Persuading and influencing the audience is the ultimate goal of any marketing strategy. The same principle holds true when it comes to using social networking to leverage the influence status of any business.
The best thing about social media campaigns is that they are designed to persuade the audience towards a certain pre-ordained outcome. It is the reason why Trust building is a potent communication tool in any marketing campaigns such as blog posting service, content marketing, etc.
As a matter of fact, according to Robert Cialdini, a famous psychologist, persuasion is a ‘weapon of influence.’
Influence is the New Norm of Mental Shortcuts
It is part of human nature to rely on mental shortcuts when it comes to decision-making. Human brains are naturally wired to select the easier options in solving problems. And the reason is obvious, with the availability of too many pieces of information to consume and many decisions to make, mental shortcuts make everything easier.
Mental shortcuts and persuasion are somehow interconnected when it comes to boosting the influence of any social media campaign. Cialdini’s book about harnessing the power of influence becomes a powerful arsenal of many marketers’ strategies and blog posts.
Below are the persuasion ideas and principles that marketers and business owners can use to wield a massive amount of influence to any marketing efforts.
The Art of Reciprocity
The rule of thumb is to start your marketing move by initiating a thoughtful conversation. If you’re a salesperson, you have to be assertive to gain sales. But assertiveness here means that you need to establish a connection with the customers before initiating a sales pitch.
Cialdini mentions in his book about the study where a university professor sent cards to people he never actually met. Much to his surprise, many responded and sent back cards in return. The idea here is to offer something nice and create a sense of obligation. Kunz, along with his family, continues to receive holiday cards from different people for 15 years.
As for marketing strategy, marketers need to add value first and see how favors will work through engagements or referrals that will improve the exposure of their brand or business and give high ROI. Referrals and engagements are two critical factors for a successful marketing campaign.
The Importance of Commitment and Consistency
People value commitment and consistency. If you say one thing but do the opposite, people will disregard you the next time you say something because they don’t find you credible.
Cialdini adds that psychologists understood the power of consistency and commitment when it comes to directing human actions. This tendency is strong enough to compel people from doing things that they normally don’t do.
When it comes to marketing strategy, you have the chance to yield opportunities by building choices for people. You can also improve engagement by setting commitment goals for these individuals.
Take your cue from those pop-up messages that appear on blogs. Instead of giving the option to ‘close’ the model, it is better if the users have ‘yes’ or ‘no’ options, where ‘no’ means an undesirable result.
The Power of Social Proof
Another interesting aspect of persuasion is its ability to motivate. Yes, you can use persuasion to motivate people to choose your brand. This concept applies to social proof.
The tactic itself is popular. One form of social proof is persuading people to read the most popular articles and buy the best-selling ones. It is even more visible on different social media platforms where people spend the majority of their time following what’s hot and what’s not, who’s who and what’s trending.
The ‘Liking’ Matters
The root of this persuasion principle comes from the idea that “If you like me, you’re more likely to say yes.”
When it comes to building trust, liking is a paramount step which raises the bar to an active persuasion. Showing your personality goes a long way when it comes to communicating with people. Unfortunately, there’s only a few brands and business owners who invested in this stratagem.
Take your cue from Slack, a software company in Canada that does an excellent job in expressing a friendly voice. Whether it is conversational release notes, emoji-happy tweets or encouraging messages while the app is loading, Slack sounds like it houses positive people.
The company’s strong fanbase results from taking care the overall user design is winning the approval of many users and customers. The point here is to make the first move in establishing a harmonious relationship with the users. Do not ‘wait’ to build rapport, instead ‘move’ to establish a rapport.
Implementation of Authority
Authority is another byproduct of persuasion that is crucial in every social media campaigns. As you know it, authority demands the use of expert testimonials and celebrity endorsements, as well as case studies to promote your brand or business.
All you need for your authority to blossom is an indication of status. A fancy title, some pinch of popularity and a uniform are the factors that you need for people to follow your leads. The same with liking, authority is a form of a long game too when it comes to building influence and reputation for your brand or business.
A simple move of indicating your status can boost your persuasive powers which will lead to better marketing.
Promise of Abundance from Scarcity
According to Cialdini, competition over scarce resources has a powerful effect on businesses. It not only raises the desirability and value of an individual product, but it also encourages the people to act on urgency.
Applying the rule of scarcity to any social media marketing is a wise idea since limited supply or time increases ‘yes’ rate.
One of the remarkable events that use scarcity to improve brand influence is when Noah Kagan of AppSumo creates a free email marketing course for a 7-day enrollment period. Through his scarcity tactic, his email subscribers tripled.
The art of persuading people is not just a marketer’s job. Whether you’re trying to induce your boss for a raise in salary, convincing a receptionist to squeeze you into a full yoga class, getting your friends help you for the umpteenth times or trying to win a guest posting service on the web, you engage in the art of persuasion on a daily basis. To succeed in marketing, the ability to move hearts and minds and of course, to convince people to buy your brand is no less crucial.
About the Author, Jeremy Miner
Before founding 7th Level Communications, Jeremy co-founded and served as Chief Sales Officer of an online education start-up that he took from zero to $37M in revenue the first year. Previously, he was Vice President of Sales at Wealth Masters International, a provider of personal finance training and educational products. With responsibility for recruiting and training the worldwide sales organization, he increased annual revenue from $12 Million to $75 Millions in three years. Prior to Wealth Masters, Jeremy was Vice President of Sales and the top individual salesperson at Life Path Unlimited. His sales expertise helped propel this personal development training and education company from start-up to a market leader with $55 Million in annual revenue in only two years. Formerly, he was the top salesperson at Liberty League International in the same industry niche, where he was instrumental in the company setting new industry records for sales revenue