Why are some people addicted to FaceBook and other people couldn’t care less? Is it in your genes? No, it can’t be…grandma and grandpa didn’t have a Twitter account. Is it a physical or emotional addiction? Maybe. Boredom? Probably. So, what drives some people to be active participants in a modern media online community?
The experts say it could possibly be either extrinsic or intrinsic factors that motivate all the tweeters (…twitterers…twits, or whatever you want to call them) and the LinkedIn junkies. Extrinsic motivation refers to external factors such as financial rewards or recognition. For instance, a person might engage in a certain action because of a monetary benefit, discount coupon or a ‘badge’ (thanks FourSquare) that he or she could gain by completing an action. These rewards provide satisfaction and/or pleasure, that the action or task itself may not provide.
On the other hand, intrinsic motivation refers to motivation embedded in the action itself, rather than from external rewards such as money. Intrinsic motivation comes from the pleasure of completing the task satisfactorily and providing and sharing information that they believe may be useful to others. Think of nurses, firefighters and social workers that are always ready to step forward and help a stranger.
Either way, social interaction leads to viral marketing. Viral marketing is a marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message. This is the back-bone and driving force behind modern media.
There are three common types of viral messaging campaigns:
- Pass-along “Send to a friend”, or the infamous chain letters — pass along or else!!! We’ve all seen those
- Incentivized campaigns that rewards the sender for participating (extrinsic users)
- Undercover/buzz. Here the incentive to pass along is an emotional reward (being cool, being the first to share something with friends and followers). These viral messaging campaigns are the hardest to spot, there is no specific or clear call to action and you have no control over the message — it is 100% user generated!
So, whatever you motivation is to partake in modern media…get out there and connect; there are thousands of ‘friends’ in cyberspace that you don’t know yet. The Internet and social media is your oyster!