Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Social media and the Science of Influence

In this age of ubiquitous social media opportunities, more businesses are trying to leverage the medium to create sales, influence behaviour and develop loyalty. Most fail, spending lots of money and time trying to be 'liked' and then trying to work out how to translate these 'likes' into sales - what is known in the industry as 'monetising.'

There are many offers around to buy likes, whether through your Social Media provider in the form of advertising or some third party, but this strategy ends up having the opposite effect; reducing your impact as well as the quality and relevance of your followers to your brand. Buying 'likeability' simply doesn't work, you have to earn likeability organically because it is the glue that attracts and keeps your followers, converting them into customers.

I read an article recently by Arel Moodie in Forbes Magazine about likeability as a key factor of influence:

"We do business with people we know, like and trust. If people don’t like you, they won’t buy from you. If you sell something someone else sells, why should a customer buy it from you rather than them?"

"Increasing your likability is one of the best ways to separate yourself from the herd. Likability is accessible to everyone. Like anything else, it can be learned.  If you offer a good product or service and people like you, your competition won’t be able to touch you."
  (Arel Moodie is the best selling author of The Art of Likeability).
In our research we have identified the key components to rank highly in the social media realm, building likeability and sales. The research confirmed that successful communication in the digital realm has much in common with traditional print media; a picture paints a thousand words, snappy, relevant content is crucial, and a great headline trumps all.

Interesting, original and highly relevant images make you stand out, however - and this is a big one - they must be linked to content that is valuable to your target market. A headline of 3-4 words, with a high quality image that has an imbedded link featuring the first paragraph of an article or blog, seems to get the most impressions, views and likes; utilising the way algorithms prioritise posts on social media platforms.

So to build likeability, influence and sales via social media, you need to be able to access high quality, proprietary, original images, and have a great copywriter providing the headlines and the content. For most small organisations that's not something they can manage in house, because those skills are developed over a lifetime. It's kind of like suddenly having to become your own magazine or newspaper editorial team with copywriters, graphic designers and photographers on staff.

So what can you do?

This is where outsourcing comes in, but here is the caveat - and it's a big one. The team managing your social media must know you, must understand who you are, what makes you special, why you do what you do, and they must be able to write outstanding copy. Farming this out to some offshore team at the cheapest possible price will get you the same result as buying likes - nowhere!

So for true likeability that is in alignment with the who, what, when, where and why of your brand you need specialists who can do more than SEO and social media integration. You need a team who  have expertise in:
  • Brand Development and Consultation (understanding who you are)
  • Communication Mentoring
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Strategic Content Creation
  • High Quality, Proprietary Image Creation
  • Ghost Blogging and
  • Social Media Propagation 
If you want to stand out and become authentically likeable talk to the team at: NoTrees for an obligation free consultation:

Contact NoTrees 

Here's a sneak peak from my next book in The Energy Code series - The Charisma Code...

Charisma and the Science of Influence

Have you ever wondered why some people exert more influence than others or are more likeable? We often describe people or organisations that grab and keep our attention and influence our behaviour as charismatic or likeable. 
Charisma, however is more than just popularity and more than an ability to influence or lead.
Charisma is an ancient term, derived from the Greek word charis meaning 'divine gift of grace.' In this sense 'gift of grace' means a skill or ability given to a mortal by the gods for the benefit of the world. This gift was given in order to fulfill an extraordinary destiny or to change the course of history. While in modern times we associate charisma with beauty and persuasiveness, there is a lot more to it than that. Some people demonstrate aspects of charisma either natural or learned, while some fake charisma, creating a cult of personality to increase their celebrity or political power. I would argue these do not represent true charisma, which is something much more profound.
In its original sense a charmed or charismatic person was said to have the following attributes:
1. A special gift or talent
2. An ability to inspire others through their passion for life or a higher purpose
3. Audacity in the face of adversity - the ability to break through and lead by example
4. Grace and benevolence - putting a greater purpose ahead of their own needs, sacrificing their own comfort or well being for others.
5. Attractiveness - not just physical, a beauty of the mind, spirit or character, likeability
Charisma should not be confused with manufactured popularity or a cult of personality that uses propaganda in order to increase or maintain power. There is one attribute of charisma that helps us to tell the difference between the real thing and a fake. That quality is grace or benevolence.
Of course advertising or propaganda can be used to create the impression that someone is charitable, kind, compassionate and giving, but it cannot be faked in person.
So can charisma be learned?
Charismatic behaviors can be modeled and mimicked. We can become better communicators, develop our abilities or talents through hard work, make ourselves more attractive, but only life experience will determine whether we become more graceful, compassionate and wise individuals. This is the difference between leaders who seek to have power over others, and those who find themselves in a position of influence to change the world for the better.
Teams with a greater purpose outperform others. They retain their highest performing team members and report a greater sense of personal satisfaction and team loyalty. This leads to ongoing business improvement, further innovation and talent retention, which all contribute to market leadership.
Communicating likeability is crucial.
Alignment and authenticity are crucial. Faking likeability is a short-term solution, as is using public relations to 'look' like a good corporate citizen, because in the information age, sooner or later the faker is found out. Not every brand or individual will change the planet, but if we can connect to a deep passion or purpose, perhaps we can us our influence to advance one small area of our world for the better.

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