Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends are the Key to Influence on the Social Web. An amazing book to

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Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends are the Key to Influence on the Social Web is a fantastic book on the behavioral psychology of people in the social media and digital space. A must-read book for anyone in the interactive and digital media space. The author Paul Adams does an incredible job sourcing and gathering information on how the web is rapidly evolving to be more people-centric.

Paul touches on some of the most successful online ads to hit the web and why they were so successful. How we as small business or digital media specialist can imitate the process in a series of steps by focusing on the fact that people are emotionally driven thinkers rather than logical thinkers. This is a significant repeating theme throughout the book, how our feelings are what make our decision-making process. So rather than using logic driven online ad camps, articles or posts we need to focus on the emotional aspect and focus on instilling an emotion or a feeling in the user as it will be far more successful than facts, or bombarding the user with information.

He also talks about how we as people choose to gain information with our peers and fears. How we may go to our closest friends first for information and why they may be one of our most trusted sources of information, they will, in fact, be a less credible source of information than someone who may be considered an acquaintance. This is because according to the book your closest friends have similar opinions through mutual saturation of each others company and shared experiences. This is why influencing a third party to shift the dynamic of a group is far easier to change the momentum of a friend of friends as whole online. This is incredibly useful when approaching things from a digital marketing and media perspective when using the targeted content.

Some practical ways to this are using digital polls to pull the user into your marketing campaign. Some examples that the book talks about is a mothers day campaign where mothers were asked what they wanted for mothers day, and gift registry was made under their name so their kids, husbands and the like could see what gifts precisely they wanted. All the presents, of course, were located on the Walmart e-store and with one click of a button you could get your mother, wife, partner, etc. exactly what they wanted this mothers day.

Another thing I liked about the book is that it lists additional sources of information to cross-reference to the material.

I found this extremely useful when wanting to understand the underlining principals of the book better. Like the concept of how we all have our online tribes and how we use social media and the web to reinforce, maintain and develop relationships. How we categorize people into groups online and utilize them in various ways to expand our social networks.

Example did you know when Facebook photo first came out it was the most popular photo editing app? Even though it had minimal photo editing compatibility built within it? That’s because it was the only online photo service that allowed us to tag our friends. This feature of tagging to us users trumped all other functionality when wanting to post photos online. Tagging was a huge contributor to what would be Facebook's overwhelming success. This was because we're emotional thinkers and we loved the thought of inclusion when capturing moments and shared experiences with friends. To us shared online social bookmarking of photos are more valuable than being able to take advantage of online embedded photo editing software. (Granted this was before the glorious dawn of Instagram.)

The same is to be said about the gaming world according to Paul and his book. The most successful games on the market always build a robust social platform or form of gameplay within the run of the game.

Allowing the player to focus on building a social gaming experience with others rather than merely flying solo, in fact, we as people will often take an online social experience over pretty graphics and effects any day of the week when choosing our video games. Weird to think about I know but the facts don’t lie, the truth is as we enter more and more into the digital age it has never been more important to focus on the web being a people-focused platform. Don’t just take my word for it look at all the most successful online platforms and businesses. Or better yet pick up the book it’s a great read.

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