*Please be advised - there is some strong language at the end of this episode.*
“Since our brains are wired for community almost above everything else, social media can be a replacement for in-person community. And social media, if communities are built and authentic value is being brought to the table and all of that, then you can’t argue with that: it’s good. But what they’ve found is that even if someone is really positive on Facebook, it’s also psychologically harmful.”
This episode’s the second half of my interview with behavioral strategist and Woo Punch founder Austin Franke, as we talk about advertising and marketing in the age of social media.
Brands and People
Our interview picks up with a discussion of availability bias, and how mental availability, the ease of recalling a particular brand in the right circumstance, can win out over persuasion. We discuss two competing approaches to marketing in the digital age and where Austin thinks the brand love approach goes wrong compared to data research: “where the misunderstanding comes from, I believe, is assuming that customers will ever view a brand like they do a person.”
Large Business Effects
We continue with a look at what the future might bring for Clubhouse and for other social media companies that are now trying to emulate its approach, and Austin explains how recent studies on “large business effects” have reaffirmed the value of traditional advertising even in the digital age. “My philosophy on social media is that it can help you if you’re a small business,” he explains, “but it’s really only effective as a complement to traditional media.”
Rare and Valuable Work
Austin talks about his social media philosophy, and the psychological harm that he believes trying to use it as a substitute for real-life communities has caused. We discuss toxic positivity and negativity, the addictive quality of social media, and Cal Newport’s books Deep Work and Digital Minimalism. “Rare and valuable work leads to success,” Austin says as he explains why he doesn’t rely on social media, “more than a bunch of superficial, hard, long hours of work.”
Debunking Popular Wisdom
We wrap things up with a look at Austin’s company Woo Punch and how it helps businesses better align their goals as well as build distinctive brand assets, and close with a review of some of the most and least effective ads of the Super Bowl. “I really love exposing the lies of the business industry,” Austin explains what motivates him as a writer and as a behavioral strategist, “with empirical data that debunks some of the most common popular wisdom.”
Availability bias and brand love vs studying the data.
Social media and the value of mainstream advertising.
The dangers of social media and toxic positivity.
Woo Punch and the Super Bowl’s ad winners and losers.