10 Cognitive Biases and How They’re Impacting Your Social Media Campaigns

    Visioneer Digital Marketing Agency
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    Let’s face it – everyone likes to believe they are a completely rational and logical being by nature. However, the truth of the matter is that both our subconscious and conscious minds are immeasurably complex and as a result, we are often subject to biases that we aren’t even aware we have. Have you ever gotten into a situation where you realized your thinking was a bit biased? Don’t worry if you have – you’re definitely not alone.

    The truth of the matter is that we all have a number of cognitive biases, many of which we are often unaware of.

    So, what exactly are cognitive biases in the first place, you ask?

    Cognitive biases are essentially fallacies or errors that we all tend to make with regards to rationalization, memory and reasoning. These biases often lead us into making irrational decisions or judgments due to the fact that we are all too often undeniably influenced by a multitude of subconscious factors that we have built up as a result of our life experiences, preferences and beliefs.

    The bad news is that as a marketer, cognitive biases are always going to be an impediment for you. However, the good news is that through educating yourself and becoming more aware of the various cognitive biases we all often possess, you can effectively craft smarter, savvier marketing campaigns.

    This article will give you the breakdown on 10 cognitive biases and also provide you with various tips, tricks and tactics you can use to overcome them in your audience.

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    1. Attentional Bias

    What it is: Attentional bias, much as its name implies, deals with our attention and how our perceptions on a subject are often profoundly impacted by our recurring thoughts.

    What this means for you: Generally speaking, when it comes to attentional bias, familiarity breeds…content. That’s right. The more often a customer is exposed to your brand, products or messages, the more likely they are to convert. When it comes to marketing – don’t just stop with social media. An omni-channel approach is not only beneficial, it’s quickly becoming the standard.

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    1. The Availability Cascade

    What it is: The availability cascade deals with the availability of information to an individual. This is a “self-reinforcing process” where belief tends to be increased through “repetition in public discourse”.

    What this means for you: This means that your target demographic is more likely to trust your brand when they have repeatedly been exposed to other individuals who have had experiences positive experiences with it. The thought process here is that if someone says it – it must be so. The bottom line is that it’s all about generating a buzz. Use smart tactics such as affiliate marketing or influencer marketing to leverage the influence of others and get them talking about your brand.

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    3. Post-Purchase Rationalization

    What it is: Post-purchase rationalization is the tendency that humans have to justify a decision such as a purchase once it is completed.

    What this means for you:This rationalization is done in an attempt to counteract feelings of buyer’s remorse – something that everyone experiences in some way, shape or form after a purchase. You as a business can help overcome buyer’s remorse by making your customers feel good about their purchases and interactions with your business after the fact. Automated email campaigns are the best way to do this. Send your customers a message thanking them for their purchase, or better yet, offer them a discount on their next one.

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    4. The Cheerleader Effect

    What it is: The cheerleader effect is the tendency we have to view subjects as “more attractive” when in a collective group as opposed to alone.

    What this means for you:This is particularly pertinent when it comes to customer testimonials. While you may be extremely excited about the first positive feedback that you receive, don’t jump the gun on posting it on your website, social media or blog. The truth of the matter is that one single vote of confidence may actually work against you. Wait instead until you’ve cultivated a group and then post several testimonials together instead.

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    1. The Peltzman Effect

    What it is: This particular effect deals with our tendencies to take risks when we feel that the environment in which we are taking action is safe.

    What this means for you: Your audience is going to be much more likely to convert into consumers if they feel that you are a safe choice. There are numerous ways you can build up trust in your target demographic’s mind. For instance, make sure that you’re using an SSL encrypted website (https). You can also take the time to research and identify which trust badges are most effective and take steps to install them on your website to give your consumers the peace of mind that their private information and data are secure.

     

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    1. The Decoy Effect

    What it is:This is another bias that deals with our tendencies to misjudge matters in an environment of comparison. Specifically, it deals with the prospect of us having options. For the purpose of this article, we’ll call them Option A and Option B. What happens is that when we are introduced with a third option that is similar to our second option (Option C), we tend to automatically show a preference towards the second, middle option (Option B). This tendency is so strong that we often make this choice regardless of whether or not Option C is truly a better option in the first place.

    What this means for you: This is a great cognitive bias to leverage when it comes to exhibiting your pricing structures. Let’s say for instance that you currently offer one plan or price for a specific product or service. By offering a less costly option and then an upgraded option, you can essentially influence your audience to show preference for your current price point. This makes them feel as if they are in more control of the buying process than if you were to simply present one single price and as a result, positively influences their experience with your brand.

     

     

    1. The Focusing Effect

    What it is:The focusing effect deals with tendency to place a great deal of importance on one specific aspect of a subject. While we have the ability to focus on multiple things at a time, the truth is that we also tend to prioritize these things and assess a greater deal of value on a single component.

    What this means for you:This means that when it comes to marketing your products, brands or services, keep in mind that you don’t want to give your audience a major case of information overload. All this does is negatively impact their experience. Instead, focus on one unique quality or aspect that will substantially benefit your customers in some way, shape or form and drive that quality home.

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    1. The Distinction Bias

    What it is: This particular cognitive bias deals with our tendency to view things as more dissimilar when compared side-by-side than when compared or evaluated on an individual basis.

    What this means for you:If you really want to take advantage of this cognitive bias in your social media marketing strategy, then doing a side-by-side comparison of your competitor’s brand, products or services is the way to go. The truth of the matter is that you don’t necessarily have to be mountains ahead of your competitor in every way in order for this to be effective. You could simply excel in one particular area and highlight this for maximum effect.

     

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    1. The Hot-Hand Fallacy

    What it is:This bias deals with our tendencies to overestimate subjects who have previously demonstrated or experienced some form of success in the past. We then incorrectly assume that because this is the case, the subject at hand has greater odds at achieving further success in the future.

    What this means for you:You know what they say: Fake it ‘til you make it. Whether your successes are big or small, shout them from the rooftop so that your audience can see the achievement. They in turn will begin to associate you with achievement and subsequently begin to perceive you as a “winning” brand. This in turn gives you their vote of confidence, instills trust and makes them more likely to convert into actual customers.

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    1. Information Bias

    What it is: Information bias deals with our tendency to want to stay “in-the-know”. As human beings, we naturally seek out information. We often tend to do this even when the information we are interested in has no impact on the action we are taking.

    What this means for you:Overcommunication is key. People like to feel as if they’re making the right decision and we often have numerous biases that prevent us from establishing trust with a brand in the beginning. The best way to overcome this is by giving your audience and potential customers as much information as you can when the time is right. This means detailed product descriptions and lots of information on your shipping policies and the buying process. Tell your customers about your company. Give them an inside, behind-the-scenes look. Include contact information in your content. Give your customers access to everything they could want to know and more in order to build trust and assure them they’re making the right decision by engaging with your company.

     

    Conclusion

    While we may all want to believe that we’re logical and rational individuals by nature, the truth of the matter is that there are a multitude of cognitive biases that all too often influence our decision making process. Use this article and the information you’ve gained as a guide to help you on your path to enhancing your social media campaign strategy today. Remember — when it comes to conversions, every single percentage point, every little fraction of a percentage point counts. By intuitively understanding your audience, you’ll be able to effectively craft smarter, savvier campaigns and get a leg up on your competition in no time.

     

    What are some cognitive biases you’ve come across during your path into entrepreneurship? What strategies have you used to help overcome them?

     

    Sources:

    https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/marketing/cognitive-biases/

    https://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/cognitive-biases-cro.htm#

     

    Social Media Blurb

    Let’s face it – everyone likes to believe they are a completely rational and logical being by nature. However, the truth of the matter is that both our subconscious and conscious minds are immeasurably complex and as a result, we are often subject to biases that we aren’t even aware we have. Have you ever gotten into a situation where you realized your thinking was a bit biased? Don’t worry if you have – you’re definitely not alone.

    The truth of the matter is that we all have a number of cognitive biases, many of which we are often unaware of.

    So, what exactly are cognitive biases in the first place, you ask?

    Cognitive biases are essentially fallacies or errors that we all tend to make with regards to rationalization, memory and reasoning. These biases often lead us into making irrational decisions or judgments due to the fact that we are all too often undeniably influenced by a multitude of subconscious factors that we have built up as a result of our life experiences, preferences and beliefs.

    The bad news is that as a marketer, cognitive biases are always going to be an impediment for you. However, the good news is that through educating yourself and becoming more aware of the various cognitive biases we all often possess, you can effectively craft smarter, savvier marketing campaigns.

    This article will give you the breakdown on 10 cognitive biases and also provide you with various tips, tricks and tactics you can use to overcome them in your audience.

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