For as long as anyone can remember, adult entertainment websites have dominated the online world in terms of what web surfers search for.
According to Bill Tancer, the tide has changed. In his 2008 book “Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters,” Tancer reports that searches for internet pornography decreased, queries related to social media sites increased. At the time the book was published, inquiries pertaining to social networks had replaced searches for adult material almost percent point for percent point.
With the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter, Web 2.0 has grown exponentially since then. A recent study shows that Facebook users spend an average of over 15.5 hours per month on the site. That figure more than doubles the time spent 12 months ago.
People are spending time engaged in social networking rather than searching for pornography. “My theory is that young users spend so much time on social networks that they don’t have time to look at adult sites,” says Tancer.
Four applications for this insight immediately come to mind.
1) Humans are driven by emotions and desires.
The popularity of pornography originates from the fact that it satisfies a strong and persistent motivator that exists in a relatively large audience.
Social networking could not have dethroned adult entertainment without appealing to emotion and desire. Your efforts in this space will also struggle to gain traction if that appeal is lacking.
In order to be most effective, add emotion-evoking elements to your messages. Educating and updating are good. But moving your “friends” and “followers” to laughter, tears and heart-warming moments is better. Is your marketing emotional? Does it address the desires of your audience?
2) Make gratification as instantaneous as possible.
Pornographic material doesn’t waste much time getting to the point.
Begin with the end in mind, then create a strategy to obtain the end result you’re looking for.
3) Deliver the fantasy.
Knowing what your followers and potential followers want is paramount. Spend time researching, polling, and engaging with your audience.
Your friends and followers are listening to you for a reason. They didn’t connect with your organization accidentally. Do you know what their reasons for are?
Do the research and find out what your followers really want from you. Then do your best to give it to them.
4) Stimulate as many of the five senses as you can.
Audio, video and graphics go a long way. If you have a service or physical product, drive your network to a location where they can touch, taste and smell what you offer.
More sensory experience equals greater engagement and loyalty. How many senses are you employing in your outreach?
We’ve always known that “sex sells.” It’s apparent now that “social” is a real contender in the battle for online supremacy.