One day an elderly couple was taking their Sunday ride as they had done for the past 45 years. The wife looked over at the husband who was driving and said, “We used to sit beside of each other when we did this. What happened?”
The old man looked over at his wife and smiled, “I never moved.”
The perfect marketing strategy is right where you left it. Too many times I have seen marketers stray and deviate away from a strategy that has been working for them only to chase another marketing faux pas because of some hype.
If you haven’t quite found your perfect social marketing strategy yet, I want to share something that will never change. If you use this, you won’t have to deviate, or chase, anything else. Because it is predictable.
That is the case for the human brain.
People are finicky and weird sometimes. They change thoughts and ideas every day, but one thing which connects us all is the basic principles which trigger everyone.
Ready to get started?
The Psychology of Influence
It is all wrapped up in one idea. You have probably heard about influencer marketing, and you may think that you don’t qualify because you don’t have 500k social followers or a popular blog.
But that’s not the case.
Everyone who has a mind to do this can make it happen for them. Anyone that is involved in social media management has the opportunity to capitalize on this strategy.
Robert Cialdini authored a book called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and it’s one that has worked over and again for my marketing on social media.
In this book, he reveals some principles that you can work for you every day on social media and I want to share these with you.
#1: The Power of Reciprocation
Whether or not you’ve made it to “influencer” status, you should always be thinking about this aspect of your marketing.
Many times I get new bloggers and marketers in the social media field who want to give up. And they have decided to do this because “no one is listening and no one is sharing”.
I think this principle is first because it’s one of the most important things you will do in your social marketing…and it has nothing to do with your business.
It has many names. Some people call it content curation, others call it collaboration, some call it helping, but all benefit from the aspect of others in this situation.
Let’s talk about the beginning marketer. They don’t have an audience, nor do they have a large social
Psychologically speaking, reciprocation is powerful because reciprocation recognizes that people feel indebted to those who do something for them or give them a gift.
So the first thing that new marketer needs to do is to offer themselves to people, and do it for free, without thought of payment or reciprocation.
The reciprocation will not happen immediately either. It’s through consistency in doing this that people will fall in love with your brand.
You have to go first. You have to give first. Your reward comes later, but it will come.
#2: The Power of Commitment & Consistency
In his book, Cialdini says that people strive for consistency in their commitments.
This is important because while you have a lot of irons in the marketing fire, you need to be able to pull the trigger on each of them that are public.
Whether you like it or not, people are watching you, and it’s important to always make good on the promises you publish on social media.
Are you writing a book? Publishing a weekly blog post? Getting a new podcast ready?
People gravitate toward someone who is committed and consistent in their work, especially if their work is dedicated to helping them. This is one of the best ways to create an audience and keep them.
On the other side of the coin, it is important that you keep your audience committed and consistent to your brand as well. Keep them involved in that webinar by providing a landing page, or simply giving them something to do.
Create a call to action response in your social media posts and blog articles that announce the fact you want them to stay consistent in engaging your content by asking them to do so. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge in the right direction and people will stay committed to you.
#3: The Power of A “Like”
I’m not talking about a Facebook “Like” here either.
The “Like” I’m talking about is the one where you present yourself friendly and approachable to your audience. It is a scientific fact that customers respond “yes” to people they know and like.
In 2005, Randy Garner conducted an unusual study. He mailed out surveys to strangers with a request to return them. The request was signed by a person whose name was either similar or dissimilar to the recipient’s.
For example, Robert James might receive a survey request from the similarly-named Bob Ames. Those who received the survey from someone with a similar-sounding name were nearly twice as likely to fill out and return the packet as those who received the surveys from dissimilar sounding names (56% compared to 30%).
Cialdini says “One of the things that marketers can do is honestly report on the extent to which the product or service – or the people who are providing the product or service – are similar to the audience and know the audience’s challenges, preferences and so on”
If you want to create a “yes” answer to what you are doing on social media, then it is proven that you must understand what your audience knows, likes, and trusts for their business.
This happens by getting in the mix with them. Learning where they congregate and engaging with them, helping them, and having intimate conversations with them so you can get to know them better, and they can begin to be an audience that appreciates you as well.
#4: The Power of Authority
Stanley Milgram, a Psychologist at Yale University, conducted a 1974 experiment where ordinary people were asked to shock ‘victims’ when they answered questions incorrectly.
Those who appeared to be ‘in charge’ were dressed in the white lab coats, which gave them an appearance of authority. The participants were given the knowledge that the shocks they would be giving would increase in voltage each time the person (shockee) answered a question wrong.
But the shocks were imaginary because the recipient’s were acting.
After a while of the participants shocking their victims, the actors pretended to increase their discomfort and let out screams and shouting at the participants. Shockingly (sorry) enough, only two-thirds of the participants who were giving the shocks actually ignored these cries of pain and gave them even more volts.
“The real culprit in the experiments was the [participants’] inability to defy the wishes of the boss, the lab-coated researcher who urged and, if necessary, directed them to perform their duties, despite the emotional and physical mayhem they were causing.” ~Stanley Milgram
People respect authority.
They want to follow the lead of the real experts in their industry and that is why it’s so important to carve out an authoritative brand in the niche you’re working in. People need to follow someone of authority and that is why it is so important to be the expert on a certain topic.
Not many people listen to someone who is third rate on something. People want the best. They want the best mobile phones, the best laptops, and the best cars and homes. In their mind, they have already made a decision on which product is the authority in their personal lives.
People will make a decision about your brand and it needs to be the one where they think of you every time they think of __________ in their marketing.
Just fill in that blank.
And that is really the whole challenge of this whole thing. In order to be an authority on a subject, one must stand out from the crowd and say and do things that others aren’t doing or saying.
If you aren’t getting the results you want from your social marketing in the niche that you are in, perhaps you should consider niching down even more and pinpointing that expertise easier to your audience.
Either way, authority is something people follow on social media and, if you strategize correctly, it can be yours.
These, and other psychological principles like color can help you grab a better social marketing strategy every day.
There’s no use to chase flashy theories and ideas. It is better to stick with something you know will work for your brand on social every time, and one thing that never changes is how the brain reacts to your marketing.
Do you have something you would like to add to this article? Perhaps you have a story or an experience which could help someone who has just read this? I would love to hear about your endeavors in the comment section!