On safari to emotions in social media
Social media still feel like wild, untamed animals for many organizations. That is why we recently went to social media strategy safari with the staff of a large financial institution. During a safari the zoom lenses emerge, and you can not escape a search for the 'big five'. A first thought was to look at the five largest platforms, but yes, how exciting it is to watch Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, the news is off
Social media still feel like wild, untamed animals for many organizations. That is why we recently went to social media strategy safari with the staff of a large financial institution. During a safari the zoom lenses emerge, and you can not escape a search for the 'big five'.
A first thought was to look at the five largest platforms, but yes, how exciting it is to watch Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, the news is off. Fortunately, more and more people are interested in what social media really does to you. Because that is really fun: social media touch us, activate us, trigger emotions. That is why we decided to explore the most important triggers for (heavy) emotions in social media during the strategy safari. The nice thing is that we know all these triggers from everyday life, but that they appear to be extra-impact with social media.
In physical life we can subtly turn our backs slowly towards people who we do not (any longer) find interesting. They belied too much, too thoughtlessly or too little. You have outgrown them or simply abandoned them. Social media force you to make that choice hard and binary explicit: I will defeat you! Unfolding appears to be a trigger of emotions. Both for those who escape - relief often gains from shame - as well as for the one who is being defeated: disappointed and amazed.
Getting attention via 'retweet' or 'like'
Social grooming is our human need to continually confirm to each other that we appreciate the other person. We do this, for example, through a friendly smile, 'good mornings' or a nod as you walk past your colleague's desk. Social media offer a wonderfully accessible way to continue this online. With a subtle and simple click on the Like, respect or retweet button you also give the other attention. And what do we like to find, what is it addictive, to confirm each other again in this way. Although I hear more and more people sigh: but where is the real, sincere attention, time for each other, that is much more than the nod or the click.
Enjoy the view
The most important argument that enthusiast users of social networks always use to enthuse others is that which you feel when you click - mostly unexpected - a link in your timeline that leads to a beautiful viewpoint, a brilliant article or an appealing movie. "Otherwise I would never have found this!". Euphoria.
"It's out in the open for everyone"
Most Emerce readers will hardly be able to remember, but for many people the first time you post a message, out in the open for everyone, is still an exciting experience. During the safari at the big financial institution I saw in the eyes of a self-assured, highly educated lady the euphoria and satisfaction mix with uncertainty and slight fear: Can anyone see this now? And how do they see that? And what are they going to do with it? Can I be addressed here? The unexpected consequences - both positive and negative - make it exciting, attractive. Or are the main motive for the self-censorship that people impose online.
The feeling that it needs to be done. There is more, that also has to be done. If you look at your social media timeline with that approach, you feel the panic coming. Because it keeps flowing in, in rich abundance. Great reading tips with beautiful viewpoints, attention in all shapes and sizes, infinite, addictive. Stifling?
Thinking from (these big five) triggers for emotions you get social media out of the non-commitment. It offers something to think about how you want to communicate and build relationships. Because what does it really mean when 0.52% of C & A Facebook fans click on 'like' C & A update and are twice as good as the industry average of 0.26%? What happens to your social media policy if you sincerely try to understand what it would do if you as an organization 'unfollow' your customers? Then it also becomes clearer what 'follow your customers' means, which viewpoints you share, your contribution to infobesitas. My sincere conviction is that following this human measure helps to tame social media as 'wild and untamed animals'.
*) Author: René Jansen, passionate storyteller at Winkwaves and wrote earlier on Emerce about the social safari.