Thursday 19 September, 2013
It’s the same story for everyone – you start using Facebook because old friends are there and then quickly spiral into helpless addiction. After a few months, your Facebook use peaks and then you realize it’s just a waste of time that’s not really so interesting after all. But once the addiction has its talons in you, it won’t let you go. Even though you hate it, you’re a slave to social media.
Facebook addiction isn’t a recognized mental disorder, but if you’ve been there before you probably feel like it should be. A recent Pew study found that an overwhelming majority of teenagers use Facebook and about that same number say they hate it but use it anyway. Of course, they’re teens and they’re required by society and hormonal changes to hate everything, but this illustrates a point – even if you hate it, you can’t stop using Facebook.
Someone Loves Me
Why is Facebook (and social media generally) so addictive? One reason is that it makes you feel loved. Psychologist Abraham Maslow identified three basic human needs – affection, attention and belonging. Facebook delivers all three and does so instantly. The love and attention comes flooding back whenever you make a post.
Catching up with Old Friends
Facebook offers an easy way to catch up with everyone you’ve ever known throughout your life. If you don’t have time to meet your friends or if your friends are scattered throughout the globe, all you need to do is check in with them on Facebook. You can see how they’re doing anytime.
The Latest News
In our modern age, we might add one more basic human need to Maslow’s three – the need to know what’s going on RIGHT NOW. Facebook keeps you up-to-date in real-time with your ‘News Feed.’ All social media does this and perhaps the worst is Twitter. The connectedness, which is one of the great things about social media, is also what makes it addictive.
The Best Time You Ever Wasted
Facebook is probably the world’s best time waster, especially when you’re using it on your smartphone. Whether you’re sitting on a train commuting to work, waiting in line at the bank or killing time at work, Facebook is there for you. It’s the perfect boredom-killer.
Better and More Efficient Stalking
There’s no better way to stalk someone than through Facebook. It sounds scary, but everybody does it to some extent. Everyone looks into other people’s lives to see what they’re doing. That’s part of the voyeuristic nature of social media.
Takeaways for Marketers
As a marketer you can really benefit from the addictive qualities of Facebook. In fact, it’s a goldmine. Never have we had such an easy way to connect and learn about our target market. You can take advantage of the above addictive qualities by:
* Turning your page into a community where every member feels like they belong, feels loved and gets plenty of attention.
* Sharing up-to-date information and content your audience likes to keep them entertained and informed.
* Providing your followers with plenty of things to do on your page, like apps, games, surveys, activities, and so on.
* Using Facebook to get to know your customers personally.