Social — It’s All About The People

Something that really stuck out to me when I first met John Bell and the team at Ogilvy was the true science and deep thinking behind the social media programs they were activating for some of the world’s best known brands. Sure, it is very sexy when you hear of strategists working with brands from Ford to IKEA to Gap and all in-between (all are Ogilvy clients).  But what really struck me was their respect of the science of human behavior and how they were applying this thinking to get at what actually compels us to participate, recommend and take part

There have been countless theories on the topic, and no one single theory of influence prevails. For the sake of this thought, if you want a speed read on the science of influence, check out this recent post from Dr Paul Marsden at Social Commerce Today.

Two years on with the launch of Social@Ogilvy, I can’t help but continue to think about the power of the human connection, the science of persuasion, the teachings of Robert Cialdini and others, and how I witnessed that in full force during the full day of panels and presentations we hosted today.

Some examples:

  • Trusted friends participated in panels we hosted because  of the power of personal connections. People prefer to say yes to those they like (Influence driver = liking)
  • Staff at Ogilvy attended our panels to hear from experts with authority in the social media world (Influence driver = authority)
  • Other Ogilvy people logged in remotely because they saw people like them were also doing so (Influence driver = social validation)
  • Senior executives joined us because they understood that this event was taking place on one day only (Influence driver = scarcity)

I could go on. The takeaway for us as social media marketers and brand stewards?

Social media is not about the latest shiny new object, the platform everyone is talking about or the innate desire to “do something on Facebook“. It is, and always has been, about human behaviors and the power of influence – as John Bell referenced in his keynote at Bloomberg to kick off Social Media Week today.

Be consistent, insightful, informed, thoughful, relevant and timely in all of your activations and you will always win in social. In any communication for that matter.

Because we are all only human after all. Whatever the platform.