For over 60 years, social scientists have studied ways people can influence other’s attitudes and actions. How can you use the “science of persuasion” in social media? Let’s take a look at six shortcuts people use to make a decision and respond positively.
What this means: People feel obliged to give back or say yes (in the form of behavior, gift or service) to those that they owe. How you give something also influences the person — it should be personalized and unexpected.
Social marketing tip: Develop free, unique, helpful content (via a blog, e-book, video, for example), ask people for a little information about themselves in order to receive it and make it easy to share it with others via social media. Hubspot offers tons of free content for marketers, asking people for their email address and other basic information to generate new leads for their business and follow up with personalized emails.
What this means: People want more of the things there are less of. Tell people about the benefits they’ll gain if they choose your products or services, what’s unique about the proposition and what they stand to lose.
Social marketing tip: Limit the number of seats at your next webinar or event, or offer up a certain number of enticing, relevant freebies for the first people who register. For example, Wildfire by Google offers a free copy of Jay Baer’s book for the first 200 webinar registrants.
What this means: People will follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts. What’s better is to have someone else tell how your business is best, before you make your influence attempt.
Social marketing tip: Obviously, getting positive stories from happy customers and partners should enhance your marketing efforts. You can also showcase expertise through blogs, YouTube videos, before/after photos, media coverage, stats and experience.
What this means: People like to be consistent with what they’ve previously said or done. Start by asking for small, initial commitments that can be made. When seeking to influence, look for voluntary, active and public commitments and get it in writing.
Social marketing tip: Develop a highly-targeted campaign to drive qualified consumers to Like your Facebook page — a recent study claims each fan is worth $174.17 to a brand. Asking people to Like your page is a small commitment. Then, you can invest in facilitating a dialogue with your customers, to both understand their brand perceptions and foster advocates to share positive qualities of your brand.
What this means: We like: 1) people who are similar to us, 2) people who pay us compliments and 3) people who cooperate with us. To persuade, uncover real similarities and offer genuine praise.
Social marketing tip: People identify with businesses that present themselves in a relatable, interesting and personable way. Relate to your customers with personal stories, such as how you got started in business or behind the scenes looks at what goes on at your offices. Get them to share their own joys and concerns within your social community. Provide excellent customer service and offer thanks and praise to your fans regularly.
What this means: When uncertain, people will look to the actions of others before they determine their own. Point to what others are doing, especially others who are similar to your customers.
Social marketing tip: Online reviews on sites like Amazon and Yelp help consumers make purchase decisions every day. Consumers are also listening to what others have to say about a brand on social media, and see how quickly the brand is responding to customer issues.
Inspiration/Source: If you have about 12 minutes to spare, check out this engaging video which uses live illustration to present the principles of persuasion based on research by Dr. Robert Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing, Arizona State University.