Influence is the grease that makes your marketing work. Using the weapons of influence to market your brand is critical — it motivates your network to share your message; it motivates folks to buy your products; it even impacts how people FEEL about your product. As I was writing my book, Social Media Marketing: The Art and Science of Building a Brand, I discovered I’d posted about Cialdini’s weapons of influence and expanded on the first 3 influence tools, but never went back and published the other 3 tools. So, I’m rectifying that today by giving your details on how you can use the other 3 influence factors to capture and convert from your marketing efforts.
First 3 weapons of influence
Just to remind you, the first 2 weapons of influence are:
- Social Proof
And, if you need a refresher on these tools of influence, I suggest you visit the link to the entire post — which I’ve included above.
Next 3 weapons of influence
Now, we’re getting at the heart of what makes social media work. When you like someone, you want to be like them; you want to make them happy; you acquiesce to their requests. When you “Like” a brand, you’re more likely to buy the brand. There’s also an element of consistency in here because “Likes” are public – in fact, go to many successful webpages and you’ll see pictures of your Facebook friends who’ve liked the brand. Being consistent means you’ll follow up that like by buying the brand, especially if the brand is something others see you use.
Your goal, as a social media manager or other public faces of the firm on social media, is to be likable. How do you do that? The same way you become likable in the real world – be a good friend, provide assistance and support to your network, be real, own your mistakes, recognize the accomplishments of others, etc.
It’s good to be the King – or anyone else who’s in charge of things. As humans, we seem predisposed to follow instructions. Think about the Milgram experiments where otherwise normal people continued to shock distressed “subjects” simply because they were told to by someone wearing a white lab coat.
Much like social proof, you can convey authority in social networks. Using a title or listing credentials conveys authority. Your ranking on Alexa or other respected rating sites gives you authority if it’s high. Who shares your posts or comments on them conveys authority when that person is a recognized leader. Also, guest posts on respected websites suggest you’re an authority.
There are lots of ways to build authority. For instance, answering questions on Quora, especially when those answers get votes from readers, helps build authority. Building your social network conveys authority, so you might list your social networks on your site along with counts of followers. Counts for shares on each post similarly convey authority.
People want what they can’t have and the less there is of it, the more they want it. Experiments show that when you limit purchases, people buy more, for instance. Put a sign on a display of canned beans stating $.75 limit 4 and you’ll sell more cans of beans than without the limit. You’ll even find some consumers trying to game the system by getting a friend to buy 4 cans for them, so they’ll have 8.
You can use this by limiting the time allowed for buying your product, limit the number of products available, or create content only available to specific users, such as those who’ve joined your subscription list or membership site.