Marketing to the Facebook Fixation

You’re on Facebook, I’m on Facebook, we’re all on Facebook. The massive numbers of users is one of the primary reasons so many companies across all industries have flocked to the social media platform to reach their target audiences. Facebook has responded by adding all sorts of ad types, custom audiences, and budget optimization tools for you to take advantage of.

But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why Facebook is so popular in the first place? I mean I love goofy videos and creeping on all high school classmates as much as the next guy, but that can’t be all there is to it can it? There has to be something that accounts for its popularity. Some people can’t seem to go five minutes without checking in or posting something. It’s almost like it’s a drug. As it turns out, it kind of is. At least in the way your brain processes the information and the chemical reactions that occur.

The Facebook Drug

 
You read that right. The Facebook drug. There have even been a few scientific studies done on the subject. Research done by California State University-Fullerton seem to indicate that our interactions on social media help actually trigger some of the same chemicals commonly linked to pleasure and addiction.

For instance, when you post something on Facebook like a photo, then someone gives it the ole thumbs up and likes it, it triggers a release of dopamine in your brain. That’s right, dopamine. Sometimes referred to as the feel-good hormone, dopamine is what is called a neurotransmitter and when released in your brain it leads to overall good feeling, pleasure, and depending on the amounts possibly even euphoria.

This same dopamine release is caused by all sorts of other substances we commonly refer to as drugs. Things like tobacco, cocaine, heroin, and even some sorts of food all trigger dopamine and that release of the feel-good hormone leads to repeat usage or addiction.

So, what am I saying here? Is Facebook evil? Of course not. Facebook and other social media platforms have managed to connect us around the world like never before. But to fully understand how to use Facebook you have to first understand why it’s become so successful.

Harness Emotion on Facebook

 
I recently wrote an article called Effective Marketing Tells a Story. In that article I talk about storytelling and how it affects us as humans. Essentially our brains don’t just interpret a story, but they actually respond to a story as if it wasn’t just hearing or seeing a story unfold, but as if that situation was actually happening to you.

This is important because when the brain reacts this way it’s as if we have gone through an experience. Experiences provoke emotion and our emotional responses shape our perceptions. For instance, my little brother used to love the live action version of 101 Dalmatians. In that film, Glenn Close portrayed the villain Cruella de Vil. Now though I don’t know her personally, I’m sure that Ms. Close is a very nice person in real life. My brother, however, can not stand her to this day. Even though he knows she’s not an evil puppy murderer and was just playing a part. Why? Because when he was young and watching the film his brain reacted to what was on-screen and evoked an emotional response that ended up shaping his preference. In this case his distaste for Glenn Close.
Cruella "Woof Woof"
Source: Giphy

What does my little brother’s weird aversion to an actress who starred in a movie two decades ago have to do with anything? Well it illustrates just how effective emotional storytelling and in a broader sense emotional responses can be.

People don’t continuously check their Facebook page simply out of habit. They do it because the platform has managed to evoke and reinforce emotion (and pleasure through dopamine). That’s what you need to try and achieve with your marketing. You want people to identify with the story you’re telling. If you’re really good at it you may even be able to make a lasting impact like my Glenn Close example.

Keep Them Coming Back for More

 

Make them come back for more
Source: Giphy
Whether they initially meant to or not, Facebook and other platforms have stumbled onto an almost guaranteed method for success. Social media has the ability to make people feel good. That jolt or sense of approval every time someone comments or likes your post or photo just makes you that much more likely to come back.

That’s exactly what you need to strive for in your messaging. Placing that content on Facebook and using targeted marketing techniques you set yourself up for success. Facebook offers a multitude of options to help you reach exactly the audience you’re after. If you need help getting started reach out to our team here at Randall-Reilly and they’ll be happy to work with you.

By crafting entertaining and engaging stories you can begin to shift their perception of you or your product in a positive light. Nurturing and retargeting on Facebook (where we know they will continually visit) gives you the chance to do exactly what Facebook itself has done. Establish a relationship with the user that evokes good feelings and encourages them to check back with you often.
 

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