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The Psychology of Social Media33:49 with Courtney Seiter
Courtney dives into the science of why people post, share, and build relationships on social media and how to create an even more irresistible social media experience for your audience.
[MUSIC] 0:00 Hey, y'all. 0:06 Oh my gosh, I am so excited to be on this stage. 0:08 So grateful for this opportunity to tell you guys some stories about social media. 0:11 So, we're going to start with this guy. 0:17 His name is Ramin, he's a developer. 0:19 He likes to use Instagram to post photos like these, 0:22 of him doing cool stuff in cool places. 0:25 And he doesn't pay a lot of attention to what his friends are posting, 0:29 he doesn't spend a lot of time liking or commenting on his friend's photos. 0:32 And about a year ago he noticed that this was starting to create 0:36 a rift in some of his relationships. 0:39 So he solved it the way that maybe most of us would like to do, 0:41 if we had the development skills to do so. 0:45 He created a script. 0:47 He wrote a program that would like 0:49 every photo that passed through his Instagram feed. 0:51 Every single one. 0:53 And he ran it for a couple of days. 0:54 And he started to discover some really interesting real world responses. 0:58 Grew his followers by about 30 or so a day. 1:03 He got invited to more parties. 1:05 He got stopped on the street by people who recognized him from Instagram. 1:08 And he said his friends started begging him to post more content. 1:13 He said it's almost like they were frustrated. 1:17 Like they were longing for something to like in return. 1:20 These likes, and posts, and 1:24 comments that we share on social media, they feel so inconsequential sometimes. 1:25 But they mean something. 1:31 They tap into the heart of what makes us human, our anxieties, our desires, 1:32 our fears, our joys. 1:36 And as a result, social media is changing our brains and 1:39 our relationships in ways that we've never really thought were possible. 1:43 What could we do, if we knew more about the psychological basis of 1:47 why we go online, what we want out of those relationships, 1:52 what we want to get from our social media experiences. 1:55 Could we make them better? 1:59 Could we create stronger relationships with our customers and our fans? 2:00 Could we do it in a way that feels ethical and responsible and good? 2:04 That's what I wanted to find out and research. 2:08 So, the first things we need to know are about the chemicals 2:12 in our brain that are active when we're in a social media space. 2:16 Even if you don't work in social media as your main job, 2:19 you might find yourself getting sucked in there from tim to time, and there are two 2:22 main chemicals that are causing this to happen, dopamine and oxytocin. 2:26 We used to think dopamine was a pleasure chemical in the brain, 2:32 mostly because of experiments that scientist have done with rats. 2:35 Where they put this little thing on the rat's head put it in a little box and 2:38 give it a lever to push that would produce a dopamine jolt in the rat's brain. 2:41 So the scientists would watch as the rats would push the lever 700 times an hour. 2:46 They would push it to the point of starvation. 2:50 They didn't want to do anything but push this lever. 2:52 So we thought for sure, dopamine must feel really good to our brains. 2:55 It must feel really pleasurable. 2:58 But the more we learn about dopamine, 3:00 it's not about pleasure at all, it's about desire. 3:02 It's about seeking, wanting, searching, 3:04 and it's really hard to satiate that feeling on social media. 3:07 We get stimulated by dopamine by the exact conditions of social media. 3:11 Little pieces of information that don't really fully satisfy. 3:17 Visual cues, sound cues like the little ticker in your Facebook feed if you have 3:20 a new notification. 3:25 And as a result, studies have shown that tweeting is harder for 3:27 us to resist than cigarettes and alcohol. 3:30 That's the power of dopamine. 3:34 And then there's oxytocin. 3:38 Oxytocin is sometimes called the cuddle chemical. 3:40 It's what's produced when we kiss or hug someone. 3:42 Or when we tweet. 3:44 Ten minutes of Twitter time, replies, talking with friends, 3:47 can spike your oxytocin levels by 13%. 3:51 That's the equivalent of a groom at his wedding. 3:54 >> [LAUGH] >> And all the good feelings that come 3:56 with oxytocin, feelings of love, feelings of trust, empathy, lower stress levels. 4:00 They come with it on social media too. 4:05 Social media users are among the most trusting on all the Internet. 4:08 Facebook users are 43% more likely than regular internet users 4:12 to feel that people can be trusted. 4:16 So we've got oxytocin giving us these great warm fuzzy feelings, 4:19 we're got dopamine causing us to seek those feelings, just keep going with it. 4:22 So we enter what's called a social media loop. 4:26 Find ourselves refreshing, we're always going back, we're looking for 4:29 more content, we're looking for more conversations to be in. 4:33 This is a very familiar feeling for me. 4:36 So I wanted to dig in a little bit to 4:38 what we are actually doing when we're having these social media activities. 4:41 When we like a post what does it mean? 4:45 When we share something of someone's what are we trying to get out of that 4:46 interaction? 4:49 So let's take a look. 4:51 Why we post. It's probably 4:53 not too surprising to hear that humans really like to talk about ourselves. 4:55 When we are in a face-to-face conversation, 5:00 about 30-40% of our time is spent talking about ourselves. 5:02 Online that number jumps to 80%. 5:08 80% of all social media communication is us talking about ourselves, 5:11 our experiences. 5:17 So why does that happen online? 5:19 It's because of a concept called self presentation. 5:21 It should be pretty familiar. 5:23 When we talk with someone in person we know the rules. 5:25 We know etiquette conventions. 5:28 We have to give them time to talk. 5:29 We have to read their facial expressions, create that empathy. 5:31 And it's pretty neurologically exhausting to do that. 5:35 To have that face to face conversation. 5:38 Online, we don't have that problem. 5:40 We're able to take our time, we can construct. 5:42 We can refine, we can make our image exactly what we want the world to see. 5:45 And that feeling is so powerful that just going to your Facebook profile page and 5:49 looking at it has been shown to raise your self esteem. 5:54 So we love talking about ourselves, 6:00 it's the main thing we feel comfortable doing on social media. 6:01 Now, historically, it's been a little tough for 6:04 marketers to figure how that works with what we want to do, which is reach people. 6:06 So one interesting campaign this year was Dove's #speakbeautiful 6:11 campaign they did with Twitter. 6:14 And what they did here was find people who were Tweeting things about their 6:15 self-image, in this case, negative self-image things, like I look fat today, 6:19 or something like that. 6:23 So, they would find these Tweets, and 6:24 they would reply to them with a positive message and the speakbeautiful hashtag. 6:26 This campaign made a lot of waves. 6:31 And I think that one of the big reasons is that it reaches people 6:32 where they are on social media. 6:36 It finds people doing the thing they already are comfortable doing, 6:37 love doing, talking about themselves. 6:40 And it involves them in the conversation. 6:43 Which is sort of like a bigger level conversation. 6:44 It's not trying to sell something, it's sort of a values driven idea. 6:47 Another element of self presentation, that's really interesting for 6:52 marketers might be, it's about stuff. 6:55 We use stuff to find our tribe, 6:58 we use stuff to say, this is who I am, who are you in comparison to that. 7:01 So clothes, games, music, the logo on your laptop or your phone right now. 7:06 This is a very powerful driver. 7:13 So much so that, when I knew I was coming to MozCon, 7:15 I decided I wanted a carry on backpack. 7:17 For some reason, it seemed really important to me, and I've got one, and 7:20 I really like it. 7:23 But I put the whole thing online, 7:24 because it's like the best possible self presentation in the world. 7:26 I literally sat on my couch. 7:29 And got to feel like I was a minimalist world traveler. 7:31 Power of self presentation. 7:34 And as a result, we can have really close relationships with 7:37 brands because of the way we identify with them. 7:40 This really neat study, had people look at photos of their partners and 7:43 their friends and they compared it to their response when they 7:47 look at logos of brands that they love. 7:50 And what they found is that our response doesn't quite get to the level of 7:52 a partner when we look at a brand we love, but it does approach that of a friend. 7:55 So we can feel that strongly about a brand. 8:00 We can have that level of affinity. 8:02 So what this tells me is to really be thinking about what I 8:06 can do with my brand that will feel aspirational. 8:09 It wasn't that long ago that marketing was about imitation. 8:13 Wanting to drive and drink and 8:17 wear what a celebrity told us was a good think to drink and drive and wear. 8:18 Now we want something a little bit more. 8:22 We want to be part of a community, we want to have a role to play, 8:24 we want to feel something bigger when we have these relationships. 8:27 So that means if you're a maker, you can identify with LEGO. 8:31 You can be part of their community. 8:36 You can build your own tool, gather support from their community. 8:38 See your LEGO idea become a reality. 8:43 If you identify with Coke's values of positivity, 8:46 you can tweet using the MakeItHappy hashtag. 8:49 You can be part of that values-driven messaging. 8:51 You can feel like you have a role to play in something larger, 8:54 which is kind of what we all want. 8:58 So, if we love talking about ourselves so much, 9:01 what would cause us to share something of someone else's? 9:03 Again, it goes back to that self-presentation. 9:07 68% of us say we share something in order to help people understand who we are, 9:09 what we're about. 9:14 But an even larger portion of us share in order to strengthen relationships. 9:16 We see something and we say, I wonder what he'll think about that? 9:20 Or, she's gonna have an interesting take on this article. 9:23 We feel that urge to pass it along. 9:25 And in my mind, this means content that's destined for social media sharing 9:27 doesn't really need to be designed for a general audience or even a large audience. 9:32 It can be extremely, extremely specific. 9:36 If you've got a laptop open and the wi-fi is working you can google Buzzfeed and 9:40 the name of your college or your home state. 9:44 You'll probably find an article like this one. 9:48 Sort of a super specific article that you would not think would be something that 9:51 would be hugely shared and yet it's one of their top posts at Buzzfeed. 9:55 And I think it's because when you feel something strongly, 9:59 when you feel the resonance with this article, it's gonna be really hard for 10:02 you not to share it. 10:06 If you've got an association with Minnesota, 10:06 it's gonna tie into your self-identity, 10:08 if you know someone from there you're gonna wanna share with them and 10:10 you're gonna strengthen that relationship through the sharing of that content. 10:13 Another big reason is social currency. 10:18 Our stock goes up when we share something really great. 10:21 People learn to turn to us as someone who has good taste and sharable content. 10:24 So, what does social currency mean exactly? 10:28 It's kind of hard to define. 10:31 I think Mashable does a great job here, you may have seen this velocity graph 10:34 that travels with all of their stories and it's just a little graph that says, 10:38 where is this article in the process of being shared? 10:43 Am I early, do I get to cash in on the wave here, or is this article played out. 10:46 If I share it am I not gonna get much of a response because everyone's 10:50 already seen it? 10:52 So we can look at it at a glance and 10:54 see what sort of social currency will arise from sharing this type of content. 10:55 Now if you wanted to create content with social currency, it seems like the main 10:58 thing to focus on is something that's a little bit novel, a little bit of kilter. 11:04 Something that knocks us off balance, makes us think again about something. 11:08 The dress, which we heard about this morning, is a great example of that. 11:13 We on the Buffer blog had an author who unearthed a really 11:17 interesting research paper for us from the 1970s. 11:21 It's by a guy named Murray Davis and 11:24 he attempts too create a unified theory of what makes something interesting. 11:26 What he came up with is anything interesting attacks the taken for 11:31 granted world view of the audience. 11:35 Just like the dress did. 11:37 We thought we knew blue from white, we didn't, we freaked out. 11:39 We couldn't understand it, everyone shared it, it was huge. 11:42 It attacked what we took for granted. 11:44 I find that sometimes if you're blogging, if you're doing content, 11:47 things that attack the taken-for-granted there can be a little bit personal, 11:50 a little bit vulnerable. 11:54 So challenges, failures, unpopular opinions, anything that sort of 11:56 knocks us off our usual axis and gets us thinking in a new way. 12:01 Those tend to have a lot of social currency. 12:04 On to likes and favorites so, the lightest weight signal of all. 12:08 And yet we spend so much time liking and favoriting. 12:13 44% of us go to Facebook once a day to like something. 12:17 29% of us, I include myself among this, are liking things several times a day. 12:20 Why would we spend that time? 12:25 What do we get out of it? 12:26 I think it's the same reason Rameet created his Instagram Like bot. 12:28 It's relationship maintenance. 12:32 It's a nod that says I see you, I know what you're doing, you're on my radar, 12:34 we're still close, we're still friends. 12:38 And when we do that, we create a reciprocity effect. 12:41 It's very hard for 12:45 us as humans to think someone has done us a favor and we haven't returned it. 12:46 Have those uneven scales. 12:52 Doesn't feel good to us at all. 12:53 A BYU sociologist who was studying reciprocity, 12:55 sent 600 Christmas cards to total strangers one year. 12:58 He didn't know a one of them. 13:01 He got 200 Christmas cards in return. 13:03 >> [LAUGH] >> It's very, very hard for 13:05 us to let that go when we feel that kindness needs to be repaid. 13:08 So yeah, that's a neat position for marketers to be in if 13:12 people are wanting to like more of your content maybe they want to share and 13:15 maybe they want to sign up for an email list. 13:18 There's a lot we can do with reciprocity. 13:20 Commenting, super interesting research here. 13:24 I was really really shocked by this. 13:27 I counted myself among the people who think that building a conversation with 13:28 a fan, a customer, is really important to create that sort of long-term advocacy, 13:33 that affinity that's gonna last the lifetime of a relationship. 13:37 So I was really surprised to find out that consumers don't feel that way at all. 13:41 A study of 7,000 consumers show that only 23% of them believe they 13:47 have a relationship with a brand at all. 13:51 And of those who do, only 13% say that it's because of frequent interactions. 13:54 It's just not the way that they build a relationship. 13:59 They were far more likely to say that shared values 14:03 were the way that they saw themselves creating a relationship with a brand. 14:06 64% of them such shared values or the way that they created that relationship. 14:09 So that's not to say that comments aren't important. 14:15 They can be incredibly so through a concept called shared reality. 14:19 Shared reality basically says we don't experience any event, 14:24 any piece of content in a vacuum. 14:28 We always wanna know what other people are thinking of it. 14:31 It helps us identify our own feelings, or helps us put things in context. 14:33 85% of us say we read comments, and we share comments, in order to 14:37 process information, to make sense of what we're reading, and to understand it. 14:42 And that means comments are really powerful. 14:46 They have the ability to change minds, and the research really bares this out. 14:49 A study on new site comments showed that you could just come onto a website and 14:54 attack the author of an article. 14:59 You could say, this guy has no idea what he's talking about, he's a liar. 15:01 And that, no factual basis for the comment at all, has the ability to 15:03 start swaying readers, it has the ability to change their opinion on a topic. 15:08 Now on the the other hand, 15:13 polite negative reviews is been shown change the way we think about our company. 15:15 We find them to be more honest, more trustworthy, 15:21 when we see polite negative reviews. 15:23 People were willing to pay 41 more dollars for 15:26 a watch when they saw polite negative reviews than when they were removed. 15:28 So what we find here is that comments about you anywhere online, 15:33 your property or not, your authorship or not, they're all a reflection of you. 15:37 They're all a reflection of our brand. 15:43 It's not logical, it's not fair, but it's just the way our brains work. 15:45 So, even if customers don't find that 15:49 the best way to create a relationship with us is through these conversations. 15:52 It's really important because of the shared reality we're all experiencing. 15:56 Any time we see this information, these comments, they become part of 15:59 the context we use to make sense of our relationship with a brand. 16:03 Okay, so that's the basis of the likes and posts and 16:07 I wanted to dive into just a few really interesting social media 16:10 phenomenon that I think are really fun and promising for marketers. 16:14 Selfies, so great. 16:19 There are I think almost 300 million, I checked this morning, we weren't quite 16:21 there, photos on Instagram that were tagged with the selfie tag. 16:25 We love taking photos of ourselves. 16:29 And historically, in the past, if you were wealthy enough to be able 16:33 to be able to have your portrait taken or have your photo taken, it was about power. 16:37 It was about controlling who sees your image, what it looks like. 16:41 So there's a little bit of that that remains with selfies. 16:45 They're also about figuring out who we are. 16:49 There's a concept called the looking glass self that says 16:52 we can't ever really get a full picture of our own identity. 16:55 We really need to see ourselves reflected in others. 16:59 We need those extra pieces to understand the full context of who we are. 17:02 We need that feedback. 17:06 So selfies are a way of kind of exploring that, 17:08 creating that atmosphere where we can get that feedback. 17:10 Also we just really like faces. 17:14 Humans are wired to respond to faces. 17:16 On a social media profile like Facebook, or Twitter, LinkedIn, 17:20 the avatar, the headshot, is gonna be the first place the eye is drawn to generally. 17:24 And on Instagram, photos with faces are 30% more likely to get likes, 17:29 32% more likely to get comments. 17:33 We really, really resonate with faces. 17:36 Some of you UX people might know that faces guide our gaze online. 17:39 We look where they look. 17:43 So it's a great way to point people at important information. 17:44 And even more interesting, faces create empathy, a ton of empathy. 17:49 A really neat study slipped patients' headshots into doctors' files, 17:54 watched to see what would happen as a result. 17:58 And the doctors reported they felt more deeply for the patients. 18:00 They started giving them better treatment just as a result of seeing their faces. 18:04 So, this is a huge element of empathy for us. 18:08 We connect with faces super deeply. 18:11 So, we love taking photos of ourselves. 18:14 We love looking at photos of other people's faces, 18:16 and that means that is a ton of opportunity for brands here. 18:18 If you've got a physical location, it's great to create a selfie station. 18:21 You can pull in some props. 18:26 You can give people a hash tag to use. 18:27 And there's still maybe a little bit of vanity, 18:29 maybe a little bit of embarrassment around taking a selfie in some places. 18:31 So if we can push through that, 18:35 maybe encourage people to have a little fun with it. 18:36 Great things can result and that's great content you can use anywhere. 18:39 Online, you can have a lot of fun with it too. 18:44 I saw that Wisty and 18:46 Inbounce are doing the cool selfie with a stranger campaign this week. 18:47 That's like a perfect example of using these selfies. 18:50 And, these photos are from museum selfie day. 18:54 Where, once a year, everyone's encouraged to go out to cultural institution or 18:56 a museum, take their photo. 19:00 It's a great way to spread awareness about a cause. 19:02 You can have a photo contest. 19:04 It's a lot of fun. 19:05 And, you can use them to humanize your brand. 19:08 This empathy that they create really can't be overstated. 19:10 As soon as I read that research about empathy I started thinking about all 19:14 the places we could put faces on our website. 19:17 So in our emails, Tamara, who did a talk yesterday 19:20 about lifecycle email marketing was kind enough to mention buffer in a few slides. 19:25 She's right, we put faces everywhere. 19:30 We've got them in our invoice email and our welcome email. 19:32 We've started experimenting with animated GIFs in our social media rapport. 19:35 So if you have a really good week in social media, 19:39 you might get an animated GIF of one our teammates doing a happy dance for you. 19:42 It's just a way to have fun. 19:47 To remind people that when you're dealing with a brand, you're dealing with humans. 19:48 Emoji, any emoji users out there? 19:53 Any emoji addicts? 19:56 Yeah, it's fun. 19:57 So when we talk to each other face to face we do something that we might not even 19:59 recognize. 20:04 We mimic each other's facial expressions, you smile, I smile. 20:05 It's called social contagion and 20:09 it's a really big way to build social connectiveness. 20:11 Online we really didn't have a way to do this, and do emoji. 20:14 Now, 74% of us in the U.S. use emoji, emoticons or 20:18 stickers regularly and 6 billion emoji are flying around the globe every single day. 20:23 And what this is has done is create a new brain pattern within us. 20:28 When our brain see for example, a smiley face emoji. 20:34 They react the same way as if we were looking at a human face. 20:38 Our mood changes. 20:42 Our expression might change. 20:44 And this is not something we were born with. 20:45 This is something that our brains have created in the past couple of years 20:47 as a response to emoji and emoticon, fascinating. 20:50 And it's changing our speech a little bit too. 20:55 Instagram where about half of all posts, and comments include at least one emoji 20:57 has found that as emoji become more prominent slang has followed. 21:02 So words like fleek, and bay, and LOL and stuff like 21:07 that they're being replaced with the emoji that sorta signifies that same thing. 21:10 They're changing our language pattern. 21:14 And all this is important because emoji are often a sign of social media power and 21:17 influence. 21:23 A study of 31,000,000 tweets found that emoji were one of the common elements of 21:24 social media power users, influencers. 21:28 Another study had people chat online with different types of experts. 21:32 And they found that the people who are rated the highest in both competence and 21:35 friendliness were the ones who are using emoji. 21:41 They really connect with us. 21:44 So, if you wanna become emoji fluent, I know I do, 21:47 Instagram is a great place to go. 21:50 They basically have an interactive encyclopedia of emoji 21:52 in that you can search an emoji just like a hashtag. 21:55 Can see exactly who's using them, what they're using to signify. 21:59 These are some of the top emoji as of May, I believe. 22:02 If you wanna dive in really deep, you can check out Genius.com, the annotation site. 22:05 They've got an entry like this for every single emoji, so 22:10 you can learn a lot there Emoji are great for email, as well. 22:14 This is data from MailChimp, where the top 15 emojis by subject line appearance. 22:18 And they really stand out in a crowded email inbox. 22:23 They pack a lot of emotion into that email subject line. 22:25 And finally there are some folks who are doing it in a really big way 22:29 with branded emojis. 22:34 These are Ikea's up here with the little Swedish meatballs in the corner. 22:35 So, Coca-Cola has done this. 22:40 Ikea, Burger King, Comedy Central. 22:42 And what's really interesting here is that, 22:45 if you really typing in that self identity, that self-expression, people 22:46 don't see this is advertising and they see it as part of their self-expression. 22:50 It's just really powerful. 22:54 Finally, there's Nostalgia. 22:57 Social media moves so fast. 22:59 Digital marketing moves so fast. 23:01 Sometimes we wanna slow it down. 23:03 Sometimes we wanna go back to a simpler time that may or may not have actually 23:04 existed, but we still feel it, because nostalgia is a universal feeling. 23:08 Most of us feel about it once a week, maybe more often than that, and 23:13 when we do It feels good. 23:16 It's tinged with a little bit of melancholy but 23:18 it harkens back to that feeling of being loved, being trusted, being protected. 23:20 And that feeling changes how we feel about money. 23:24 People who are asked to recall a nostalgic event are more likely to 23:30 give money to a cause, and they're more likely to pay more for a product. 23:33 Now in social media nostalgia can be really hard to come by. 23:39 The Twitter firehose moves so fast, the Facebook algorithm switches things around, 23:43 so you post something you may never see it again. 23:48 As soon as your content become an hour old, it falls off the cliff. 23:50 Jonathan Wegener who said this created the app called Timehop. 23:54 It's gonna pull those images, those memories back into your life, 23:58 give you that nostalgic feeling. 24:02 Facebook this spring followed suit. 24:04 They have on this day now which is a similar app that's gonna take those 24:06 nostalgic memories from years ago, it's gonna put them back into your feed. 24:09 So you can have that great feeling of nostalgia. 24:13 Instagram on the other hand, 24:17 there we create nostalgia from the moment we take a photo. 24:19 We're able to give it that old timey look the CPR, the black and white, and 24:21 some of those old film stock feelings. 24:25 And when we do this we speed up the process of nostalgia, and it 24:27 creates this craving for more and more of it that brands are really tapping in to. 24:32 Miller Lite produced their throw-back packaging last year, raised sales for 24:37 the first time in seven years. 24:41 Mad Libs, anybody play Mad Libs when they were little, on car trips? 24:43 So now it's this retro app, it's had 5.5 million downloads, huge. 24:47 And everyone's favorite, Trapper Keeper maker, Lisa Frank has teamed up with 24:51 Urban Outfitters, and they're selling rare vintage notepads from the 80s and 90s. 24:58 The 90s, I'm nostalgic now. 25:03 [LAUGH] Which is sort of, scary. 25:05 But also sort of great, because you don't have to have hundreds of years of 25:09 brand history in order to tap into nostalgia. 25:12 All you have to do is figure out that time period that your audience is gonna have 25:15 those warm and fuzzy feelings for and tap into that. 25:18 Weave it through your writing. 25:23 Weave it through your campaigns. 25:24 Use those hashtags, Throw Back Thursday, and 25:25 Flashback Friday to have a little fun with it. 25:27 So in wrapping it up here, but I would not be very honest with you 25:32 if I came on here and talked about the psychology of social media and 25:37 I didn't mention the negative side. 25:40 I didn't talk about the research that says social media is making us more lonely, 25:41 more isolated, more depressed. 25:47 And the research bears that out, it's true. 25:49 With the caveat that social media is just a medium, it doesn't do anything. 25:51 All it does is tap into our existing human tendencies. 25:56 And sometimes that can be enough. 26:00 For example, social comparison. 26:03 It's very common it's very natural for us to compare ourselves against others, 26:05 our friends, people who are our same age. 26:09 Figure out sort of our self worth. 26:12 How we're doing in life, a little bit of it makes total sense. 26:14 A lot of it can be really damaging to your self esteem and 26:17 self worth and you guessed it. 26:20 We're doing a lot of it on social media. 26:22 You go on Facebook the algorithm is gonna prioritize those really important events. 26:26 They don't want you to miss a friend's wedding or new baby or 26:32 new job announcement. 26:37 So we're gonna see those kind of items again and again in the feed. 26:38 And it kind of gives us this feeling that we're comparing our regular day 26:41 against someone else's best day, all the time. 26:44 This doesn't just happen on Facebook. 26:48 Psychologists are really interested in Instagram envy. 26:50 This feeling of, 26:54 you've got that one friend whose always on vacation, it seems like, on Instagram. 26:55 You just see nonstop beautiful vacation photos while you're doing you're work or 26:58 something else that's sort of mundane or boring. 27:02 And Pinterest, a study of 7,000 mothers in the U.S. found that 42 percent of them say 27:06 that they have Pinterest stress you guys, Pinterest stress! 27:10 [LAUGH] >> They don't feel crafty or 27:13 creative enough when they see what's on Pinterest. 27:16 I totally relate to this, I've had some Pinterest fails. 27:19 A study by the Girl Scouts said that 74% of girls think that 27:22 their peers more social media to make themselves look cooler than they are. 27:27 So this is going all the way to the kids, as well. 27:30 It can be really hard for us to realize that other people are doing just 27:34 what we're doing, using social media as a highlight reel. 27:39 We tend to attribute other people's success to their personalities. 27:42 Well, we don't do that to ourselves. 27:46 So it's giving us this weighted feeling that can be really hard to lift out of. 27:47 This photo, these Twinkling holiday lights, 27:53 very last photo 19 year old college student Madison Holleran 27:57 posted to her Instagram feed before she killed herself an hour later. 28:01 Her friends had no idea she was depressed, 28:07 they saw what she posted online, thought she was fine, they thought she was happy. 28:10 She and her best friend scrolled their Instagram, 28:14 they would look at photo of girls that they knew, girls they wanted to know. 28:17 And they would say, this is what college is suppose to be like, 28:20 this what we want our life to be like. 28:24 Our brains betray us sometimes and 28:26 make us feel like everyone has it easy, we're the only ones having a hard time. 28:29 Social media can make it worse. 28:34 But social media can also be a great well of empathy. 28:37 If you've ever shared something about a loss or a challenge on social media, 28:39 you may have been surprised by that great flood of love and 28:44 support that comes back to you. 28:47 Often from people that you wouldn't have expected it from. 28:48 Social media time is correlated with virtual empathy. 28:53 So, spending time there allows us to make that connection with people. 28:56 That can actually translate into real world empathy, 29:00 that can be used to connect with people. 29:02 Have you ever wondered why animals go so viral? 29:04 You always want to share animal stories GQ did, they interviewed 29:08 some of the people at BuzzFeed who work on their animals content. 29:13 And they said, why do we share dogs and cats? 29:16 Why is this the Internet's number one favorite thing? 29:18 And the BuzzFeed editors said they had a theory. 29:22 They said the content that we share about animals, 29:23 is often not about animals at all, it's about humans. 29:26 It's about humans fostering, rescuing, protecting, caring, doing the right thing. 29:30 Our empathy for animals they said, it's us at our best. 29:36 Social media can null at our insecurities can suck us in but, 29:42 I think at its core, it's about the good. 29:45 It's about finding it in ourselves. 29:48 Recognizing it in others. 29:50 Sharing it. 29:52 Being a part of it. 29:52 Passing it along. 29:53 Brands can be a big part of this. 29:54 A big positive element here. 29:56 If they're willing to be vulnerable along with us, 29:58 to be human with all the messiness, craziness that comes with that. 30:01 Social media's at its best when we remember it's about humans. 30:05 Thank you. 30:10 >> [APPLAUSE] 30:11 >> Some wise words there. 30:20 I wanna simplify it for a second. 30:22 So, 80% of the time people are self-identifying online. 30:24 Taking it out at the brand level, 30:29 some people are asking, Ashrain on Twitter asks, 30:30 should brands also spend 80% of their time talking about themselves on social media? 30:34 And this is a big question, people wonder this. 30:38 >> That's a great question. 30:40 Yeah, I don't even know that 30:41 regular humans should spend 80% of our time talking about ourselves. 30:45 That seems pretty high to me from a standpoint of being a well rounded person 30:48 with friends and a lot of things going on. 30:52 So, yeah, I think my answer to that would probably no. 30:55 Especially, if you can tap into that impulse that people wanna 30:59 talk about themselves. 31:02 It's that Dale Carnegie thing, let people talk about themselves and 31:02 that's the sweetest sound that they'll ever hear. 31:06 >> It's scary for brands to share content from other sites, but 31:09 you're saying that's totally okay. 31:12 >> Yes, I am. 31:14 >> So that sort of also gets into a question a lot of people have 31:16 about frequency. 31:20 Buffer, you guys post huge numbers, social shares on your post and 31:21 part of that has to be frequency, talk a little bit about that process, 31:26 how do you pull those huge social sharing numbers? 31:29 >> Yeah that's a good question. 31:31 Frequency is a big part of it. 31:34 Some of the research that I wasn't able to fit in here, 31:36 talked about why we follow people on Twitter, why we follow people somewhere. 31:38 And one of the things that really turns people off is what they call, 31:42 in the scientific studies, burstiness. 31:45 This idea of like, 31:47 we only hear from you once a day from like 5 to 5:30 when you're on Twitter. 31:48 And the rest of the time we never, ever hear from you. 31:53 So we talk a lot about consistency at Buffer, 31:55 this ability to be on the same schedule. 31:57 People can kind of know that you're gonna be on throughout the day. 32:00 They can talk with you. 32:02 That content is sort of always coming at a regular frequency and 32:03 we find that really helps a lot to build an audience. 32:06 >> Yeah so we started sharing more on Moz, 32:09 Megan Singley over there started tweeting a lot more. 32:11 >> Hey, Megan. 32:16 >> And we found a huge increase in readership because of that. 32:16 And for ever one person that said hey, you guys are posting too much, 32:21 we found 500 people who said, wow, I've never seen this before. 32:24 >> Yeah, it's this thing where, if you've been on Twitter a long time, 32:27 you might remember a time when you could read your entire Twitter timeline feed. 32:30 I remember when I could scroll through the whole thing and be like, I'm done, 32:34 I read Twitter, but now that's the craziest thing to be able to do. 32:37 No one is on Twitter that much and 32:40 if you're following any number of people that's an impossible experience, so 32:42 our appetite for that content is pretty much always gonna be there. 32:45 And, and not a plug, but Buffer is really good for scheduling that stuff. 32:49 >> Thanks. 32:53 >> Okay, this- >> I'm tweeting right now, 32:53 it's supplementary resources, while I'm on stage. 32:55 >> Yes, okay, Rand asked, how do I stop social comparison mentality? 32:57 Cuz that's a huge issue for a lot of people, 33:03 reading Techmeme every day is like a psych nightmare for founders. 33:05 >> Reading what everyday? 33:09 >> Techmeme. 33:10 >> Oh, okay. 33:11 Yeah, man I don't know, that's such a good one. 33:12 It feels like a little bit of it is fine, and a lot of the studies I saw said that 33:17 you can really lessen the effects of it if you're not a lurker. 33:21 If you participate in the communities, if you sort of have that back and 33:25 forth mentality with people. 33:29 It seems like that social comparison that brings you down tends to happen the most 33:31 when you are a silent participant and not being part of the conversation. 33:35 So maybe that's one way to work on that. 33:39 >> All right, Courtney Seiter, thank you very much. 33:42 Hope you. >> Thank you, this was amazing. 33:44 >> [APPLAUSE] 33:46
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