If you are seeking to increase leads, sales, visibility or all of the above, the first thing you want to do is make sure everything you do online and offline obeys these six principles, that Dr. Robert Cialdini covers in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
1. Scarcity: Run limited offers on your Twitter and Facebook pages that provide attractive reasons to register, enroll or buy right away. Offers exclusively for current or past customers can be effective but one adding the element of scarcity is really your secret weapon. Groupon has a countdown that shows you how much time you have left to purchase and it certainly encourages people to buy sooner than later!
2. The Law of Reciprocity: Are you monitoring social conversations involving your brand, industry and products and taking every opportunity to answer questions and interact positively with others online? Pay attention to those who continually interact with you and share your content. Go the extra mile to make your brand evangelists feel good about helping you again.
I recently set up a group on a site called Triberr where I’ve invited other social media authorities to join so we can share each other’s content through a simple, coordinated interface. This is a perfect example of reciprocity in action.
3. Commitment to Consistency: Are you able to quickly sum up exactly what you do for your target market in a couple sentences? Be sure that everything you do online resonates with that objective. It’s crucial that you humanize and that you are consistently responding to people and engaging with them. Social media must be done regularly if you expect to be successful with it. It’s crucial that you think about it as an extension of your business.
Make sure that you add a personal message to your posts so your readers can instantly tell that the content you’re sharing is actually coming from a real, live person that is truly an expert on that topic.
4. Position Yourself as the Leading Authority: People need to be assured the person they are getting content from is a leader in their industry before they decide to engage or follow their advice. One of the most simple and effective ways to position yourself as an expert online is through blogging.
Discover what problems your prospects are trying to solve and begin giving them solutions through your blog.
Do you think you are more likely to trust a person who tells you they are an expert or someone who shows you they are the expert?
5. Social Proof: Social proof plays a key role in your success online. It’s that elusive “crowd effect” that gives you credibility simply by having an audience.
Leverage and reward your network by promoting incentives for customers to leave comments, testimonials and reviews. Having these real world testimonials on your website as well as on other popular 3rd party sites will result in social proof that will give you some real traction. You will be most successful if you manage to make things that benefit you, benefit your readers as well.
6. Create “Shareable” Content: Robert Cialdini says that you need to get people to like you and if people don’t enjoy your content, you can be certain they won’t share it. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to share your content and it will go much further.
Strive to post things that your target market will relate to so you can have a better chance at reaching their networks through word-of-mouth (aka social sharing).
Melonie Dodaro, of Top Dog Social Media, helps business owners and professionals to use social media marketing to attract more customers and increase their sales. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, Melonie is a highly sought after social media speaker and trainer. Download her free LinkedIn checklist to ensure a professional presence at http://LinkedInChecklist.com.