All forms of advertisement seek one and one thing alone, to persuade their target audience. Advertisements try to manipulate information and exploit perceptions in order to persuade people that their product is superior with varying degrees of success.
According to what we were taught at the University about persuasion, the effectiveness of any persuasion campaign varies depending on three key things:
Today we are going to focus on the first part.
Source of Communication
This I believe is rather obvious because we all examine the sources of information and the credibility we attach to any information is contingent on how we rate the source of this information. The credibility of a given source affects its communication and persuasion effectiveness.
From our lectures, we were taught that persuasion campaigns are more effective when:
When it comes to social media, the above more or less apply too…
1. Experts on the topic
I am not the first and I certainly won’t be the last person to say that in blogging, CONTENT IS KING. As a blogger, continuous blogging in increasing depth and scope on any given topic grants you the expert status and this will be reflected in the growth in readership, the acknowledgment as such in the comment section, invitations to speak or advice on the topic at hand and even to review or endorse related services/products.
In traditional media, adverts have for long made use of this expert status allure by using actors who pose as doctor’s, drivers, sick people etc and have sometimes even used the real doctors… to deliver this expert status perception.
As a blogger, this perception of expert status is crucial for persuading people who read your content and there are no shortcuts to achieving expert status. There is no magic bullet, there is only content and more content for in social media, content is king. My favourite social media bloggers Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, Lisa Barone, Valerie Maltoni and Jeremiah Owyang are a proof of this assertion. But going one better than traditional adverts, social media is not acting, it is the real thing. You have to know what you are talking about because the expert status is not a title you grant yourself but one that you are feted with by readers who deem you as such.
2. Trust and Credibility
The thing about bloggers is that you cannot afford to preach water and drink wine or proclaim iPhone yet you are the community manager in an Android fans forum – you catch my drift. Social Media is about relationships and when people catch you in lie; do not get surprised that their reaction will have as much vitriol as your girlfriend’s if she catches you cheating. Without trust, you have no credibility and without these, you will persuade nobody.
Trust is crucial and next to content, it is your only currency in social media. Great relationships flourish on bedrocks of trust and social media is no exception. Bloggers cannot afford to betray this trust because without it, their activities online become worthless. Disclosure in social media channels has been a very critical issue because the credibility of a blogger is too important to walk the grey line with. Therefore, to be effective in communicating with your readers, trust must be established and nurtured.
3. Likeability of the Communicator/Communication
I like The Blogess because she is a hilarious lady. And she writes niiice. I really like @LisaBarone of Outspoken Media because she always finds a way of cracking me up in the midst of the consistently incredible social media content she writes. Even though I subscribe to almost all the leading social media blogs, I skim through most of them but always read posts from Outspoken Media because I really like how Lisa communicates. There are a couple of other bloggers who I read because they appeal to me for varied reasons.
As a blogger, ensure that your personality extends to the blogs that you write and in any other content that you put online. Whichever blog we read, we do so because we will probably like and get along with the writer if we were to meet in person. What and how we all write gives away tidbits of our personality that people identify with and it is because they in one way or another identify with us that they are persuaded by what we write or recommend.
I look forward to your thoughts in the comment section below…