Variety. Something for everyone. Endless options. Find your fit here!
It’s a myth that more choices make happier customers. In fact, the opposite ensues when a customer is faced with more options that his or her brain can process on the spot. We feel overwhelmed and procrastinate for fear of choosing poorly. Fast Company describes this reaction as “hoarding our energy,” also known as “choice overload” or “analysis paralysis.”
In response, savvy marketers have honed strategies like target marketing or highly refined search results. But social media is spinning out this idea in other ways. Instead of encouraging purchases, social platforms are capitalizing on this psychology to direct the user’s experience. They provide one — just one — easily accessible suggestion that may lead users to try a new app or engage in online activity outside of their normal purview.
Latest Conversations on Facebook
Facebook thrives off of user engagement – whether comments, reactions or (cha-ching!) clicking an ad to purchase. But its online audience has developed a vocal culture that prefers to be led rather than forced into action. Hence, Facebook played it pretty smart with its recent feature.
“Latest Conversations” appears below the News section when you search for something, and it enables the user to peruse information by topic rather just by page or location. The feature suggests topics related to the user’s search, allowing you to see how many people at any given point across Facebook are discussing, oh, Mother’s Day, White House politics or gourmet cat food. You can even interact with Facebook users worldwide that are not your friends on the topic. Facebook didn’t advertise or force users to connect with new audiences. It simply provided the suggestion — one easy choice that piqued curiosity and invited exploration. And poof! Up goes Facebook engagement. New conversations with new friends and more reasons to stay on Facebook. Nice, Facebook.
We’re so over QR codes, and we are never, ever getting back together. Please don’t make me take the time download a separate app to then scan a code that will then transport me to yet another website. Too much work … I just can’t even. That is until Snapchat leveraged QR codes as a way to add friends.
Then Snapchat upped the ante; it tweaked its platform to read QR codes that will open websites from inside of Snapchat. Snapchat now becomes a tool to access all sorts of activities — shopping, location guides, event data. You can see the biz goal here, right? Why navigate out of Snapchat when it provides all the functionalities you need? It simplified. It smoothed the path, removed user blocks and hence leveraged our “don’t make me think” mentality to boost its own popularity.
Extend the Invitation
Our “don’t make me think” mentality is an opportunity to continually evaluate our messaging strategies and user experiences. Are there blockers? At what point does the guest or customer become overwhelmed by options or challenges that trigger choice overload? Instead, simplify. Target based on smart research. Encourage customers to explore new options not by over advertising but by interest and invitation. It’s a “we think you like this. Want to explore?” approach.
Looking for your next steps? Check out our tips to target market with social media.