6 Powerful Social Media Persuasion Techniques

6 Powerful Social Media Persuasion Techniques




Ok, let’s be honest……you want your voice to be heard, repeated, and valued—and your message to be influential on social media.


But how?



To help you understand social media and the kind of influence it has on us, in this post you will find the 6 Fundamental Principles of Influence by the well known psychologist, Robert Cialdini


Click below to Grab Robert Cialdini’s book from Amazon here:



Let’s begin:


1. Reciprocation

In Cialdini’s words, the rule for reciprocation “says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us”And so it is in social media: we’re more likely to retweet someone who has already retweeted us. We link to people who have linked to us. And we tend to give a business far more trust after it has provided us with a lot of free value. If you focus on initiating reciprocity by providing no-strings-attached value to those in your network, you’ll ultimately wield far more influence.


2. Commitment and Consistency

“Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment.  Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision,”said Cialdini.  According to the principle of consistency, you’ll want to remind people of their previous positive commitments through perks, public displays, an elimination of friction for increasing their commitment, etc.



3. Social Proof

One method we use to determine correct behavior is to find out what other people think is correct. We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it. Whether we admit it or not, most of us are impressed when someone has a ton of blog subscribers, Twitter followers, YouTube views, multiple blog reviews for their upcoming book, and so on.

When it comes to social proof, tribes matter. It’s not just about what the mass of people are doing on social media that constitutes proof, it’s what other like-minded people and peers are doing. So according to the principle of “social proof,” you should concentrate your social media efforts on finding and building social proof within your tribe.


4. Liking

“We most prefer to say yes to people we know and like,” says Cialdini.  Extensions of this principle are:

  • Physical attractiveness creates a halo effect and typically invokes the principle of liking
  • We like people who are similar to us and who compliment us
  • We like things that are familiar to us
  • Cooperation toward joint efforts inspires increased liking
  • An innocent association with either bad or good things will influence how people feel about us.

How does this work for social media?

To start with the virtual equivalent of physical attractiveness, we give extra credence to attractively designed blogs, messages contained in videos with higher production quality, and corporations’ landing pages displaying a better sense of social media savvy in their overall design and layout. As for complimenting others, what else is a retweet, a trackback, or a positive blog comment than a social compliment? And yes, those are all activities you should participate in authentically, sincerely, and liberally if you wish to leverage the principle of liking to your advantage.



5. Authority

Cialdini talks about “The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of authority…”  In his book, he examines how authority can be conferred by (and also manufactured by) titles, clothes, and trappings. In social media, authority is less about titles and clothes than about virtual trappings. The most direct measure of authority is the number of people who will buy or download a recommended resource based on little more than an authority’s endorsement.  One thing social media has seemed to spark is a dawning understanding that authority is (or should be, at least) limited to a legitimate field of knowledge.


6. Scarcity

When bloggers open up a class or inner circle membership or subscription service, it is never for an unlimited number of customers or for an always open/unlimited time. Smart bloggers either create or fully leverage already existing scarcity by limiting seats available, length of time to buy, etc.



Below you will find some very positive ways to leverage the 6 principles of influence to increase your social media success:

  • Focus on creating value and initiating the reciprocity principle by gifting your social media contacts with high-value content, insights, reports, etc.
  • Sincerely flatter your subscribers, friends, and commenters by responding to them and nurturing your growing community.  Actively reach out to people you admire using social media and pay them the compliment of commenting on their blogs, following their tweets, linking to their content, etc.
  • Commit to consistent engagement on the social media platforms you chose to use, to the point of staying away from new social media platforms that you don’t have the resources to actively participate in.
  • Use social proof as credibility cues where appropriate Show off your number of subscribers next to the Subscribe button and build up your network by guest posting, commenting, and retweeting.
  • Put the extra effort in on achieving professional and inspiring design.  Dress for success on your blog, website, and social media landing pages.
  • When creating a contest or trying to spark immediate action, use the scarcity principle to positive effect.  But be honest about it—no changing “last day for” dates, no miraculously replenishing supplies, etc




What are your secret weapons of influence?




If you enjoyed this post and found TONS OF VALUE, please take a few minutes and share….Thank you 🙂


Sharing IS Caring!


To Your Success,
Joan Harrington


Click below to Grab Robert Cialdini’s book from Amazon here:

Facebook Comments

46 thoughts on “6 Powerful Social Media Persuasion Techniques

  1. You’re right people do tend to follow the masses. I’m trying to actively build my Facebook and Instagram following and I’m struggling with it. I’ll try being more engaged with others but my job has me working 10 hour shifts so it’s hard for me to find time for too much social media. These are some great tips though. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hey Melanie 🙂
      Let me know exactly what you are struggling with on your Facebook and Instagram and social media……I do have a few resources that may be helpful to you so it will be easier for you to be more productive when you are on social media….let me know if that is something I can share with you? I am glad you found these tips useful and valuable!! Look forward on hearing from you 😉 Take care!

  2. Thanks for sharing these very important points from Robert Cialdini’s book, Joan. For me, building relationships is the key. I cannot imagine not replying to a comment on a FB post or my blog. It is very time consuming, however, I believe in the long run, contributes to building a tribe that knows they are appreciated and who in turn appreciate you and what you share. There is so much noise in the online world, that we all want to optimize what we share, so for me, limiting my social platforms to only a few, seems to make the most sense. It’s fascinating how the people I connect with on Twitter are very different from those who I connect with on FB. Thanks for another information packed post!

    • You are very welcome Beverley! Yes, for me as well, building relationships is so important, especially on social media 🙂 I know people LOVE when you comment and engage…..makes them feel very appreciated!! I agree there is so much noise online, and not feeling overwhelmed on social media is the only way to be more productive. People do interact differently on each platform don’t they?

      Thanks for your awesome comment! Always a pleasure to see you my friend!

  3. I think what I found to be my most valuable lesson in social media is to not try to “do it all” sticking to 2 or 3 social media platforms so that you can be consistent with feedback and offer great content is key. And it’s so much less stressful than trying to stay on top of it all..

  4. Great tips, Joan! I think people appreciate conversation whether it be a quick “good morning” or a sharing or commenting on one’s blog post, they want to be noticed and appreciate. I like to do quick shoutouts when possible on Twitter. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Sabrina! I totally agree with you that people DO appreciate conversation whatever it may be, either by sharing or commenting 🙂 Appreciate your feedback!!

  5. I’m still learning the ropes in the blogging world but have to agree with every point you made. The biggest help for me has been to limit the number of social platforms I’m involved in, and groups within them, so I can do justice to those I am part of. If I have my finger in too many pies I will become overwhelmed and end up losing the plot – and the point – for my blog.

    • Hi Tamuria,
      Thanks so much! Very smart to limit your social media platforms, as to not be overwhelmed and being more involved in those that you are in. Can totally relate to that 😉 Appreciate the awesome feedback!

  6. So many articles are appearance about how to get your reach up on Fb. I really like his approach. I haven’t done much purposefully about being an influence but have worked hard creating blogs with more content than most in my field. Jewelry designers tend to show new collections with almost no text. We hope by providing fun & interesting content along with jewelry, that when someone needs a new necklace we will come to mind.
    I always reply to every comment although most recipients don’t see them.

  7. This look like a book I would have on my shelf, but it’s not..yet! 🙂 And although I’ve heard of and use many of these principles – I have room for applying many more, especially in the online forum. So, I am taking notes over here. hank your for sharing and providing such value to your online tribe.

  8. I am go glad to see a post like this that doesn’t say follow 100 people and then unfollow them. I hate those games. This is such a refreshing and honest approach. If people follow these tips they will grow their tribe.

  9. These are all terrific and I practice them all, in one form or another, most of the time. One thing that’s come home to me recently is reciprocity: I have people in my life who help me all the time, and it’s my pleasure to return the favor.

  10. Joan – I especially like # 4 above – about liking the person who is presenting his/her ideas. I find that not only do I like certain blog sites for their visual appeal, I actively seek witty, short bits of narration, whether I’m on a site for nursing, cooking, writing, or whatever. Matter of fact, I’d follow an ugly site if I thought it was witty.

    • Hey Joan,

      Thanks for your awesome feedback, always very much appreciated!! Yes, it is important to like that person who is presenting their ideas 😉 Absolutely agree with you!

  11. Hi Joan,

    Although we cannot be on every social site, we do need to pick at least two that we are active on every day…not saying we need to spend too much time on them, but rather engage with others. When pressing that like button, give a little comment…..it goes a long way!

    I love all the points shown, but have to say #6 Scarcity is one of my favorites. Only accept a number of people. This helps you get noticed as an authority.

    Great Share!


    • Hi Donna,

      Absolutely agree that we do need to pick at least 2 social sites that we are active on daily and consistently 🙂

      Engagement is so important on any social media 😉 Scarcity is one of my favs as well as it lets people know that there is just so much time that they have if they are interested.

      Thanks for your awesome comment and feedback! Always very much appreciated my friend!

      Hope you are having a lovely day as I know here in MA it is beautiful 😉

  12. Hello Joan, Looks like you have a great topic going here my friend! I love all your techniques , but the one hat really sticks out to me is what you said about dressing for success on your blog, website, and social media landing pages. This is one thing many of us don’t think about and first impressions are HUGE Right?

    Great Share..
    Chery :))

  13. Influence is going on my to read list. Love how you tied it to social media. Right now I am focused on creating relationships as best I can especially through my private FB group, Savvy Circle. I want it to be a place to support and inspire women over 40 to live healthy lives. It is growing slowing, but I am enjoying posting and trying to get more interaction.

    • That is great to hear Karen! Thank you so much for your comment 🙂 Your FB group Savvy Circle sounds amazing 🙂 It is all about building relationships, especially on social media…

  14. Hi Joan,

    After reading this, I am wondering if the networking and sharing links is about quality or just connections. So let’s say that a post on Facebook is something that lacks authenticity yet the owner of the page has shared every possible post of other pages. Now they start sharing his / her posts in those pages because they pay back the favor. There is that other page with unique content that has some followers yet the owner doesn’t have a tribe or doesn’t share links often. That page most probably will have less views.

    So the trends in social media have to do with quantity and not quality. Just because everyone shared that post, it makes it automatically important. I hope my concerns make sense. Thank you for this wonderful and mind provoking post!


    • Hi Zaria!

      To answer your question, the networking and sharing of links is all about QUALITY and @CONNECTIONS 😉 and yes your feedback totally makes sense girl! Thank you so much for your comment, always happy to read your thoughts 😉

      • Thank you for your reply Joan! I always like to see a coin from both sides and this is why I asked your opinion about networking. I value your wisdom and knowledge, so thank you for clarifying. I am not new to networking but I have noticed that things have changed a lot the last years. This is why I was a little bit skeptical.

        Wishing you a beautiful day! 🙂


  15. Thanks Joan, a good article about how to in a positive get something out of the online presence. And I agree to give value and always try to be kind and reciprocate with those who gives you support etc.

  16. Social media has certainly changed the world! Even the most introverted entrepreneur must come out of their skin in this new world. So many good suggestions here. The biggest thing I try to do is be myself and realize that I will attract the right people to me.

    • Yes it most certainly has Carol 🙂 Absolutely, 100% agree with you that we must always try to be you and know that the right people will be attracted to you. Thank you for your wonderful comment 🙂 Very much appreciated!

  17. Very well said Joan!

    Mr. Cialdini’s six extremely powerful concepts, will definitely help
    anyone, no matter what size their business and or service currently is.

    His concepts are timeless and evergreen!And we would all be the wiser,
    for learning how to incorporate them into, whatever it is, we’re currently doing!

    Thanks for providing a proven road map!

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