The Secret Science of Color and Social Media Sales

Social Bee Marketing-September 2012

Do you know what color is most likely to result in a sale? Which color is associated with wealth? How about colors to avoid when trying to target certain global markets? All of these questions – and more – are covered in the science of color. It’s a fascinating but often overlooked marketing field with immense application to social media marketing. Today we are going to disclose just a few of the stunning secrets used by top advertising and marketing agencies throughout the world to create the most compelling campaigns possible. As a social media management firm, these are the types of small tips that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary while making it all look easy! Keep reading to see how your social media site measures up!

Seasonal Trend & Annual Updates

The very first thing to understand about the use of color for social media marketing is that it tends to be seasonal and subject to annual updates. Whether speaking of fashion, home improvement or something in between, there are “hot” colors for each year as well as each season. When in doubt, go with the prevalent color trends for the season for specific product sales.

The Culture of Color

The next important issue concerns the culture of color. Not all colors are equally accepted nor do they have the same meaning in one culture versus another. For example, in the United States as well as many other western nations, the color black is typically associated with death or mourning while white is symbolic of renewal and purity making it a common choice for marriage, newborn infants etc… However, in eastern or oriental cultures, it is often the exact opposite; white is often the predominant color associated with funerals or mourning.

Color Your World

Despite the seasonal, annual and cultural color trends, there are some fairly constant associations considered nearly universal among American consumers. These aren’t merely interesting little tidbits; advertisers have long understood the relationship between color and consumer purchasing habits. In fact, research has repeatedly demonstrated that color is the most important element in visual appearance. While that may not sound exciting, consider this…only 1% of consumers buy a product based upon sound or smell. A measly 6% do so for texture. A whopping 93% of all consumers buy a product based upon appearance with color being listed as the most important factor by 85% of consumers. Today, we are going to share a bit of insight into the secret world of color as used by social media marketing pro’s and advertising experts throughout the nation.

Brand Recognition

If your small business is attempting to build a brand image, color is the THE most important aspect to get right but what does each color actually mean in the mind of consumers? Why did Coca-Cola choose to use red as its primary color? When will green generate the most interest? These are the types of questions advertising and marketing researchers literally spend years looking into and the findings may surprise you!

  • Black – Sleek, sophisticated. A good choice for luxury items but must use with caution to avoid the idea of death or mourning.
  • Green – Long associated with wealth, green is more than just the color of money…it’s also the easiest color for the eyes to actually process. Green is increasingly associated with sustainable, energy conservation and/or organic options as well as relaxation. A word of warning is needed when working with green…it is also the color of envy and nausea so select the color choice carefully!
  • Pink – The color of fun and femininity, pink is more than just pretty…it’s a tad funky, spontaneous and of course “bubblegum” young.
  • Blue – Traditionally associated with the male gender, blue is also used to convey strength and stability. However, blue is a fairly complex color with innumerable variations ranging from deep and dark to light and airy. To use blue most effectively requires attention to detail.
  • Red – So, why did Coca-Cola select red as the primary color for its products? Well, first of all because it is a primary color! But beyond the obvious attraction aspect, red is associated with energy and urgency. Coca-Cola was one of the original “energy drinks” and actually contained small amounts of stimulants aside from the caffeine commonly encountered today. Use red when you want to denote a high level of energy or an alert. For example, stop signs are red to signify a major alert with an associated action.
  • Yellow – Traditionally the color of caution, cowardice and fear, yellow is also strongly associated with optimism, openness and springtime. Once again, it’s all in the various shades.
  • Orange – This attention getting color is fairly aggressive but not alarming so it’s often the preferred choice for subscribe buttons, calls to action or buy/sell areas.
  • Purple – Long held as a sign of royalty, purple is used sparingly in most advertising campaigns due to the difficulty in finding just the right shade. On the other hand, it is both soothing yet exciting making it a highly versatile color able to bridge the generation and gender gap.

Consumers by Color

Last but not least, there is some interesting data used to target different demographics based upon color. For instance, impulse buyers are more likely to respond to the colors red and black while those on a budget tend to like blue or teal. Traditional buyers enjoy pink and pastel colors such as sky blue, rose or other non-prime options. Try a bit of color correcting out to see which advertisements get the best results on your next social media marketing campaign!

Connect with Social Bee on Facebook!