95% of decisions are considered preconscious. In fact, the majority of decisions we, as humans, make are automatic or based on “gut feel”, rather than conscious decision making.
So then why are so many businesses building websites for consumers who view and act based on their rational brain? This is the question Tim Ash (@tim_ash) posits during his SES Chicago session “Beyond the Click: Conversion in the Social World.”
The human brain, shaped by thousands of years of evolution, is highly influential on our online decision making. So marketers must look for opportunities to make the conversion process as intuitive, consistent and automatic as possible.
Taking the evolutionary approach, here are five strategies for increasing conversions in a social world, from Tim Ash.
Strategy #1: Make Sharing Easy
For behavior to occur, three things have to be present at the same time: motivation, ability and trigger. If a consumer has the motivation and ability to share, but no trigger, they will not convert. In an online experience, the key is to put triggers in front of motivated people.
So what are triggers for social conversion?
- “Like us on Facebook”
- “Tweet this Phrase”
- “Write a Review”
Triggers make social microconversions automatic or “preconscious”. And microconversions will lead the consumer down the path to the sale.
Strategy #2: Humanize the Computer Experience
Over half of the human brain is dedicated to processioning visual content. Human faces are especially salient when it comes to emotional resonance and processing visual content.
Think about how that impacts our experience on a website. What is going to be more powerful to the consumer?
3 paragraphs of text on the screen? Or an actual human telling us to take action?
As consumers, we experience video content on a website as a realistic human experience. Even if we may find it annoying unprompted, our brains still process this content more quickly and emotionally than text on the page and make us more likely to convert on the page.
Strategy #3: Demonstrate Social Proof
Humans are innately social and therefore highly influenced by those within our “tribe”.
This means that we are more likely to take an action on a page if we know that someone from our tribe already took that action. To businesses this may translate to integration with Facebook, so consumers can see which of their friends like or have purchased a certain product.
The demonstration of social proof may seem like a small thing, but testing can demonstrate this type of integration is highly influential on conversion rates.
Strategy #4: Go Wide and Deep and Measure Everything
Since social media is still a fairly new medium, many businesses are still only measuring “Facebook Likes” or “Twitter followers”. There are so many, more meaningful metrics than this benchmark. For example:
- Click throughs
Measure everything. The more sophisticated metrics may very likely deliver a different story and have the potential to better measure the impact of social on business value.
Strategy #5: Fight Massive Filtering with Content Domination
There is so much clutter in today’s market place. So how does your business cut through the clutter to compel the consumer to stop filtering your messages and start paying attention?
Of course – you should be creating some awesome content. Content that is interesting and accessible, so that it makes it past our preconscious brain and into conscious consideration.
In addition to that – businesses should not be afraid to recycle content. One piece of content, like a webinar, is an opportunity to create 10 additional content pieces: webinar, video, SlideShare, blog posts, transcripts, eBooks, social sharing, etc.
The proliferation of this content gives your business that many more opportunities to get past the consumer filter and truly connect with them.
Social media has clearly impacted the strategies of conversion in the online world. Despite the new media, as marketers, we should still be thinking about the aspects of human behavior which have impacted humans for thousands of years.
Rather than fighting against human nature, use what you know to your advantage. For conversions this means, always thinking in terms of what make the action easiest, most compelling and most intuitive.
Has your conversion strategy changed in a social world?