Updated: Dec 9, 2019
The social identity theory of intergroup behaviour date as far back as 1970 with Tajfel and Turner in 1979 developed the in-group theory and out-group theory concept meaning in-group are a group that you belong to and out-group are a group that you do not belong to. A simple social concept that is very true and underpinned by Tajfel and Turner in 1979.
Tajfel proposed that the group delimitation applies(e.g: Social Class, family, football, team, cooking, environmental, health, group etc) which people belong to were an important source of pride and self-esteem and that your social identity gives you a sense of belonging in the social sphere.
In terms of Marketing and your business, products or services alignment in accessing prospect, this knowledge is paramount and needed to thrive to determine a niche for your business to navigate into safely and accessing the right customers for your products or services offered.
Facebook and other Social Media Platform have grasped this concept fully this why they have enabled on their platform group formation and people tends to gravitate naturally to the group they think they belong to as we tend to favour the in-group theory over the out-group theory.
Knowing the latter this where your business can thrive using the simple concept of audience attraction and relating to your audience as if you relate to your audience you more equipped to provide a solution to their need or address a problem and provide a fix.
This theory can go as far as discriminating against the group you are not belonging to re Outsiders thus an increase in self-image by holding skewed views about other groups.
The Concept of Self-Identification Theory
As individuals, we tend to derive self-esteem by positively differentiating our in-group from out-group("us" vs "them") to enhance our self-image. Thus we tend to categorize our social environment and it is clearly seen on Social Media platforms mainly Facebook with a number of group formation and users of these groups.
Tajfel and Turner proposed three mental processes we used to evaluate others:
Categorization (I refer to it as boxing)
We categorized in order to understand others, ourselves and our social environment as an example we use (Black, White, Christian, Muslim, Student, Teacher, Executive, Operational staff, High-end, Middle or Low income, Poor, Rich, car driver, bus driver, etc) we do this because these are useful cues.
Thus if we can assign people to a box then that tells us things about those people, similarly, we can find things about ourselves and what box we belong to and the norms of the group also tell us about appropriate behaviours of the individual group.
Social Identity Process
Social identification we tend to adopt the behaviour and identity of the group we have boxed ourselves as to belong to. For example, if you categorized as a teacher, the chances are you will adopt the identity of a teacher and begin to act in ways you believe a teacher should act and conform to the norms of the group and you will experience an emotional significance to your identification with your group and your self-esteem will become bound up with group membership. This can be good and rewarding or bad emotionally taxing depending on the group dynamics whether positively or negatively incline is the group activities. Thus the group collaborate with group activities and corroborate with the group needs
Once we've boxed ourselves as part of a group and we have identified with the group, we tend to compare that group with other groups. Therefore if our self-esteem is to be maintained our group needs to compare favorably with other groups as our survival depends on it. However, if two groups identify themselves as rivals they are forced to compete in order for the members to maintain their self-esteem.
In term of marketing, we see the latter in competitor rivalry where a business will try to oust the competition, hence playing a finite game as opposed to the infinite game and have clearly forgotten that you cannot market yourself to everyone due to the social concept and social group categorization and others factors beyond your controls.
The extent to which individual define themselves as an individual or as a group member depends heavily on the politics inherent to the organisation culture. Individual behaviour and teamwork cannot be predicted solely from their characteristic but also depends on the social context which determines the belief structure they utilise.
Knowing the above how will you navigate your business in the social sphere, well easy you will need to determine which group you fit into one social media platform and join the group, then engage with the conversation and gradually introduce your business and what you can provide, discuss a problem that you solve to the group other may relate to this problem and request your help, this way you generate leads and eventually sales.
Which Social Media Group do you think your business belongs to, it may be that your product addresses the woman as a very broad category you could cut it into a smaller group, woman makeup, dresses, woman shoes and so on by doing smaller niches from a broad category you are able to pinpoint who can relate and would need what you provide.
The Girlfridayz social sales growth strategy training program teaches you the above using Facebook Platform as Facebook allows you to segment your market according to people's needs and grouping. Therefore if you understand the social concept you might acquire leads as you are more able to target the right potential customer for your business.
The Social Sales Growth Strategy Program takes place online and it is on the 27/01/20 from 10 am to 4 pm where you learn to create a targeted post to access the right potential customers for your business to register your interest click here
you can also read our blog post How to do a Digital Marketing Plan
A little bit about the author of the Girlfridayz blog "Trisha Amable is an Online Marketer who supports businesses find their audiences online through website design, digital marketing technique, networking. She frequently writes about business support, digital marketing, SEO, Website Design, Planning, and her publication can be found on Girlfridayz online store and business blog. She focuses on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition."