Content Strategy: Building Social Influence

Building a brand takes time and effort. It means generating authority and social influence.

Social influence refers to the impact that other people have on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It can take many forms, such as persuasion, social pressure, conformity, and obedience, and it can occur in a variety of social contexts, such as family, friends, peers, and larger social groups. It can be both explicit and implicit, with explicit forms of influence including direct communication and persuasion, while implicit forms of influence may be more subtle and subconscious, such as the influence of social norms and expectations.

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash

Social influence can also be positive or negative, depending on the goals and values of the influencing individual or group. Positive social influence can help individuals to adopt new behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs that are beneficial for themselves and others, while negative social influence can lead to conformity, obedience, or other behaviors that are harmful or counterproductive.

All in all, social influence is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that plays a significant role in shaping individual and group behavior in social contexts. Understanding social influence can be important for a range of applications, such as marketing, advertising, politics, and social change.

Social influence and internal collaboration

Within the enterprise, social influence can play an important role in the success of internal collaboration. Collaboration requires individuals to work together towards a common goal, and social influence plays a crucial role in shaping individual behavior and attitudes towards that goal. It can take many forms, such as peer pressure, social norms, and the influence of leaders and role models. In a collaborative setting, social influence can help establish norms and expectations for behavior, build trust and rapport among team members, and motivate individuals to contribute their best efforts to the group.

Effective social influence can also help to mitigate conflicts and promote constructive communication and problem-solving among team members. By encouraging positive interactions and reinforcing shared goals and values, social influence can create a culture of collaboration and innovation that benefits both individuals and the organization as a whole.

However, it’s important to note that social influence can also have negative effects on collaboration if not managed properly. For example, groupthink and conformity pressures can stifle creativity and dissenting opinions, leading to poor decision-making and suboptimal outcomes.

Creating and maintaining a healthy corporate culture can be critical to your long-term success. How you manage social influence can be a powerful force in shaping collaboration within organizations, and it’s important for leaders and team members to understand and manage its impact on group dynamics.

Social influence and business development

Social influence can also have a significant impact on company sales and partner development, particularly in today’s highly interconnected and social media-driven marketplace.

One way that social influence can impact your sales and business development activities is through word-of-mouth marketing. Positive recommendations and referrals from satisfied customers can be a powerful driver of sales, as potential customers are often more likely to trust the opinions of people they know or respect than traditional advertising or marketing messages. Social media platforms and review sites have amplified the reach and impact of word-of-mouth marketing, making it easier for customers to share their experiences and opinions with a wider audience.

Social influence can also impact your business through the use of social proof. Social proof refers to the tendency of individuals to follow the actions and behaviors of others in a given social context. For example, if a product or service is perceived as popular or in high demand, potential customers may be more likely to purchase it as well, based on the assumption that others have found it to be valuable or worthwhile. This is why social proof tactics, such as displaying customer reviews or highlighting the number of customers who have purchased a product, can be effective in boosting sales.

Additionally, influencers and thought leaders can have a huge impact on your business. Influencers, who have large followings on social media platforms, can be effective in promoting products and services to their followers, who may trust their recommendations and opinions. Similarly, thought leaders in a particular industry or field may be able to sway potential customers through their authority and expertise. Companies that are able to harness and leverage social influence effectively are likely to see benefits in terms of increased brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales growth.

Incorporating social influence into your strategy

To improve your company’s social influence and make it part of your overall sales and marketing strategy, consider the following:

  1. Identify your target audience: Determine the specific demographic or group of people that the company is trying to reach and influence. This could be existing customers or potential new customers.
  2. Understand audience behavior and preferences: Understand the audience’s behavior patterns and preferences to better tailor the company’s messaging and marketing strategies.
  3. Establish a presence on relevant social media platforms: Determine which social media platforms the target audience is most active on and establish a strong presence on those platforms. Create and regularly post engaging content that speaks to the audience’s interests and values.
  4. Build relationships with social media influencers: Identify relevant social media influencers and build relationships with them. This can help to expand the company’s reach and influence by tapping into the influencers’ followings.
  5. Encourage customer feedback and reviews: Encourage customers to leave feedback and reviews on the company’s products or services. Positive reviews and ratings can serve as social proof to potential customers, which can increase the company’s social influence.
  6. Leverage user-generated content: Encourage customers to create and share content related to the company’s products or services. This can include social media posts, reviews, and testimonials. User-generated content can be a powerful tool in building social influence.
  7. Monitor and measure social media metrics: Monitor and measure social media metrics such as engagement, reach, and impressions to determine the effectiveness of the company’s social media strategy. Use this data to refine and improve the company’s social media approach over time.

By following these steps, companies can improve their social influence and make it an integral part of their overall sales and marketing strategy. This can help to build brand awareness, engage with customers, and ultimately increase sales and revenue.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.