Social Hacks – Influence, Persuade and Beyond

By August 28, 2018Marketing

The social landscape presents an excellent opportunity for brands to increase their reach, build their online presence. These social platforms provide immense exposure, a variety of media formats to engage users and multiple touchpoints to meet the user at different stages in their buying journey.

But there are some marketing techniques that work better than others. These techniques tap into the power of “social proof” which makes your product stand out. Advertisements are a good way of distinguishing your brand but to really maximize the impact you need to look beyond. Let’s talk about how you can influence, persuade your audience and become the go-to place for them: 

The Path Of Influence

Your audience looks at influencers as peers. And since 92% of people trust peer recommendations, the influence of these social figures can be a potent weapon for brands in changing the point of view of the customer.

For these reasons, influencer marketing is taking over social media. Brands are carefully avoiding the noise created of branded content and are finding a more organic way of fitting into their audience’s news feed, by letting influencers speak for them.

Additionally, influence is more likely to work because it is least likely to be blocked out. Influencers blend into the social feed easily without creating an ‘advertising nuisance’ and thus are seen as less much less intrusive.

Take for instance this FitTea promotion post by Kylie Jenner, a renowned model, and entrepreneur which earned around 775k likes. FitTea’s influencer strategy is robust because it works in more than one way.

Onboarding female influencers did the trick for this brand, a good example of the understanding audience well. Studies reveal that women are more likely than men to follow brands because they want to get regular coupons/promotions (38% women vs 27% men) and because of incentives (29% of women vs 22% men).

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The Long-Lasting Power of Persuasion

Persuasion doesn’t just come with the power of changing mindsets about the product but it also has a long-lasting effect. With persuasion techniques, you go further than initiating an action to alter viewpoints. Here is how you can do this effectively:

  • Understand your audience

Persuasion can work wonders, but it has its limits, especially when your understanding of your audience is vague. To make your product appealing to the users you are targeting, the first essential element is knowing your audience preferences. So compile your audience insights data before you start your social campaigns.

  • Recreate your message

For Old Spice, competing with Axe was difficult because it resonates with a large audience owing to its compelling advertising techniques. So Old Spice changed its technique and came up with “Smell like Old Spice” campaign. This brand reinvented its message and prevented itself from being “axe”d by its competitor. 

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Going beyond-  “consensus”, “psychology” and “engagement”

Social marketing is dependent on numerous factors. Sometimes it is influence that gets the crowd. Other times, it can be a consensus or high engagement value that results in a transaction. Let’s find out what works beyond influence and persuasion.

  • Consensus

A great social hack to boost purchase is to show people how others are responding to your product. This can be done through testimonial videos where your users directly talk to your potential customers and the “consensus” finally takes them to mimic the behavior.

This works effectively because people look at the actions of others to determine their own; a principle brands can use to boost specific behavior in their consumers.

  • Psychology

Various psychological techniques are used by brands to boost social presence.

For instance, some brands tap into the emotional responses to color while creating their marketing strategy. Various restaurant chains use yellow cutlery since the color is known to boost appetite. In their branded content, visual marketers rely on these responses to enhance the appeal and create better engagement.

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Another tactic, principle of “loss aversion”, helps marketers build the way to purchase by triggering a psychological response to an “urgent” situation.

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In loss aversion, marketers highlight what consumers can lose if they don’t make a purchase within a particular time frame; not a frequently used tactic but a powerful one.

  • Engagement

Engagement unlocks many social benefits. This engagement can be significantly enhanced through the use of visual content. Incorporating images, infographics, GIFs, videos in your social strategy helps add a layer of appeal to your content; videos being the most popular content format. As per a survey by SmallBizTrends, social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

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But it is crucial to keep in mind that these hacks can vary from channel to channel because of the difference in the audience’s mood and the platform features. For instance, on Facebook, the sweet spot for a video falls somewhere around a minute while on Instagram, it falls around 30 seconds. To use engagement as a social hack, you should be familiar with the platform and what works well there.

Here’s a complete guide to social video best practices.

Closing thoughts

Social hacks can vary depending on the platform you choose. However, some hacks work effectively on all channels. So tap into the “influence” of popular social figures to impact purchases. Create great messaging to persuade your audience and see the long-term effects. Go beyond influence and purchase to dive into the potential of psychological hacks.

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