On October 29th 2010, Mark Bowden spoke at the Toronto unGeeked Elite Retreat about the evolutionary psychology behind communicating within social media. Here is an edited excerpt from award winning social media expert Heather Taylor’s blog about Mark’s speech…

First up is Mark Bowden, CEO of Truth Plane & author of Winning Body Language. A power dynamo, he hits the front of the room showing how he is actually appealing to our reptilian brain by nonverbally indicating he is a friend:

  • Open palms
  • Open stomach

So the discussion on natural impulses and communication has begun with his talk Communicating Authenticity—Being Social is The New Body Language

When we first meet people, we categorize people into:

  • Friend
  • Enemy
  • Sexual Partner
  • Indifferent

So how do we do this online?

It is very important to create something that people understand. The more certainty we have, our dopamine levels increase and the more friendly the experience feels. On the other hand, the less certain you are—the more you resort to a negative view of others as your dopamine levels decrease.

Basically we’re looking for people that will help us live longer. Mark says “We don’t need logic for survival; we need friends who will feed us.”

What’s interesting is, inverse to that, we can threaten

  • autonomy
  • status
  • relatedness
  • fairness

When we do this, people will retreat. If you are unfair to your followers, clients, customers, they’re out of there. Mark says “We can relate it back to food. Company means to “eat bread together.” Companies are simple—it’s a dining table. If you take more bread than me, it’s unfair and I’m out of this company.”

Our decisions are based on our values, beliefs, rituals and customs. So if you are looking to create rewards and recognition, they need to be correct for the values, beliefs, rituals and customs of that group. If you value something, you will work for it.

The last thing I took from this talk is that we’re way more the same then we’re different. “You may not authentically join your customers or followers in all of their beliefs, but if you respect the values, beliefs and customs they hold, and so still have that connection. We are human after all. Humans all have feelings—and even have feelings about feelings.” We can all understand that.

Read the full article here.

Mark’s next unGeeked Elite Retreat keynote speech will be:

When: March 3-5th 2011 — Where: Orlando Florida
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unGeeked is about marketing, branding, social media, sales, customer service, human resources and legal. unGeeked elite Retreat brings international, national and regionally recognized speakers, authors and professionals together to sit, talk, share and engage in an open exchange of what works and what doesn’t work when communicating your brand’s value.

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