Friday, February 11, 2011

The Psychology of Facebook: Implications for Social Commerce

Nice post from Paul Mardsen via Social Commerce Today, on the why's of facebook usage

Thinking of using Facebook as a social commerce platform? Then it can help understand the social psychology of the Facebook user. Here are 7 evidence-based insights from recent psychology research into why we do what we do on Facebook (to learn more, check out Jeremy Dean’s wondrous PysBlog – an Aladdin’s Cave of practical insight)
  • It’s all about ‘Social Capital’, baby: Facebook is used to manage social capital – the power, privilege and possibilities we have by virtue of the social networks we are part of. Ellison et al. (2008) found that Facebook users had higher levels of ‘social capital’ – in other words more ‘friends with benefits’. Social Capital is a BIG concept in understanding social media – more in upcoming posts. How could social commerce help improve the social capital of Facebookers, whilst helping them shop smart with their social intelligence?
  • The Facebook 7s. Tap into one or more of the 7 core Facebook activities (‘uses and gratifications‘) identified by Joinson (2008). Note: connecting with or buying from brands and businesses is not one of them)
    1. Connecting (with People)
    2. Participating (Group Behaviour)
    3. Sharing (Media)
    4. Using (Apps)
    5. Updating (Status Updates Sharing/Learning)
    6. Surfing (People – Virtual People Watching)
    7. Investigating (People – Social Surveillance)
  • The Disinhibition Effect: Facebook disinhibits people – they say, share and do things they wouldn’t share, say or do in face-to-face situations. Nosko et al. (2010) found that young, single people were particularly likely to disclose sensitive information about themselves. How could you use the ‘disinhibition effect’ to build a revealing social commerce strategy (think blippy)
  • Beautiful People: Walther et al. (2008) found that attractive friends boosted the perceived attractiveness of participant’s profiles (unlike the contrast effect in real life). Boost the attractiveness of Facebookers by helping them mix with beautiful people.
  • The magic number of 150: People can manage relationships with 150 people – and Tong et al. (2008) found Facebooker’s social attractiveness peaked at around this number. Help people manage relationships.
  • Jealousy: Compulsive Facebook usage is a sign that your partner may be a jealous type (see social surveillance above): Muise et al. (2009) found that participants who spent more time on Facebook were more jealous of their partner. Opportunity to build apps that play on partner paranoia?
  • The Truth is Out There: Strangely, people tend to be honest about themselves on Facebook: Back et al., (2010) found that Facebook profiles generally reflected their owner’s actual rather than idealised selves. Harness honesty in social commerce.

1 comment:

professional web design melbourne said...

Now we are using facebook as a social commerce platform. Some people suggest facebook strategy should be about deals and shopping, not ‘engagement’, conversations, relationships or any. Everyone on facebook should participate in a two-way conversation. User reviews, including the ability to upload pictures of your product in use is a great forward-selling point.