Psychology of Influence and the Social Media Graph-Part 1

Influencing other people is an old art and it comes from the dawn of the human history. People always tried to influence other people on a personal, family, social, tribe, political, artistically, ideological and commercial levels. During the 20th century influence was taken to a higher importance, due to the growing importance of mass communication and the continuous media and technological developments and it’s various evolving channels, mainly political and business wise with the advent of marketing.

The psychology of influence is attached to the human DNA. All humans influence and are influenced. Part of that influence creates and mixes with our feelings, emotions, values and behaviour. It ends up affecting the way each one acts. Influence gives ethical pedigree to my and yours ways of handling each episode of our lives. It manages to get you and me in the way of persuasion and effectively drives to the creation of principles by which each one manages actions and have more or less authority.

Independent of being influence the act of persuasion more of an art or a science the importance is to reflect how you and I interact with it on a personal, social and professional level.

In a society where offline and online interact we kind of have a real human presence and in the other hand a virtual one. The increase and influence of technology, namely the web and very recently the social media explosion created a new complexity of layers in relations and within the scope of influence.

The author Robert B. Cialdini in the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion believes that influence is a science. He introduces you to the following six principles of ethical persuasion: reciprocity, scarcity, liking, authority, social proof, and commitment/consistency.


A chapter is devoted to each and you quickly see why Cialdini looks at influence this “weapons of influence” as a science.

Reciprocity – Give something of value to get something of value

Pay every debt, as if God wrote the bill.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Golden Rule is Reciprocity
– Robert B. Cialdini

There is an underlying rule in the social scientific principle “Reciprocity” that we can use to become more effective, productive and influential in everything we do.

Reciprocity, according to the Dictionary of Business Terms is, in broad terms, the relationship between persons, corporations, states, or countries whereby privileges granted by one are returned by the other. And, as a rule, Reciprocity simply states that people feel obliged to give back to others who have given to them. This is a simple and intuitive rule that has profound implications for those who use influence and persuasion in their daily work.
Reciprocity is indeed the basis for all negotiations be it in making deals or in settling disputes – the foundation of commerce and politics. However, social media altered this equation, revolutionizing the way people,companies and small businesses interact with each other. The key aspect is (still) to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But things got slightly different.

Guy Kawasaki (founder of AllTop and Holy Kaw!)gave an interview to http://www.business2community.com about is bookEnchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions on Reciprocity, Influencers and Ecosystems The Art of Enchantment answered the following when asked about what is the impact that Social Media had on this golden rule: Social media puts reciprocity on steroids becausur actions spread faster, however, the same is also true for your lack of attention or reciprocity.
Kawasaki goes on, in the old days, if you reciprocated or screwed somebody, how many people could he or she tell? The rest of the folks in the cave? Village? Town? City? State? Country? Now it’s the world, and the record of what you do is forever recoverable because of Google. The lofty upside and scary downside makes reciprocity more important than ever. This is all good because it makes people think more before they do something that reduces their trustworthiness.