A common stereotype about marketers labels us all as manipulators. And while this post may enforce that kind of thinking, hopefully it will remove the bad label that follows the word "manipulations" carries. Manipulation takes place in every office around the world, and in almost every client-service provider interaction. However, in most cases it is about little favors, shortcuts to getting a job done, or close a deal faster. It is also the very basis of motivating and influencing employees. For marketers, of course, there are techniques which help in inspiring and motivating people towards a desired action. I have conducted a research of scientifically proven techniques of mind manipulation which can be installed in any social media strategy, corporate or personal. Here is what I have come across:
Give potential clients a reason you do what you do
Or as Mr. Simon Sinek so wisely put it: "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it". Providing people with a reason why you do what you do will help you get closer to your target audience and make them more inclined towards action. I really can't state it better than Mr. Sinek; to learn more about this technique check out his speech on the topic in the video below.
2. Establish similarities
Brands usually do this by associating themselves with a sports team their target audience prefers, an event that takes place, a particular type of music etc. People usually do it by mirroring clothing styles, body expressions, intonation patterns etc. By establishing similarities people get under the impression that brands are like them in other aspects as well.
3. Use emotional appeals
While 2 decades ago marketers were debating and diving industries which should use rational appeals, as opposed to industries which should use emotional appeals, there really is no debate today. Even big industries, which require an initial high purchasing price, such as automotive sell by using emotional appeals. Science suggest that we make decisions based on emotions that drive us, and then use logic to justify those decisions.
*Ken Orwig has a great post which explains rational vs emotional approach in detail.
4. Create a perception of authority
On social media, this translates to including your certifications, years of experience or maybe featured clients in your profile/cover/photos on your social profiles. People prefer collaborating with, and buying from experts in the field.
5. Get prospects to make a small commitment
Asking followers to join you in a donation/health cause would be a great example. You do not need to ask them for a big commitment; any small thing will do. This way, you will have an advantage before swooping in your sales pitch and your followers will feel a little closer to your company.
6. The "They did it too" approach
If you are targeting young college students, you'd want to share another college's win in a desired action of your choosing. If you are targeting a small-medium company, you share some info about how the leaders in the field do it. People will be more inclined to do something if someone else has done it before them.
I'd love to explore this field further, please to let me know of other manipulation techniques in the comments section!