How Your Customers' Social Circles Influence What They Buy, What They Do and Where They Go

Paul Adams (Facebook)
Marketing 2002
Presentation: external link
Average rating: ****.
(4.63, 19 ratings)

When it comes to the things we like, the activities we do, the products we buy and the places we go, we turn to our friends to help us decide. The people around us are our everyday solution to the increasing amount of choice and the increasing amount of available information in our worlds.

Smart businesses are re-orienting themselves around people, their friends, and their network. But in order to do so successfully, they’ll need a deep understanding of how our social lives are structured offline as well as online. How we have different relationships with different people. How we choose different communication channels depending on who we are communicating with. How we act differently depending on our motivation for communication. How we trust some people more than others. How we decide who to trust, who to turn to and what what to believe.

This talk will use the most recent research available to tell stories that illustrate the social patterns in our lives, and how businesses can use that knowledge to build new products, market themselves in more relevant ways, and create advertising that people value rather than avoid.

Photo of Paul Adams

Paul Adams


Paul works at Facebook, where he conducts research to inform advertising strategy and the design and development of future products. He is recognized as a leading thinker on designing social interactions, and spent the past four years leading user research for Google’s social web projects including Gmail, Mobile and YouTube. Before Google, Paul worked as a User Experience Consultant at Flow, leading research and design projects for clients including the BBC, The Guardian, Vodafone, UK Government and Betfair. Before Flow, he worked as an Industrial Designer, designing electronic appliances at Dyson and car interiors at Faurecia. Paul holds a first class Master of Science and a Bachelor of Design. He writes a popular blog at

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Jasmin Fernando
04/12/2011 4:21pm PDT

Hands down, one of the most insightful presentations I’ve seen in a while and quite possibly the best presentation at Web 2.0. Kudos!

“You don’t go and be social. Social is like electricity”

Picture of Mathijs van der Kooi
Mathijs van der Kooi
04/01/2011 2:34pm PDT

Beautiful presentation, Paul. It gave us some Nice input on discussions about how to design Myler within à more social context in order to facilitate and stimulate good decission making for self employed professionals through their sticky ties and their ‘dunbar network’

Picture of Sandra Fathi
Sandra Fathi
03/31/2011 5:18am PDT

Fresh and interesting analysis of the construct of our social lives. Nice to hear a scientific approach to understanding influence rather than the usual ‘target the folks with the most connections’.

Mary-Ann Wessan
03/30/2011 8:34pm PDT

Informative, engaging and fresh!

Picture of Marcelo Albagli
Marcelo Albagli
03/30/2011 6:40pm PDT

One of the best presentations I’ve seen this time. Congrats!

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