We’re going to take the next three blog posts to cover some very simple techniques that will cause males to use social sites. This post covers what’s called “mirroring;” the next in the series will explain how to use image sizes to create a sense of comfort; and the last entry deals with how to engage males without them knowing they’re being engaged. We start with a little bit about how men navigate within social settings.
Males tend to be creatures of habit and will continue familiar behavioral patterns in unknown social settings far more often than women will. Women placed in a new social setting will look to other women for clues and cues on expected behavior. Men will continue doing what they’ve always done — even if it puts them in danger — until someone lets them know they’re doing something foolish, unwise or — god forbid — stupid. They will look to other males, but to only those they’ve previously known and developed a trust relationship with. Further, they’ll only adopt behaviors from males they believe are — you guessed it — higher on the hierarchy than they are.
Therefore, “Familiarity breeds contempt” is simply not true in the world of male social networking sites. The familiarity mentioned here, though, is, “You’re just like me,” rather than, “I know that person.”
Mirroring – that’s what this type of familiarity is known as to psychotherapists — makes itself known in successful social sites all the time. For example, parents of children with special needs will seek out parents in similar situations for help, solace, and advice; cancer survivors will seek out other cancer survivors; and males will seek out males with similar interests.
There’s more to this than simply having males with similar likes, dislikes, and interests gather on your social networking site. You need to demonstrate with every aspect of your site — images, video, podcasts, colors, and text — that this is a place where they’ll find like-minded individuals. This was demonstrated in my recent eMetrics presentation when attendees, seeing pictures and being asked, “Who does what?” invariably chose faces closer to their own age and gender than not.
A social networking site that appeals to the individual associating himself with the image on the right won’t necessarily appeal to an individual associating himself with the image below, yet both are images of young professional males.
The secret here isn’t a secret at all. Males will participate in social networks where their self-image — real or imagined — is demonstrated and reinforced for them. Basically, the social site’s design, layout, and features, must all communicate that the young professional visitor is an up-and-coming executive, the sports player is a potential all-star, the car enthusiast will race at Daytona, and so on.
Links for this article:
- The Best Way to Use Color and Imagery to Improve Your Marketing Podcast
- The Importance of Viral Marketing Podcast
- Is Social Media a Woman Thing?
- Gender Based Marketing Posts 1
- Gender Based MarketingPosts 2
- How to Build a Super-Sticky Homepage
- Where You Should Stick Your Ad and Why
- Gender-Specific Marketing Discoveries Podcast
- Gender Marketing Web Design Differences
- Intelligent Website Design: Expand Your Market
- Using Sound and Music on Websites
- Know Your Audience, and Reach It
- Reading Virtual Minds
- Chapter 4 “Anecdotes of Learning,” page 8ff
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