We’re hearing a lot these days about marketers focus on measuring the investment they’re making in social media. But, industry expert Brian Solis suggests that marketers may be going about this in the wrong way. Solis is encouraging marketers who have been reluctant to join the social media fray to consider this about consumers: “What do you want them to say and what do you want them to do?”

In a recent blog post, Solis reminds readers that marketers should understand the “concept of social architecture.” Before marketers begin to roll out their social media pages, they should think about consumer psychology.  Success will be more likely when marketers can successfully provide experiences that manipulate consumer emotions and thus prod them to act in the desired fashion – these outcomes range from buying products to recommending a company to friends.

To support his argument, Solis draws on Robert Cialdini’s work on decision-making heuristics employed by most shoppers. For example, typical new customers must follow a path to purchase.  On this path, they may be likely to follow the crowd. They may also rely on expert opinions when they are considering which product to buy. And, one time-honored marketing strategy, the scarcity mentality, is often successful in getting consumers to move quickly on a buy decision. In all of these cases, social architecture designed by a marketer to prod customers to take action will serve as ‘pillars of  social commerce.’ Instead of operating a social media site that seems like a free-for-all, marketers can employ Solis’s advice to achieve desired outcomes from their investment in this format.

Read the rest of what Solis has to say on this topic here.

[Source: Solis, Brian. The 6 Pillars of Social Commerce. Briansolis. 3 Apr. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2012]