Principles of Influence to Use in Social Media Marketing


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Illustration by Julia Hanke for Fireart Studio

The sun is twisting around the sun sooner. The number of online conversations happening on social media is growing every single minute. The world is talking.

How to join this global digital conversation and stand out there with your unique and powerful brand voice? How not only to talk (since there are a lot of those who are talking) but how to be heard? How to make your voice influential and valued? How to make it repeated, reposted, and retweeted?

Let’s take a look at what Dr. Robert Cialdini, professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University, is saying about it. In his book, Influence, Cialdini talks about six “weapons of influence” that are hardwired into our social and cognitive minds. Let’s consider them in detail.


Illustration by Julia Hanke

This principle means that we tend to do the same for someone who has done similar things for us. We tend to give in return to feel harmonious. We don’t like to have debts, and we’re subconsciously trying to pay debts instantly if there is an opportunity to do it.

The same psychology works in social media marketing. If somebody retweets us, we’re more likely to retweet this person too. We are more about to link to someone who has linked to us. We will sooner like and choose a brand that has already given us a lot of free benefits.

You can call it a kind of psychological manipulation or… a piece of knowledge about human behavior. Despite the fact of how you name it for yourself, you can use this technique to amass your brand on social media by building auto-follow bots when posting each time.

Commitment and Consistency

When we have made a significant choice once we’re more likely to justify it again if needed. We will rather make the same choice again than try anything another. This is how the human psyche works in most of the cases.

Cialdini has called this principle of influence – commitment and consistency. Once we have the commitment to our previously made action or choice, we will follow the consistent behavior that supports this action.

In marketing, it works like this: if a person has made the first step toward your brand, it’s very likely that he or she will finish the rest of the steps that lead to a conversion. On your side, you can remind your followers of their previous positive commitments through perks, public displays, and elimination of friction for increasing their commitment.

Offering attractive and valuable content for your audience, you can increase its commitment to your brand and consistent behavior. Investigate how to spice up your social media marketing with animation and other techniques. Try to find your best way to entertain followers, educate them, and suggest to them really valuable and visually stunning content, employ the power of the latest graphic design trends.

Social Proof

We may admit it or not, but we often follow things that are followed by the majority. Just think if you would perceive a blog or a YouTube channel as an authoritative one if it had only a few subscribers? And now imagine a channel with millions of people following it. Looks more like something trustworthy, right?

Of course, all we know that people can game a system and grow their social following artificially with the help of hacker’s tools. Nevertheless, we are frequently exposed to our emotional reactions and the first impression without even noticing it. The case with our tendency to follow more popular social media profiles is a vivid example.

It works as a kind of social proof. We trust brands that are trusted by others.


Animation by Magda

There is no secret – we prefer to say yes to people we like and already know. There a few other points that will help to understand the principle of liking:
1. We like beautiful things and attractive people. We are tempted by beauty and pretty appearance.
2. We like people who are similar to us and share our opinions.
3. We like people who compliment us.
4. Cooperation with other influencers (and impactful brands) inspires increased liking;

How to use use it in social media marketing? Create a digital equivalence to an attractive appearance by developing beautifully designed visual materials for social posts, blog posts, and a website, which you promote on social media. We give extra-credence to beautiful things.


If you have ever bought a product because a top blogger has recommended it then you’ve been impacted by the principle of authority. Humans tend to buy things just because they are offered by authoritative brands with a hundred-year-history.

If you want to boost your social media presence and you’ve already gained a good reputation over time, don’t hesitate to use it on social networks. Promote customer reviews, testimonials, high rankings, or any other facts and news that showcase your brand’s authority. Become an influencer by strengthening your authoritativeness. Step by step, post by post.


We are often driven by the feeling of scarcity. Actually, it’s one of the oldest and most proven marketing techniques, which is often used in social media marketing campaigns.

Smart bloggers and social media influencers always try to create scarcity when organizing some events or giving sales and discounts.

There are plenty of ways to create a feeling of scarcity for followers- limiting seats available, length of time to buy, etc. Scarcity helps grow the value of your product and services since a customer will perceive your offering as something more precious due to the newly arisen scarcity.


The influence is just an ability to persuade masterfully, without any pressure or obtrusiveness. People are fed up with obtrusive ads and obviously selling brand messages. We need more value, empathy, and humanity. Try to offer value where it’s possible, create quality content, communicate with your followers, answer their comments, and likes – interact. Stay pro-active, and you will surely reach success.

Dana Kachan
Dana Kachan is the author, keynote speaker, marketing consultant, and startup advisor. She has been consulting tech startups and established companies in the United States, Singapore, Poland, Israel, and Ukraine. Dana has been a guest marketing speaker at the World Digital Weeks 2021 and European Digital Week 2020. She is also a co-author of the book "Business-Driven Digital Product Design."


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