How "Subconscious" Is Your Social Media Marketing?

A couple of years ago I saw a video that posed a big question for me.   Just how much are we taking in, both consciously… and especially unconsciously, when it comes to branding and advertising?

Subconcious Social Media
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Look Into My Eyes. You will Fan me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter and Subscribe to me on YouTube.....

With this in mind, I wanted to show you that same video (plus a second version that I have since found!). I want to see if it impacts on your view of how our name, brand, products and images are impacting on our target market…sometimes in ways that are less obvious than we may realise!  And hey, at the very least, this is just a super cool experiment that is fun to watch.  Enjoy!

So, here is video no 1 featuring an experiment conducted by Derren Brown.  Derren Brown is dubbed as a “Psychological Illusionist” who combines magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship in order to seemingly predict and control human behaviour, as well as performing mind-bending feats of mentalism. That alone should be enough to entice you to watch the video!  He is completely open about the fact that his experiments are “set up” but that's the fun part – in this case, his little project with a couple of advertising executives raises some important questions about how we process ads and the information around us!  Without further adieu, I will let Derren show you want I am talking about:


And here is a second, similar experiment with a different Advertising Team, just in case you are still unsure about the whole thing!


For me, the outcome of these videos raises a number of important questions (other than the wow factor of “How did he do that?” and “Are we really that succeptible to suggestion?”.

When we think about marketing and in particular social media, it makes me think about branding, and how our business or personal brand is “seen”.  Not just how it is perceived or your reputation, but how it is seen, taken in, recognised and stored away even, to be called upon later.   If product placement and strategically placed images and messages can sway these hapless Advertising Execs into creating just what we want them to create, then what does this mean for the rest of us? Could we possibly establish ourselves as the “go to” people in our niche or area of speciality (other than providing great content and value) by being “seen” by potential clients in a number of different ways to keep at the forefront of their minds?

I would hazard a guess that it means the following:

  • be seen. be present on a range of marketing platforms – not just online, but offline.  A mix of print media, 1:1 engagement with real people and strategic social media marketing helps to get your business name and personal brand out there.  Perhaps it is as simple as a person seeing your name or brand associated with a particular product, service or position of “authority”.  They then recall that information later and call on you!
  • be prolific. generate content with a consistent message, that uses your brand in a consistent way.  When Customer X wants to buy a Widget (insert your niche product or service here),  he would already have seen your message in a number of places….he will (in theory) think of you, and hopefully recall your message/story/values and what you are about.
  • be versatile. Try new platforms.  Go where the readers/followers/likers/fans are and be on those platforms in some way.  If your readers are on Instagram and Pinterest, go and play on those platforms too.
  • be present of mind. Consider using strategies such as Facebook ads, not only to grow your community but to create that presence either subconsciously or consciously in the minds of potential customers.  A great ad with a similarly great message may not make them buy your service on the spot, but it will keep you in their mind. Which is exactly what this experiment was all about.  Similarly, comment on blogs, make conversation on Twitter, and engage on Facebook with fans, other pages and businesses.  Get yourself out there!

I guess it comes back to avoiding the old “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”….and of course throwing in a bucket load of old fashioned customer service, care, value and content along with it to make sure that you are the first person that your target market thinks of…whether it be for “taxidermy” or otherwise!

So, what did you think of the videos? Does it make you think differently about how people may “take in” your products, messages and branding and the importance of having a “presence” across a range of mediums?

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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