Using Applied Behavioral Analysis in Social Media

4 Dec

Marketing is focused on getting people to notice brands and behaving in a favorable direction. So, how can this be accomplished?


Research psychology has defined a  framework called ABA (applied behavioral analysis). It is simple and effective. Any situation can be viewed and modified using this framework to generate real and measurable results.


The first step is to identify the behavior that you want. Then look at the real life context of this behavior as it is happening at the moment. Consider these three sequential components


The Antecedent

Think of this as a signal for the behavior to occur.  Examples of antecedents on the web include basic links, display ads, headline titles and Twitter/Facebook posts.


The Behavior

After the antecedent, of course, comes the actual behavior. Desired online behaviors include clicking on links, making purchases, sharing content, commenting etc.


The Consequence

Behaviors need to be reinforced. This is the most important part of ABA. It can make or break what you are trying to accomplish. Consequences need to be rewarding in ways that matter to the individual. Also they need to be provided on a regular basis. This is the only way to get desired behaviors to occur with greater frequency.


Examples of consequences: the acquisition of helpful or valuable knowledge, feeling recognized,  the discovery of an ideal product, service or connection.


Using ABA

These concepts are deceptively simplistic. But don’t be fooled. Understanding these concepts on a mental level is completely different from applying them in real life strategies. Every encounter that customers have with your brand should be positively rewarding and meaningful in ways that are important to them. Every one of these instances cultivates an ongoing a mental and emotional association with your company.


This is why regular content and conversations through social media matter are important. They provide more opportunities for audience members to interact with your brand. But it is up to you to determine what elements are reinforcing for the people you are targeting and to provide this on a consistent basis.

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