Got Social Mediology seeks to bridge the connection between psychology and social media marketing for more effective and marketing that costs less.
As marketers can attest, psychology plays a huge influence on what we buy and why we choose to buy something. Marketers know, for example, that offering something at $9.99 instead of $10.00 actually makes the deal more attractive. Why does this happen? Jay Izso, psychology professor and business consultant, seeks to connect psychology with social media to help business owners in the book Got Social Mediology?: Using Psychology to Master Social Media for Your Business without Spending a Dime.
Got Social Mediology begins by pointing out the unique paradox that social media plays in marketing a business. On one hand, social media provides a free platform for interacting directly with the people who have the cash (aka customers) without going through an expensive mediator (aka marketing firm).
On the other hand, engaging in social media doesn’t always lead to financial profits. As discussed in the book, an IBM study found that social media directly influenced less than 1% of sales!
What Leads to this Discrepancy?
The short answer is the complexity of humans. We don’t run to buy everything we see on TV, but we will probably purchase something if a family member recommends it. A better explanation is that social media doesn’t work like any other marketing tool used before. In the current marketing environment, customers have more control over the marketing they receive and respond to. Business owners must compete on a global scale. In that kind of environment, what is a small business owner to do?
Jay Izso believes the answer lies in psychology, specifically in a concept he defines as social mediology. As defined by Izso, social mediology is the “study of social media from the perspective of psychology”. The book serves as an introduction to his proposed way of helping the small business owner get more sales out of their marketing budget. The review was based on a review copy of the book.
The Techniques: Getting to the Brains Behind Social Media
The concept of Got Social Mediology builds off the basic premise that the relationship between customers and the business world have changed. In this marketing environment, the rewards don’t always go to the business who has the largest marketing budget or the most creative advertisement. The rewards go to the business who invests in relationships directly with the people that matter, customers. Developing that relationship provides unprecedented new opportunities for businesses, but it also poses new risks.
As an example, businesses can recruit customers to extend and enhance their marketing campaign, but the same customers can also sabotage a marketing campaign. Navigating through this new environment requires understanding both sides of the equation.
While most of us have heard the “develop a social media relationship with your audience” speech before, Izso’s book delves into the psychology part of the equation. He seeks to understand basic, but important, questions about social media. What makes a customer want to “Like” your Facebook page? Why do so many customers consider advertising annoying? Why do some businesses thrive on social media while others fail? Understanding the “why” behind social media with help business owners understand “how” they can use it effectively.
Understanding is only half the battle, however. The latter half of Got Social Mediology delves into the application of those psychologcal theories for social media success. The book guides readers through recommendations and best practices for all of the major social media brands: Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, Google+, and Twitter. Each chapter covering social media concludes with a “Try This” (activity), “In Sum” (summary), and “The Lowdown” (additional summary).
The Verdict: Great for Beginners, Too General for Experienced Social Media Users
Social Mediology is uniquely designed for the small business owner who is interested but a little afraid to jump into social media. With that audience in mind, the author writes from the very perspective that he advocates in the book. The author writes in a very personal style with anecdotes, opinions, and humor sprinkled throughout the text. While the book is heavy on personal perspective, it is surprisingly light in another area. Readers will be hard pressed to find statistic-heavy psychological studies. Instead, the book features a few key points gleaned from research and then goes on to explain the results. This aspect of the book creates a book that can discuss various psychological theories with the ease of a business conversation.
That being said, this book may be too general and too basic for more experienced social media users. Based on the title, I expected case studies showing how social media improved a businesses’ bottom line. Specifically, I was looking for concrete examples from small businesses that were able to use the book’s principles for marketing success. While this is alluded to, the book focused more on generalities than the specific tips that a more experienced social media user might look for. This lack of generalities is also present in the psychological research, which only demonstrates a basic connection between psychological theories and marketing strategies. For most business owners, this will be fine. For others, a trip to the ample resources provided at the back of the book might help provide more information.
Overall, Social Mediology serves a great introduction for those small business owners who need a little more incentive to jumping into the social media arena. It effectively demonstrates the new mindset that business owners need to survive in the new marketing environment. It is written in the language and perspective from someone who knows the common concerns of business owners can break down psychology to the general concepts leading to success.