Thursday, August 12, 2010

How to Build Influence in Social Media: One Person's Ideas

"6 Ways to Increase Your Influence and Persuasion"
Search Engine Journal (August 2, 2010)

"Working in today's niche markets, we all want to know if there's a magic bullet. Is there a way to influence your buyers, clients, fans and/or Twitter followers to do what you want them to do? With so many tools to use, decisions have to be made about which shortcuts to take. However, several studies resulted in somewhat unusual findings on what persuades people to act.

"The Art of Online Persuasion in 5 Easy Steps

"1. Give, give, then give some more.

"It should be no surprise that people are more likely to do something for you if you've done something for them first. Think about this in your everyday life. Aren't you more willing to help your neighbor with moving some shrubs if they helped you with your yard work previously? How about when someone asks you to RT or Like something on your Twitter feed or Facebook? It's human nature...."

That "in 5 easy steps?" Not true. The author gives six steps. They are fairly easy, though. Easy to understand, anyway. They involve some effort, like #1. This post assumes that you are
  • A human being
  • Willing to interact with other human beings
  • Not stupidly selfish
Odds are really, really good that if you're still reading this post, you qualify on all three points.

One of the points, "2. Offer fewer options," may be a bit counter-intuitive. It certainly goes against some of the (dubious) advice I got when I was in marketing. On the other hand, it's spot on with the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Then there's "3. Build social proof." This is probably why some outfits have bots try to spam their way to big numbers of followers. That kind of "social proof" I don't need - and I don't think that's what the author had in mind. Seriously? I pay attention to the number of followers someone else has on Twitter. If the other person has, say, 10,000 followers - and they look like 'real' people (not bots), I'm willing to think the person has something worth reading.

Bottom line? Even if you're not a business, and just want to get more folks reading your material: This post might help.
A tip of the hat to Steveology, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this post.

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