Author of Hooked: Building-Habit Forming ProductsNir Eyal, stopped by Bufferchat to discuss how the Hook framework applied to marketing and social media.

For the full Storify summary of the Twitter chat, click here.

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habit-forming products nir eyal

What are the components of the Hook model?

From Nir:

  • “A “hook” has 4 parts: trigger, action, reward and investment”
  • “…through successive cycles through these hooks, users form habits.”

How can being aware of the Hook model serve you as a consumer and creator?

From Nir:

  • “Habits are very good for the bottom line”
  • “Habits supercharge growth, increase defensibility, increase value of the user to the company, greater pricing flexibility”
  • “Customers rebel if they feel locked it, habit-forming products should be “want to” not “have to”.”
  • “Examples of self-triggers … Lonely = use Facebook, uncertain = use Google, bored = Pinterest, YouTube, ESPN”
  • “I hope we all become more aware of the psychology of persuasion so we can become smarter consumers.”
  • “To help people not feel locked in, maintain sense of autonomy. See more in this essay:  http://qub.me/pap2kQ

Other great insights:

  • “Never forget as a creator what it feels like to be a consumer – interact with that part of you.” @Kymberlaine
  • “Also the hook model helps marketing connect the users’ problem to your solutions.” @maned
  • “Marketing is all about encouraging people to perform behaviors. Once you’ve defined them in context of hook model, push ’em!” @allygreer

What is the biggest hurdle in changing to a product that might be improved, but not engrained in habit?

From Nir:

  • “There are a few ways to “steal” a competitor’s user’s habits, go through Hook 1) faster 2) more frequently 3) make reward better or 4) make it easier to get into the Hook.”
  • “Brief intro video to the Hook Model here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQBsnSC_TRM 

Other great insights:

  • “A smooth transition. We are creatures of habit and adjusting to something new, even if it’s better, can be challenging.” @jolleygood
  • “Finding activation energy at the right time and place when you should use the new, improved product.” @rsidneysmith
  • “The main question to answer is “why should I switch?”. If your audience can’t see that RIGHT AWAY, you’re missing out.” @outsider_NYC

How can the Hook model shape marketing strategy?

From Nir:

  • “Hooks shape marketing by changing product experience so that users are self-triggered, less need for expensive/annoying ads”

Other great insights:

  • “There is nothing wrong with trying to hook honestly. Just don’t be scummy about it. I hook customers with value, not tricks.” @JayVig
  • “I think marketing will have to focus more on hooking, engagement and loyalty then ever before” @PetrPinkas
  • “Any Strategy must have Structure..the Hook Model is a simple structure upon which you can build.” @d_scott

What are some ways to discover customer pain points?

From Nir:

  • “Best way to discover opportunities is to observe current habits and consider how new interfaces will make for a better hook.”
  • “Consider how new tech will make scratching the users itch easier, faster, or more rewarding”
  • “Better than just asking customers what they want is understanding the psychology driving behavior but that they can’t articulate”

Other great techniques mentioned:

  • Social media
  • Polling
  • Uninstall feedback
  • Question habits
  • Engage/ask your audience
  • Look through user data
  • Watch frequent customer support questions
  • Reviews/testimonials

Huge thank-you to Nir for being here to chat with us! Learn more about habit-forming products at  http://HookModel.com and  http://NirAndFar.com.

 Image sources: Death to the Stock PhotoBlurgrounds, Pixel Buddha

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Written by Nicole Miller

Community Champion at Buffer 🙂 When I’m not connecting with amazing community members, you can find me writing, reading or blogging about my urban homesteading adventures with 15 chickens, four ducks, two dogs and a horse.