Social Media

Showing up is 80% of life

During the last week, I’ve given myself the task of researching my friends’ behaviour in Social Media (Facebook posts) with the purpose of understanding what motivates their social media postings. To sum up, I’ve come up with five distinct categories:

• Selfies
• Entertainment e.g. Food/Restaurants, Clubs and Parties
• Mood e.g. Quotes, Memes, shared blogs/news or links
• Causes e.g. charity supports, support a cause
• Group pics

According to Paul Fennemore, there are six key drivers of human behaviour: altruism, hedonism, homophily, memetics, narcissism and tribalism. In order to understand each of them, the definitions are below:

• Altruism is defined as the unselfish devotion to the welfare of others
• Hedonism refers to the belief that pleasure is the only or main thing good in life
• Homophily is the tendency of human beings to associate with others similar to them
• Memetics the replication of ideas, habits and beliefs across individuals
• Narcissism is the Excessive fascination with oneself
• Tribalism is a person’s strong feeling of identity and loyalty towards a specific group

In order to make my research simpler, I have grouped together Homophily and Tribalism due to them pertaining to being part of a group. So, for Altruism, I’ll take into account all the causes posts, for Hedonism it’s the Entertainment posts, for Memetics the quotes, for Narcissism the selfies and finally for Tribalism/ Homophily the group pictures.

After checking my Facebook wall and record my friends’ posts during a week, among the five categories, these are the figures:

Research: main drivers social media behaviour

Research: main drivers social media behavior

If we add up the figures for narcissism, hedonism and tribalism/homophily (all related to how good I am, how good I look with others and how much fun I have), it adds up for more than 70%. So, is it all about “me” and my appearance? It could be the case that my circle of friends is a bit narcissistic or maybe can I use this data as a sample to show that we all care much more about how people see us that what we really care about (our beliefs, opinions, causes and interests)?. For brands, this could be a good piece of information when developing a brand positioning or defining a message, our need for social acceptance and our narcissistic nature will define the tone of communication and the selling proposition, but in personal terms do we really care that much about how good we look in front of others? Is it just a western cultural thing? Or is it the modern nature of humans?

The discussion could turn a bit philosophical but this is just up to you. Meanwhile, I’ll think twice when I post in social media 🙂


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