Psychology of Digital and Social Networks

Let’s spark some thought for the week after the (short) July 4th holiday and (hopefully) a lot of celebrations well into the weekend… How much do marketers relate back to the psychology elements to marketing? At BCM, we have been discussing this a lot as of late. It’s intriguing to think about how much psychology and social behavior plays into how digital as a medium overall (especially social media) has grown over (a short period of) time.  As an agency, we should ensure that we’re always at the forefront of that conversation given we should be the ones having those strategic conversations with our clients.

So, let’s deep-dive a little bit into what that really means and what some studies are looking at. There was an article done in June 2012 by Emma Barnett about how “Women ‘more attracted to social networking sites;”, which really isn’t anything new per se (as there were studies done even 10 years ago around this subject matter). But, the differentiation now is that there is new research proving that there is a widening gap between the way men and women are using the Internet, so we’re starting to see that gap close. Women aren’t being “more social” than men any longer.

The psychology around social networks isn’t new either, but what obviously has happened is that we’ve taken all that exists in the offline world, and brought it to the online world.  That’s the beauty of how simple it really is at the basis of digital and social coming together as it is today in major ways.

The way that humans interact and the way that we are in our personal lives has very strong relevance as to how we can predict and analyze how target audiences act online. The American Psychological Association put out an article last month called “Wired to connect: Evolutionary psychology and social networks” by Benjamin S. Crosier, Gregory D. Webster and Haley M. Dillon.

This article states, “With the advent of technology that promotes these connections, our innate propensity to connect at a large scale is changing the way we live. From mundane communication to meeting the love of one’s life to inciting political revolutions, network ties are the conduits by which information and resources are spread.”

By understanding this on a more basic level, we believe that social networks and social network analysis can help us predict what the future of social networks can be.  So, here is the question, what do you think is the next shift in the social meets digital world?


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