The advent of the social revolution, marked by the rise of social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, makes us increasingly aware that human behavior is tremendously influenced by the opinions of our friends, colleagues and family.
For although we've appreciated since the mid-90s, that word-of-mouth is a powerful influencer, it really wasn't until we could actually witness directly the reaction to our own tweets and status messages that we palpably felt the power of of our closest circles to socially influence us and compel us to take action.
And while some worry that social networks combined with mobile access propel social unrest, it's also true that social connectedness whether via online, wireless or via simple word-of-mouth, can lead to extremely positive behavioral change -- whether its personal health, social causes, discouraging terrorism or adopting sustainable technologies.
Nothing so brought this home to me than my recent discovery of a wonderful infographic created by One Block Off the Grid, a group-buying website for green home improvements. In my book, this graphic is a key study for all green marketers.
Source:- One Block Off the Grid
Power in Numbers Neighbors
Beyond the studies summarized in the infographic, there are others which indicate that what our friends and neighbors think can have tremendous impact in effecting positive behavioral change. A 2009 article in Yale's Environment 360 , Can Peer Pressure Promote Greener Choices, described two studies I'll summarize briefly here.
One of the best known is a late 80's campaign taking place in Hood River, Oregon, in which local civic groups collaborated to enroll entire neighborhoods in a weatherization campaign, where green, energy-efficient improvements were made available at extremely low cost to home-owners. Although the campaign had a goal of only some 20-30% household participation among the 3500 homes in the project, the end results came closer to 90%. That's right: No type. 90%.
Equally remarkable was that this principally word-of-mouth campaign, neighbors talking to neighbors, was so successful that the project only used approximately 75% of the marketing budget to get this spectacular result.
"People don't just want to conserve energy, they want to be acknowledged for conserving energy".