Jean L. Serio CPC, CeMA in HR Manager, Entrepreneurs, Sales Founder - Social Media and LinkedIn Marketing Strategist • Get Your Buzz On May 16, 2016 · 2 min read · 1.3K

Does Your Brand Have the 6 Essential Persuasive Factors Necessary to ‘Make People Do What You Want’?

In his bestseller, and what many consider a ‘must-read’ book, “Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion” Robert Cialdini, Ph.D has identified 6 principles of persuasion.  These 6 principles can make you more effective at getting people to do what you want, he believes. Interestingly, five of the six directly relate to effectively utilizing LinkedIn and social media marketing.

Here’s the 6 principles:


If I had to re-order them, to reflect todays socially driven world, I’d organize them up as follows:

1. Authority – When it comes to social media marketing, and social networking, authority helps build trust. Says John Jantsch, known as the ‘World’s Most Practical Small Biz Expert’, “E
veryone wants it and few really know how to earn it.” One way to start building authority is back up your articles and social posts with actual facts and figures to help support your comments.  Stay up-to-date on your industry. Build a content platform. Speak to thorny issues.

2. Liking – It’s a fact. To virtually do business with you, people must trust and like you. Those that do, will frequently have something in common with you.  Often agree with your point of view or attitude; think along the same lines. Making it easier for them to follow you, share, purchase your products and/or services.  While it isn’t necessary that everyone you work or interact with like you, when you have the likability factor in your favor, people are eager to spread good ‘word-of-mouth marketing’ about you and your business than if it’s poor or non-existent.

3Reciprocity – Whether working face to face with a client, or virtually, give-and-take is necessary to develop positive and long-term relationships. In fact, reciprocity is considered one of the basic principles of relationship building. Which also includes business affairs. When it comes to socially staying connected, sharing information or resources is a great way to show your appreciation of  a follower’s post, a recent sale; thanks for word of mouth marketing. 

4. Consistency and Commitment – Once you’ve developed ‘authority’, have the ‘likability’ factor going for you, and ‘reciprocating’, ‘consistency and commitment’ are necessary to keep your social network engaged, loyal and buying.  Schedule a definite time for creating and posting or choose a capable staffer to handle it. Have a social posting plan and social strategy. Face it. If you’re not consistent and committed to your clients, fans and followers, how can you expect the same in return?

5. Social Proof – Good social proof can go a long way to closing a sale. Not to mention build your brand.  Adding recommendations and reviews to your sites, mentioning them on social platforms is essential. Utilize case histories and product use videos. However if you think simply posting price comparisons will do the trick and build sales, according to a recent Wharton School of Business study “today people are more concerned with saving time and stress than money”. Take time to discover what type of social proof your audience requires and provide it.

Also, a 2005 study on “Implicit Egotism”, by Pelham, Carvallo & Jones, posted by the American Psychological Society, and which still holds true today, says “People gravitate toward people, places and things who resemble self.” That said, add quality photos of reviewers to your social platforms and sites. These should be photos of individuals who best resemble your overall audience. Note:  Your
social proof should be placed prominently on sales, landing and purchase pages.

6. Scarcity – If you’ve been in business long enough the one thing you’ve come to understand is scarcity works.  While it prompts procrastinators off the fence, people to join your group, on the other hand if overused it can devalue your product or service. The question is – when do scarcity tactics begin diminishing your integrity?

Regarding scarcity: Be sure your offer has real value. It’s marketed to the right audience on the right social platform. Make it clear who the offer is for. Stand behind your offer by providing a money-back guarantee.

Bottom line: 

Understand these 6 universal principals - what motivates people to says yes, join and buy – and you’ll become a ‘skilled persuader’ people believe, like, trust and buy from.

Arvind Kumar May 14, 2019 · #3

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Jean L. Serio CPC, CeMA May 24, 2016 · #2

Thank you William King; your comments are appreciated. And so true you are - social proof should not be underestimated. Today people (customers and potential clients) believe what their peers and other social friends say first.

William King May 23, 2016 · #1

Wonderful post Ms. Jean L. Serio, CPC, CMC. Social Proof should not be underestimated. Many times the principle, Authority, of those who recommend you can increase your own principle of Authority.