Neuro(content)marketing: Mirror Neuron Networks meet Blogs and Social Networks

By Carla van Straten - 1625 views

In neuromarketing, the neuroscientific phenomenon of mirror neuron networks, allow you to understand how to deliver information to a browser, blog reader, or social media follower in a way that will actually be of value to them. Adopting mirror neuron networks theory in teaching practices has been highly successful in the past as it is in the present. Content marketing is, in essence, teaching a browser about something through digital content, and so the neurological principle seems like a perfect match for applying to the practice of content marketing.

What are Mirror Neuron Networks?

Mirror neuron networks comprises of a network of neurons in the brain that makes us mimic what we perceive. These networks spark off a contagious reaction allowing people to have an imitative or a sympathy reaction to what they are sensing, perceiving or experiencing.

Old ideas like “keeping up with the Joneses”, “stick with the winners” and even “peer-pressure” are founded on this neurological principle. We want what our idols have, we want to surround ourselves with positivity because we know that what we perceive in our immediate environment has a direct effect on us, and we want these things to feel as a part of a group. We want to belong.

It could be argued that the plethora of canvas bags, aside from a quick marketing tool, could also be an example of mirror neurons at work. The more we see the masses using them, the more we want to join the bandwagon.

So let’s see how we can apply this knowledge to content marketing components such as websites, blogs and social media platforms.

Client Testimonial Contagion

Having client testimonials in the form of case studies is a recipe for success from the word go. You should want your browsers to stumble upon client testimonials or an impressive client base list, whether this be on the main website, the “about us” section of your blog or on your Facebook wall. Seeing and hearing a client sincerely and energetically describing the positive experience that they’ve had with working with a company will influence the onlooker neurologically through triggering a sympathetic reaction.

“Keeping Up With the Joneses” on Twitter

Mirror neuron networks allow us to award credibility to the choices of others. The more people that do one thing or has one thing, the more that “one thing” becomes desirable. This phenomenon is apparent when it comes to Twitter followings.

A Twitter following grows in multiples. It is very difficult to build a following from 50 to 500. But once the 500 bar has been met, numbers rise quicker. Moving from 1000 followers to 2000 followers and from 3000 followers to 5000 followers, requires not much extra effort. This is because the mirror neurons in people kick in at this point. They are more eager to follow an account with 2000 followers than one with 200, because “everyone is doing it” and “2000 people can’t be wrong in their judging of a good Twitter trend”.

I thereby suggest that you put in great efforts to push your Twitter following past the 1000  follower mark, to be persistent and to trust the process by which your Twitter following will be winning you more followers in the long run.

Belonging to a Blog Community

We are socially and culturally inclined towards finding common grounds at which to form communities by. This is possibly the single most important principle that makes social media platforms the roaring success that it is today: Our innate desire to “share”.

Company blog platforms are based on communities. Bloggers have the opportunity to form relationships with their readers via blog comments and the readers are made aware of one another in this way as well. They are prompted to follow the blogger on Twitter by which they can actually see who forms part of the readership and perhaps choose to follow other readers.

“Common-ground” information is shared, tweeted and retweeted. Readers can also be urged to contribute to the blog through holding competitions like, “the best photo / tweet / letter / response / book review could win a prize”, while this content will be posted on the blog as well. Readers can be invited to join clubs, by which they could subscribe and thereby receive information concerning events, specials, promotions, competitions etc.

An energetic response from an audience requires an energetic display first.

A sustained, desired change may also include the wish to maintain a current state, relationship, or habit, but maintaining the current state appears to require an investment of energy. In either situation, it requires intentional effort.
- Richard E. Boyatzis: Leadership Development From a Complexity Perspective

Blogging and social media marketing is an intentional effort of delivering quality as well as quantity. One should keep to a publishing schedule and endure in posting valuable quality blog articles. Continuously encourage readers and followers to join the community or “join the club” - and make it worth their while.

Tweet all day. Flood your Social media walls with beautiful and interesting posts. Support others, tweet and retweet, follow, like, share, engage, respond, recommend. These efforts will energise your audience to imitate your interactive approach to online networking.

Before you know it, your network will consist of interested enthusiasts such as yourself who welcome your marketing content, and even “share” it with others.

Sound Idea Digital is a full service digital marketing agency. For more information contact 012 664 4227 or email to

Carla van Straten is a writer for Sound Idea Digital |  @SoundIdeaLMS | Sound Idea Digital |




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