Marketing

A Chemical Reason for Social Networks' Popularity?

July 14, 2010
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Tara Hunt
Use social networking to return the personal aspect to financial services, advises Tara Hunt. View more conference coverage.

There might be a physiological reason for the meteoric rise in the popularity of social networking, according to Tara Hunt, author and social networking expert.

“When people spend about 10 minutes interacting on a social network, their brains release the chemical oxytocin into their systems,” said Hunt. “This is the same chemical that is released when people experience acts of trust, loyalty, or generosity. It really shows we are social beings, and we're wired to interact with other people.”

Hunt outlined the remarkable growth of social networks: 500 million people on Facebook, 120 million on Twitter, and one million users of a relatively new site called Four Square.

The amount of time users spent on Facebook increased 566% in 2009.

“Many of your future members have never known a world without social networks,” she said. “Members of Gen Y don't resonate with brands that seek them out or try to sell something to them. They resonate with brands that align with their core values.

“Credit unions are a natural fit,” she continued. “As not-for-profit cooperatives, you present a wonderful alternative to banks. This message is being presented in a compelling way by initiatives such as youngandfreealberta.com, CU Swag, Patelco Credit Union's Zombie Apocalypse, lovemycreditunion.org, bankerspank.com, and moveyourmoney.info.

"Banking used to be a very personal service," Hunt said, "but 30 years ago it became impersonal. Your job as credit unions is to use social networks to return the personal aspect of financial services to consumers."

nice post

jay
July 14, 2010 7:22 pm
i really like this publication. great article.


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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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