There’s a growing and very recent phenomenon going on in Facebook. People are joining a certain type of group in their thousands. And I don’t mean in, say, a week, I mean in a matter of hours.
It has nothing to do with celebrities, trending news, disasters, cats doing tricks, or any of the usual suspects.
What it does have in common is herding. “People like us do things like this”. With one HUGE difference: “People like us” were NOT doing this until we saw what these people were doing, then jumped on their perfectly aligned bandwagon and joined them.
Don’t get me wrong. When I say “people like us”, I’m using Seth Godin’s description of the meaning of culture, not (necessarily) people like you or me.
Here’s one example: “A group where we all pretend to be ants in an ant colony“. That’s not the group’s description, perfect though it is, that’s the actual NAME of the group.
When I first spotted it, it was 50,000 short of a million members. A week later, it had grown to 1.4 million. It started life in June 2019, so as at the date of this newsletter (April 26th 2020), it has grown at a crazily rapid rate. The graph is literally off the charts (it’s almost a vertical line).
It’s only a matter of time before it makes mainstream news. It’s the fastest growing group I’ve seen.
Why is this? Does it meet the holy grail of copywriting – perfect alignment of seller and buyer (see this week’s post CERTAIN – link below).[Note that ‘free’ – as in a ‘free to join Facebook group’ is just as important as paid when it comes to building audience attention, investors understand the importance of this when they can clearly see a route to market at some point in the future – ie. monetisation]
Who wants to be an ant? No one. But who wants to ‘pretend’ to be an ant? Now we’re digging into the psyche of our childhood (and it has nothing to do with ants, and everything to do with pretending).
Pretending is escapism (who doesn’t want to escape what’s going on in the world), but just as importantly, pretending allows us to live a better future (even if it’s just in our minds).
Needless to say, countless copycat groups have been formed since this one. Just search for “A group where we all pretend…” and you’ll see what I mean.
There’s a hugely important marketing and behaviour lesson here. It’s what copywriters breathe and live for every day. A glimpse into common human desires and how easily people can be motivated when you get your marketing/message/offer right (and in just a single sentence too).
Always ask this question, what do people really want? Get that right, and they’ll buy. All of us try to do this everyday, but we mostly fail. This is a reminder to never stop asking.
We kicked off the week with the future. It’s kind of been the theme all week. The message is clear: we cannot know what the future holds, but it doesn’t stop us from attempting to create the future we want. And when we do that, we get a glimpse of what our prospects want too.
With my love,
Science of Copywriting
PS. If you’ve yet to get hold of the ICA Getting Started mini-series, you’ll find it here: https://internationalcopywritersassociation.com. The feedback from this 6 part getting started in copywriting series has been incredible. It’s also a way to get access to my 52 week copywriting mentoring program ProCopyClub for a fraction of its normal price.
I've spent my working life starting and running a whole variety of businesses, from my first QPL Express Couriers where I travelled over 100,000 miles every year delivering packages on a motorcycle (along with a whole bunch of colleagues) to Accountz.com which made a major in-road in the UK, to ProofMEDIA my current business that focuses on Copywriting and the International Copywriters Association, which showcases copywriting and copywriters to the world.
Science of Copywriting Weekly Newsletter Issue 48
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