A Future for Facebook?

At a lunch with friends the other week, the discussion turned to everyone’s most addictive pastime--social media.  And no discussion of social media can go by without some mention of Facebook.  Everyone discussed how old they were when they created an account, and how often they post.  It turns out, in a sample size of about ten people in their twenties, most created a Facebook account in eighth or ninth grade, and most don’t post very often at all.  Most had an Instagram, but don’t post there that often either.


But when you compare these results to a slightly younger cohort, things get interesting.  My younger sister is 19, and has a very different relationship with Facebook.  To her, Facebook seems like a vestige of the past.  She uses Facebook to keep tabs on friends she already has and maintains her page by updating her profile and cover photos.  She writes birthday notes on friends’ walls, but that’s about it in the way of Facebook content creation.  Rather, she posts often on Instagram.  This trend is not encouraging for the once unparalleled social media giant.  How is it that my sister who is only a few years younger than me experiences Facebook in such a different way?  How and when did Instagram begin taking over the market?  Is Facebook doomed to MySpace status?

The timeline is like this: MySpace was created in 2003, Facebook was created in 2004 and ultimately completely wiped out MySpace, and Instagram was only created a few years ago, in 2010, but already has 700 million users.  Facebook’s most common age demographic is ages 25 to 34, at 29.7% users, and Instagram’s most common age demographic is teenagers ages 13 to 17, with 23% of girls and 17% of boys on the app.  Right now, kids in this age range, 13-17, are primarily posting on Instagram, and perhaps streaming their photos to Facebook as an afterthought.  I’m always intrigued when I see these photos on Facebook that are streamed from Instagram.  I can’t imagine this is ideal for Facebook--it doesn’t seem like a sustainable way to maintain a website’s content.

It’s hard to say where Facebook will be in a few years.  But judging from MySpace/Facebook, and Facebook and Instagram’s primary age demographics, it seems to me like Instagram is taking the upper hand.  Better start thinking of clever captions.

By: Ilana Weinberger

The Psychology behind Marketing: How to Influence Consumers and Boost your Social Media Popularity

Human behavior has long been studied and researched. Here are 5 Psychological phenomenons that explain how to influence consumer behavior. 


1. Social Proof

Social Proof, also known as the as informational social influence is the effect that describes when people will copy the actions of others in order to follow the "correct" behavior for a given situation. This can easily be translated into customer reviews, when a consumer sees other happy purchasers rating the product 5 starts, they too, will want to buy the good product. 


2. Color

Multiple studies have been done to see the influence of color on the decision making behavior of consumers. The Von Restorff effect, also known as the isolation effect, is a phenomenon that predicts that whatever stands out is more likely to be remembered. Over 50% of a consumers buying decision is made on color alone. Make sure that your company logo is unique and has a good color scheme!


3. Reciprocity

A study done by Dr. Robert Caldini in 2002 showed that waiters' tips would increase by 3% if customers received an after dinner mint, and by 20% if they have the customers two mints! When delivering the second mind, the waiter would look at the patron and tell them it was specifically for them. 


By giving the customers something more personalized, from a note pad with their name to an email, they will feel happy and want to return the sentiment, greatly benefiting your company.



4. Decoy Effect

The Decoy Effect is a phenomenon where consumers will change their preference between two options when a third, skewed option is dominated. For example, a magazine description describing these three options were given to a consumer:

  • Online subscription: $59
  • Print subscription: $125
  • Online and print subscription: $125

When presented with these options, the third one was chosen majority of the time. The print subscription was placed there as a decoy, to influence consumers to choose the bundle for the supposedly better deal. 


5. Scarcity

In social sciences, scarcity can be used to measure consumers behavior. Consumers tend to place a higher value on products that scant versus those that are in high supply. When at a cafe, people tend to choose the cookie that has two left compared to the full container. Plane tickets or clothing will go by faster when you see "Only three left!"