foster a positive brand sentiment.
Once you start spiking your Page’s engagement levels through providing undeniable value, you will be rewarded with increased organic reach and word of mouse awareness across your target audience.
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