Want to understand the psychology behind why people interact via social networks?

During this fascinating interview I explore these very concepts.

To learn about the science and psychology of social media marketing, I interview Ric Dragon for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Ric Dragon, author of Social Marketology and CEO of DragonSearch.

Ric shares tips on how businesses can build relationships on social media.

You’ll learn how relationships develop and why the concepts of gamification and gifting are important.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Social Media Science

How to develop relationships via social networks

People look for other people like themselves, which is called group affinity. People want to find like-minded souls. It is much easier in this age of social media than ever before.

Ric shares insights into the importance of small-talk in building relationships. You’ll learn how small-talk is an extension of social grooming and how sharing a little about yourself humanizes you and makes it easier to grow your social networks. Ric talks about how people bring common salad to social media.

facebook breakfast question

Here's an example of building relationships through small-talk.

Listen to the show to learn more about building relationships on social media.

What gamification and gifting bring to social media

Ric explains what gamification and gifting are and the different types of elements within social media. Learn why the most powerful rewards are the unexpected ones.

You’ll hear about different ways you can gift someone. Ric explains why it’s important to measure the depth of engagement and also how to measure the effectiveness of your company’s social media activities.

Listen to the show to learn why the need to reciprocate is very powerful and relevant to your social activities.

How communities develop via social media 

Strong communities can form very quickly on social media and sometimes there are micro-communities.  Ric talks about how strong communities can form spontaneously on social media. He also talks about how these communities form around hashtags.

You’ll learn why listening is important for both pre-existing communities and when communities are forming. Ric talks about online ethnography—the studying of people in an in-depth way online.

Listen to the show to learn about how communities develop.

How to craft the right brand voice on social media

People project personality onto brands and Ric explains why this is important to remember when you shape your brand voice.

Ric shares how brands can create the right voice. For example, you need to make sure that even though you want individuals to have their own voice when they speak for your company, you also want this voice to be consistent.

craft your brand voice

Craft a voice for your brand. Image source:

Listen to the show to find out why it’s important to be consistent.

The different subcategories of social media marketing 

As social media evolves, the word community is thought of in different ways by different people. The expression social media also has different definitions for different people. Ric explains how there are at least five different types of social media projects.

You’ll learn why Ric believes brand management will experience the biggest area of growth. He says people are thinking most about brand management and when the brand has a really strong sense of purpose, it becomes a valued member of the community.

Listen to the show to discover more about brands using social media well.

Discovery of the Week

CScore is a free tool that allows you to analyze your Facebook page and provides you with data that give you useful insights into your Facebook marketing. You’ll get data including a conversation score, rank and star ratings in different categories.

Have a look at Social Media Examiner’s CScore here.

conversation score

CScore rates Social Media Examiner's Facebook pages as a "Conversationalist."

Listen to the show to learn more about CScore and let us know how this works for you.

Other Show Mentions

We’re announcing our our new mega-conference—Social Media Marketing World—taking place at the waterfront San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina in San Diego, California.

As you’d expect, Social Media Examiner recruited the biggest and best names in the world of social media marketing for this conference.  Only the best for you!

Here are some reasons you should attend:

Meet face-to-face with marketing experts you’ve come to admire.  Presenters include Guy Kawasaki, Mari Smith, Jay Baer, John Jantsch, Michael Stelzner, Dave Kerpen, Lee Odden, Jason Falls, Mark Schaefer, Mario Sundar (LinkedIn), Cliff Ravenscraft, Joe Pulizzi, Marcus Sheridan, Ric Dragon, Brian Carter, Amy Porterfield, Nichole Kelly, Derek Halpern, Pat Flynn and experts from more than a dozen major brands—just to mention a few!

Network with 1,000 fellow marketers in an environment like no other.  This is the event where you’ll make priceless professional connections.  It includes structured networking after keynotes and lunch, and catered evening events at the historic San Diego Natural History Museum and the San Diego Networking Cruise aboard the largest private yacht in Southern California.

Take in highly valuable, pitch-free content—our trademark at Social Media Examiner—from 41 expert-led marketing sessions covering social tactics, social strategy, community management and content marketing.

Vacation in sunny San Diego, California. Social Media Marketing World starts in the evening on Sunday, April 7 and extends through April 9, 2013.  Why not stay a few extra days and make a vacation out of your trip?  The average weather in San Diego is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round.  San Diego also offers beaches, surfing, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND, San Diego Safari Park and tons more!

If you want to learn more visit

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

Help Us Spread the Word!

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If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please head over to iTunes, leave a rating, write a review and subscribe.

Ways to subscribe to the Social Media Marketing podcast:

What do you think? What are your thoughts on how behavior impacts social media marketing? Please leave your comments below.

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  • hey, be careful when you copypaste from your newsletter :D, I think you need to edit this;
    “See the image to the right for a sampling of presenters.”

    or is it just me that doesn’t see the pictures? xD

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  • Pamela – Thanks much 🙂

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  • AnnMullen

    I checked out the CScore and it is very informative. I will see if my boss wants to subscribe. Thanks.

  • Davidse123

    I have found that using small talk on my personal page has a different effect than on a group or Linkedin. What have you found?

  • Glad you liked it Ann 🙂

  • Hi David,

    We try this on our Facebook page and we have nearly 100,000 fans–it works.

    For example, we ask folks questions like “What are your plans this weekend?”


  • Ksr960

    C score not working! 🙁 whatever fb url i paste its says url not valid.

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  • Murali Ravikanti

    Hi Machael,

    Very good article. Got impressed very much.Thanks for the post………

  • Thanks Murali

  • Odd, give it another try.  I just tried it and it worked

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  • My experience agrees with Michael’s – it helps keep the whole social wheel in motion between “deeper” conversations. I do sometimes notice when a community manager is asking a question that feels like it’s just being asked to create conversation – really great community managers can do it without it feeling contrived. 

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  • Davidse123

     Yea, Michael, When I do this on Face book I get a positive responece. In Linkedin I get “we’re not here for chit chat” on Facebook or Linkined in groups I get “what does have to do with our interest here”. Do you find different?

  • I like the point about the fact that small talk is valuable.  It’s how we start any relationship, whether we are face to face or speaking virtually.

  • David – I have not tried it on LI

  • Thanks Deborah!  I agree.  Where are you from?

  • Hey Ric – Thanks for stopping by and thanks again for being our special guest

  • Birendra Pratap

    Talks is always welcomed by any heart either underline or beyond the line, sharing of thought & communication are valuable+ precious. 

  • I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan, TekkBuzz Marketing. I put your podcast on my Stitcher app and am enjoying the interviews.

  • Venkat Ramana

     apologies for the delay, pls give me the url, will look into that (hope the page is not restricted – country/age)

  • Venkat Ramana

     Hey Michael, appreciate your coverage and helping others solve their problems with cScore. Do provide some inputs to make it better….

  • This episode was great. I’m happy to see the show improving, as the first 2 interviews weren’t very actionable to me. The next two on the other hand were AWESOME. Keep up the gret work, Michael. I think it’s time to recommend you on my podcast 🙂

    I’ve found the small talk thing quite interesting. It is true what Ric said, although I’m wondering. If I follow like 50 people and they all ask me what I had for breakfast or share what they had… It gets kind of unprofessional. For me, I follow people to get business news and ideas from people I know and trust and some personal stuff just gets in the way and takes up everybody’s time. That said, I know I wouldn’t be so fond of Pat Flynn or someone else if he didn’t share that much about his family. So I don’t really know what to think about this… On one hand, I would prefer no BS, straight to the point info. On the other, I’m genuinely interested of the whereabouts of these people.
    I’m guessing that at the start, it would be best just to get the concrete news from somebody, and when time passes, there should be an option to also follow his more personal notes and get to know the person if he proves to be smart in business. The conclusion is, I’d be happy to have the option to mark some messages in social media as personal, professional or miscellaneus or even create my own “channels” which people can subscribe to.

  • Keep up the good work Venkat!

  • Chris – Thanks for becoming a loyal convert to my show :).

    I hear you on the small talk thing.  I think you just need to know there is a time and a place for that.  If you follow what Pat is doing you’ll see it executed masterfully.

  • As I read your reply a follow-up question came to my mind: where does Pat and where do you cut corners to have enough time? I see Pat saves time by omitting Google+. I’m guessing most entrepreneurs cut corner on daily SEO and startup news…. I know it’s hard admit it, but I would appreciate some sample things that others do but you two get away without doing 🙂

  • Thanks for pointing me to this comment thread Chris, and thank you Michael and Chris for bringing me up in conversation here. 

    As far as where do I cut corners, I don’t really consider it cutting corners, I consider it more focusing on what I know works best, for me. I don’t focus on SEO, I just do the basics of what’s needed when I publish something that all people should be doing anyway and doesn’t really take up extra time, it’s just a part of the process. I focus on two social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, because they are working really really well and so why put focus on other things? I guess the one thing I could be “cutting corners” with is sleep – hehe. 6 hours a day max is my usual schedule, but I’ve been doing that since College with no problem. I was glad to see Tim Ferriss mention “optimized sleeping” in The 4-Hour Body. An extra 2+ hours a day goes a LONG way. 

  • Thanks man. Didn’t expect the 4-hour body to have anything other than excersising tips. Will check it out. Be careful about the sleeping thing though. I’ve been sleeping a few hours for many years without problem and I finally feel the impact it had on my body. Hope it’s just me.

    Sorry for any misspellings in my comments, my keyboard is messed up.

  • Jon

    How about how ignorance impacts on social media behaviour. Businesses have some crazy reasons for not getting on the bandwagon

  • Yeah me too Michael 🙂

  • Eric

    Nice podcast you have here. I myself have an Online Video Advertising Business. I will apply all I have learned from Ric to my business. From Eric,

  • Yes your right Michael, you had a good point. I was just thinking on how to have lot fans in facebook page. but then i found your idea. i tried it and it works. thank you

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  • Quick question – in the podcast (very informative)… Michael asked Rick Dragon what he defined as the 5 different ways people are using social media for (in terms of projects)
    He gave 4 that I caught. In short I got:
    1) Branding, 2) Influencer, 3) Event/big splash, 4) Community

    Curious what the 5th one was.

    SEO building? Review/testimonials/ratings expansion?

    From Caleb @millennia3

  • Me too Ric, I really agree of that.

  • Nice question Millennia3, I want to know also what is on the 5th.

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