Social Media, Peer Pressure and The Like Button

How peer pressure online is as much of an influence as it is in real life and applying it to your business strategy.

When you are conducting your marketing strategy using digital media, it is very helpful if you take real life psychology into account as well. Peer pressure seems to be something that stays with a person from kindergarten, through to adulthood and even rears its head on social media.

Social media is almost like putting human nature under a lens and focusing it. This is because the amount of people who are interacting at one time takes socialising to the next level. When there are 1.7 million followers on Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter, it means that a massive amount of people are seeing the same information and sharing it on such a large scale, that all social and marketing methods before social media are dwarfed in comparison.

Social media like social politics in real life is as complicated in terms of how people are persuaded and why. As a business person looking to use digital media as a means to market your brand, you will be duly concerned with how to capture people’s responses in the direction that will lead to an increase in your revenue.

The Like button on Facebook is a powerful tool for marketers according to some research done by HP Labs. HP Labs computers scientists, including online behaviour researcher, Bernardo Huberman, asked 600 participants to answer a few simple questions about online photos. Each participant had to choose between two pictures and make a choice, for example which poster they preferred out of the two.

The test was rigged so that whichever one they chose, the other picture would show that is was more popular by receiving more Likes. The participants were then given the opportunity to change their minds. This resulted in a change in the number of Likes each picture got, and the participant was subjected to waiting for a different length of time before making a choice which affected the final decision.

This shows that the Like button and essentially what is popular can sway a person’s decision in preference and choice. Time is also of the essence in social media politics as it is in all areas of digital media as we live in a very ‘of the moment’ relevant era.

The result of this experiment was 22% of people were swayed by the peer pressure. However, this was true, only if there was a long gap between the first and second chance. Given the chance to change their mind straight away, only 14% of participants did so.

More interesting though is that people were more likely to change their mind if the participants on the other side showed the picture to only be semi popular. If the other option showed a really strong opposition, the participant on the other side would become stubborn and keep their original choice when it came to their second chance.

Reporters and Political Blogging

In the old days it took a lot to start a new agency! You would most likely need a degree in media broadcasting, certifications with the FCC and other agencies, a lot of money to get a studio and news station and so on and so on and so on. Not anymore! Now you have the power of the blogosphere by your side. You can start your own news agency in a matter of a couple of clicks by starting a blog. A lot of amateur bloggers are using their blog to invent their own media brand. Some report the news while others focus on political events throughout their localities and the world.

So if you are ready to be the next big anchorperson with your own news or media brand, why not do it the less expensive way and start a blog instead? You can build up an entire news network with your blog especially when your blog gets very popular.

The best way to start out is to discover your niche in media reporting. Maybe it’s telling movie news? Or maybe it’s making the news about all current events? Or maybe you cover politics? You need to find your niche, focus on it and then build a brand out of it. Your brand may be a certain way of giving the news. For example, if you run a political news blog, you may make posts about politics that make you angry and rant and rave to ensure that the reader will always get that sort of story.

One thing you do need to understand though is that you need to make sure the content is unique. Never take another news article and post it as your own because it’s unethical and you can even get sued for it. Besides, this is a chance to make a name for yourself and possibly start selling news article like the Associated Press does.

So get out there and make your own news blog! You can even go national news like CNN and Fox and have sections for current news, local news (great for getting other bloggers on your blog), weather, sports and more. Just think about it! You just need to make sure you get a lot of traffic so that your blog starts to get more viewers. One of the best ways to do this is to share your blog with your friends and family and have them share it with others as well.

Starting a Political Social Media Campaign

There is no doubt that social media has become a necessary part of any political campaign. Campaign budgets are always tight and social media is probably going to give you the most connections per money spent than any other medium-that is, if you do it right.

There have been numerous examples of how the use of social media and the Internet made a long shot challenger into the campaign victor. So how does a candidate employ the channels available to them to become the overall winner?

  1. Start early. Even if you’re just thinking about getting into politics, start a Twitter account and an open Facebook Profile. Work at making relevant connections. Not having connections in your social media channels is a lot like announcing your intention to run for prime minister of Canada to a huge empty stadium.

Connect and engage with people in the geographic region you’re thinking about politicking in. Show up to special events and demonstrate how active you are in your community. Take pictures and post them online. Basically, use the channels at your disposal to demonstrate yourself as an active and interested member of society.

  1. Join groups and online chat boards in your area and be an active member. Tweet about issues that are important to the community and elicit reaction. Be active in the conversation which demonstrates that you have a genuine interest in the community in which you want to serve – getting your name around is crucial.
  2. Optimize your social media channels. Make them all interconnect and tweak them for the best keywords. It’s so terribly time consuming having to post the same content multiple times in multiple networks and in multiple channels, so make it all automatic. Take the time to optimize your postings for keywords so your content will be more easily found when someone is looking for the keywords in search engines.
  3. Authenticity If you’re not authentic, you can stop here and choose another line of work. The key to social media is authenticity. Your personality has to shine through in your communications. People want to connect with you, the person running for office, not a talking head on the television or YouTube video that looks and sounds an awful lot like a politician. Online is a place where reputation is everything and it takes time to build an online reputation so make it solidly your own.
  4. One word: Transparency. I have rekindled my interest in politics recently and I’m following a story about a member of our federal government who made a small edit in a federal document. At first she said she didn’t, and then she said she did. That was over a month ago and the political storm is still raging within the House of Commons. Now, imagine if a politician with a large online following was caught trying to obfuscate the facts, not in front of other politicians, but in front the people who have elected them and are paying them to be there. Again, reputation is everything online and if you’re not transparent about your actions, you can be certain of a non-elected position after the next election.
  5. Tweet on Twitter. The new mayor of our city is a social media master. He is authentic and genuine, and he does his best to involve people in his everyday life as mayor of our city. If you’re an interested citizen, you can follow him on twitter and find out that he is actually doing something for the tax dollars we are paying him. Now he’s in council chambers, later he’s at a steering committee meeting, and this evening he’ll be practicing with his punk band for the upcoming Earth Day concert. Never before in history can the average citizen have an insight into the daily life of our political figures on a daily basis. This could be a double edged sword, but if used correctly, you won’t get a reputation of being lazy or getting paid to be a politician and moonlight at your law practice as well-that is, if you’re not.
  6. After you win the election, stay connected. Those people who voted you in want to know that you’re doing what they elected you to do, so let them know. Send them pictures of the buffet table at a charity fund raiser, tweet about the difficult negotiations at the budget meeting, post some articles of interest in Facebook. What you’re really doing is securing your victory at the next election.