A lot of people feel that their fellow citizens who believe in conspiracy theories are wrong—if not crazy. A recent poll found that voters who buy into these theories are in the minority, but that the minority, in some cases, is substantial.
Regardless of the controversy about them, the speed with which information about the latest conspiracy theories spreads through social media still reveals lessons about general human nature that marketers can use.
1. The Government Hired Adam Lanza: Focus on Being Trustworthy
Image via Flickr by torbakhopper
Conspiracy theorists have a knee-jerk response to distrust and suspect the government and the establishment generally. Whenever something terrible happens, such as the 9/11 attacks or the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, conspiracy theorists emerge to say that the federal government has had a hand in it because of some political agenda.
While most people don’t distrust the US government quite this much, everyone can name examples of when our leaders at the highest levels actually did behave deceitfully: Watergate, Iran-Contra, etc. John Hardwig published a scholarly paper in 1991 suggesting that conspiracy theories are part of a growing skepticism of experts and the establishment, by everyone.
More to the point, everyone out there has been burned by someone,... Read more