How the principles of social influence can improve your marketing strategy

45235994 - social networking and social media avatar  concept.According to researcher and author Dr. Robert Cialdini, there are six proven methods of persuasion that can be used to influence others: Reciprocity, scarcity, consistency, authority, likability, and social proof. When it comes to marketing, these techniques are crucial for understanding your target audience and creating effective campaigns.

Here are a few ways to incorporate these six principles of social influence into your own online marketing strategy:

Reciprocity

This involves the classic “give before you get” approach. In other words, you have to offer something to potential customers before they’re willing to buy from you, whether that’s a free report, free initial consultation, or anything else of value that will create a sense of indebtedness, which psychologically motivates people to want to “give back” by buying something from you.

Here are 10 great examples of the reciprocity principle in marketing campaigns.

Scarcity

This is one of the most well-known marketing tactics: Creating a sense of limited supply or a limited amount of time to make a purchase. This generates a feeling of urgency for consumers, who might otherwise scroll past your social media ads and forget about your offer. However, it’s important to avoid creating a false sense of urgency – such as “limited time offers” that don’t actually expire – in order to maintain your credibility as a brand.

Here are some awesome examples of scarcity copywriting from other brands’ marketing strategies.

Consistency

Have you ever seen ads on social media that were completely different from the website they directed you to? A lack of consistency between a brand’s messaging, image, values, and even products/services is frustrating for consumers. To smooth out the process of converting website visitors into paying customers, make sure your social ads are relatively similar to your website and your call-to-action remains consistent in all of your marketing collateral.

Here are 15 examples of consistent brand marketing to get some inspiration from.

Authority

Trust and credibility are some of the most important things consumers look for when deciding which brand to purchase products or services from. If you don’t project an air of legitimacy and expertise (and provide warrants for your claims to authority), then you might not get the sales figures you’re hoping for because consumers are turned off by marketing messages that don’t offer a compelling reason to buy from this brand in particular over the competition.

Here are a few examples of authoritative brands and entrepreneurs to help you develop your own brand’s authority in marketing messages.

Likability

Traditional advertising is losing its effectiveness among consumers, especially those in younger demographics. Instead, consumers want to feel engaged with a brand, whether that involves personalized responses to social media messages or sending thank-you letters or emails with a promo code for future purchases after someone completes their first purchase. What this all means is that your brand needs to have the likability factor; you can’t just sell to customers. You have to develop ongoing relationships with them.

Here are some fantastic examples of brands that took their likability to the next level with social media users.

Social Proof (Consensus)

Last but not least, we have social proof. This social influence strategy entails popular opinions, such as Yelp reviews, customer testimonials, ratings on Facebook business pages, and so much more. Potential customers are more likely to buy from you if you offer some kind of social proof that demonstrates your brand’s history of customer satisfaction. While this may seem intuitive, it’s certainly surprising how many businesses have yet to claim their Yelp pages or regularly ask customers to leave reviews on their websites or online marketplaces.

Here are 8 examples of brands that highlighted social proof in their own online marketing campaigns.