Influence is defined as a person or thing with the capacity or power to have an effect on someone or something.
So, in other words, influence is the ability to affect change on another person.
Theoretically, this change can be anything.
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In practice, however, influence is all about changing someone else’s opinion for your own purposes.
Now, by using this definition, it can seem that influencing opinion is a little manipulative.
Don’t shy away from that thought.
There is nothing wrong with manipulation.
Well, we’ve been taught that manipulation is a negative thing.
It smacks of using another person for your own ends, usually to their detriment.
Influence, on the other hand, is seen in a positive light.
We look at influencing as a helpful and upbeat process.
The person doing the influencing is giving selflessly of their greater experience and judgment solely for the benefit of the person being influenced.
In short, influence is altruistic and manipulation is selfish.
In reality, influence and manipulation are only two endpoints on the same spectrum.
Each one is intimately and inextricably tied up with the other.
In business, market share, sales, and profit are everything.
Every business is competing for a slice of the same finite pie, in terms of customers.
The business that has the biggest influence over this customer base stands to gain the biggest slice of the pie.
This is where social media comes into play.
Social media is nothing more than the use of the Internet to expand the scope of a business’ reach.
Social media is any application or website that allows users to create and share information.
If the information being shared is compelling and is presented in a way that resonates with the audience viewing it, then the influence of the sharer increases.
This influence can be quantified in several different ways, depending on the purpose behind the original post.
An individual can have numerous reasons for posting information on a social media website.
They may feel the information is important to their own social agenda.
In other words, they enjoy this particular viewpoint, hobby or form of entertainment and want others to share in that enjoyment.
Alternatively, they may be posting information designed to attract other people of a similar persuasion in order to gain positive attention and reinforcement.
After all, the more other people “like” what you’ve posted, the better you feel about yourself and your choices.
A business, on the other hand, should be using social media for only one reason, to influence other people in regard to product, service, and brand.
In other words, social media influence for business must be designed to drive sales.
Let’s take a closer look at how this works.
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Using Social Media to Influence Your Audience
Social media has become an enormous part of every business marketing plan.
And if your business doesn’t utilize social media, it needs to start doing so immediately!
Brand recognition, customer satisfaction, engagement and an increase in perceived authority are a few ways your business can benefit from leveraging social media within a structured marketing plan.
And more and more uses for social media are popping up every single day.
Why would a business want to influence their audience?
Ultimately, the answer to that would be sales, of course.
But social media influence can accomplish many of the necessary psychological needs that come before the sale.
These needs must be examined, and met if the end sale is to occur.
When a potential customer becomes familiar with your appearance and your personality, they come to realize there is a face behind the business.
Knowing who you are gives them a sense of how you run your business.
The more familiar you become to them, the more apt they are to purchase whatever goods or services you are selling.
The more trust you can build with your target audience, the more customers you will have.
This is a basic sales law that has never been more relevant than it is today.
More than likely, your target audience is tired of being sold to.
They want and need that connection with you to help them feel as if they are making an intelligent buying decision.
The power of trust can never be minimized.
Social media gives a business the perfect platform from which to create engaged interaction with their potential customers.
It becomes easy to find out what your audience wants, and then provide a product or service to accommodate that want.
The ability to obtain opinions, feedback, and criticism in real time is one of the most beneficial marketing aspects of social media for businesses.
Engagement with your audience on your Facebook page or Twitter feed will have an enormous impact on how your business is perceived.
So remember to be helpful, informative, authentic, and provide true value with your posts.
It is this engagement that will create your most loyal followers and customers!
Utilizing social media to influence your audience isn’t difficult, and it’s not complicated.
By creating familiarity and trust in your business, and engaging with your audience in an authentic way, your customer base will grow, and your business will flourish!
Find more social media tips to help you build and grow your business here:
- The Basic Steps to Get Started Using Social Media for Your Business
- Why is Social Media Influence Important
- Your Buyers Live Online, Making Decisions based on Social Media
- How Do You Build Your Social Media Influence
Interested in more ways to balance your life and your business? Get a reminder with my HappyBot for my free Facebook Live trainings every Friday! happinessmatters.com/fblive