Those clever folks over at TabJuice have put together an excellent infographic summarizing the psychological factors influencing social marketing.
Companies leveraging social media to make you buy something are taking advantage of well-known cognitive biases – the mental rules of thumb that speed the decision-making process, though not always in your best interest.
In particular, social media marketing plays on your built-in inclination toward:
- Proof – Looking at the behavior of others when deciding what to do.
- Authority – Believing “experts”.
- Scarcity – If there’s isn’t much available, it must be good.
- Like – You like it because people like you like it.
- Consistency – Reliance on past behavior, especially in the face of something new.
- Reciprocity – Innate desire to repay favors in order to maintain social fairness.