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5 Psychological Triggers to Increase Social Engagement
Posted on February 27th 2013
5 Simple Psychological Triggers to Increase Social Engagement
In Robert Greene's best selling book, "The 48 Laws of Power," he provides his interpretation - a word image - of a magnet: "An unseen force (which) draws objects to it, which in turn become magnetized themselves, drawing other pieces to them, the magnetic power of the whole constantly increasing."
Robert Cialdini, author of the classic book on persuasion, "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" spent three years going "undercover" applying for jobs and training at used car dealerships, fund-raising organizations, and telemarketing firms to observe real-life situations of persuasion. He used that research to create what's become one of top business books of all time.
Cialdini's "Influence" explains the psychology of why people say "yes." In short, business owners, brands and companies wanting customers to buy, follow or like them, must understand how to ethically persuade. How to use certain psychological triggers which in turn help you and your business become a magnet which constantly draws clients and followers. Some you may already know. But all bear repeating since they're top ways to create engagement.
1. Be the Go-To business followers emotionally invest in:
Take time to research the information and products followers want and provide it. Never present such a wide variety or disparate types of info and products it confuses and creates disengagement. Instead conscientiously and continuously present followers what they want. For example, links, resources, articles, stories and case histories which hold their interest and resonate with them. Keep them reading, visiting, loyal.
2. Be likable without comprising yourself or your business:
While it's certain not everyone in your lifetime will like you, most can - and will - appreciate your likability. This doesn't require going beyond your own personal, ethical or business boundaries to reach that goal. It means being reasonable, interested, approachable, responsive. Someone people want to follow, hire, work and deal with. Plus it's best to steer clear of passing all responsibility, for dealing with clients and followers, to an assistant. This may reek of arrogance to a follower or client.
3. Show yourself a visible authority in your area of expertise.
People follow experts faster and more often than others who claim it yet hide it, present it poorly or frequently share negative comments. Be visible. Offer valuable content. Regularly post to your blog, submit articles, share on social sites, answer questions on forums or your social sites to build your authority and credibility. Show your expertise by presenting the good, the bad and the ugly. Rely on both the new and time-tested suggestions, tips and help. Most importantly, provide valuable, actionable information and content people can use.
4. Continuously provide good social proof:
This can be anything from testimonials made by clients to comments made by followers to statements other professionals and groups have made about you, your services and products. To public comments made in the media; public endorsements.
When people see others, especially a site or individual with large numbers of followers, such as thousands of Twitter followers, Facebook friends or likes on blogs, connections and/or endorsements on LinkedIn, they're more likely to conclude they should also be a follower.
Don't be afraid to ask for testimonials and endorsements from clients, workshop attendees, product purchasers, for example. Post them on your sites and social venues when allowed.
5. Make reciprocation a good habit:
Social sites, by their very nature, encourage reciprocation. Do purchase from your connections or those they suggest. Refer good clients to others, recommend an individual you've worked with who has recommended you.
When someone provides a tip, an article or valuable info to you, always thank them. And respond at a later date with a link to a product, service or info you discover of value to them. Send a thank you of a free product or ebook to someone referring you to a potential client, or when you've signed the client. Send a free, unexpected, gift to a purchaser.
Reciprocation not only encourages deeper and more valuable relationships, it often provides something you can't usually buy: good word-of-mouth marketing.
Cialdini said, "Our best evidence of what people truly feel and believe comes less from their words than from their deeds." Become a magnet to whom people flock to, and engage with, by using ethical triggers to encourage positive social engagement.