Ever wondered why we spend so much time connecting with others on Facebook and Twitter - even total strangers? We are obviously social animals but did you know that monkeys provide the key to connecting?
Professor Robin Dunbar, a Cognitive and Evolutionary Researcher at Oxford University pointed to monkeys and showed it was not their brain size that determined whether they were social but the size of the neocortices in their brains. He found that species with larger neocortices could balance a few very intimate friendships against many less close acquaintances. Species with smaller neocortices had social networks that fragmented easily. Female monkeys concentrated their social effort on core partners in smaller cliques in order to the minimize the costs of harassment from other members of the group. Their enhanced social skills allowed them to exploit weak social links with others in the wider network and maintain good social relations outside their own close-knit groups. They were the networking gurus.
In addition, Dr. Dunbar discovered that monkeys that participated in grooming had bigger neocortices in their brains. They were part of a bigger social network.
*Our neo-cortex is three times greater than monkeys and apes and this allows us to manage larger, more dispersed social groups.
Now while we don't pull fleas and ticks off each other, we do in fact groom each other in our social networks - just look at our use of "Like" buttons; our need to "Share", "Retweet", "Hashtag", "Trend", "Follow", join "Groups", "Re-post" on Pinterest. YouTube has this down to a fine art and by showing the number of viewers, they gather interest in what is going "Viral". They capture our attention by stroking our egos, they recognize our need to be "in the know" and they fulfill our desire to be part of a community.
How can we apply this to our marketing methods? Here are some tips:
While we concentrate on our niche marketing and our brands, it's so important to be unique and yet have mass appeal and if you can achieve this fine balance then you are well on your way to being regarded as a leader in social networking
Happy grooming! - and don't forget, we always look forward to your feedback.*Science Daily, September 30, 2009