Is Robert Cialdini socially influential?

I am currently re-reading Robert Cialdini’s ‘InfluenceThe Psychology of Persuasion’, in which he writes about 6 principles:

  • consistency
  • reciprocation
  • social proof
  • authority
  • liking
  • scarcity

I wonder how the model he describes exists within Social Media. Has it evolved into something else? It just got me thinking how these principles apply now- a-daze and

these are just my thoughts


Consistency has 2 facets in Social Media:
Consistency of timing and consistency of content

Consistently posting on time is important but what you post needs to be varied or Random (the problem with that word is it’s popular use to mean something else). This holds true of any relationship: physical, personal, transactional, etc.

If you consistently post the same material, interest in you will wane and your influence with it.  Much the same if what you audibly say becomes predictable people will loose interest and you stand the risk of becoming known as a “Cracked record” – “always going on about …”, “’… blah blah blah …”

If you are posting, daily, weekly, monthly or at any other fixed period of time try not to miss your slot because when blog readers stop reading our blog or page, they tend to not come back.


Hey! You like me, I like you!
I follow you, you follow me!

People need to be appreciated, even if that means that you just appreciate them for  appreciating you.  In the absence of anything else:

“Thank you” or “Thanks” goes a long way.

This can be difficult when you have lots of followers, but my objective is to respond to every Twitter mention that I get. For me, the optimal way sees to be:
reply personally to ‘one to one’ Tweets and group the ‘multi-Tweep-Tweets’ into groups of 6 tweeters and ‘’Shoutout’ in some way.  To make it easier, I get all my mentions emailed to me.

I do similar things on other networks, wherever I can.

Social proof

Social Proof does not equal Social Troof!

We will always find the evidence to substantiate what we believe, say or think. We make things true.

What the Thinker thinks the Prover proves
~ Robert Anton Wilson

Taking Cialdini’s spin on this, this hasn’t changed. The masses determine what is true and prove it,  even if it isn’t true.

It is born from agreement and masses tend to agree with mass thinking.

With the opportunity to post out to millions of people in one go, then re-posting or re-tweeting what is considered popular can be instantaneous and cascades towards millions more …  Isn’t that what is known “Trending”?

Most of the time this is mass hypnosis


‘I iz important cos I sez I iz important!

I’ve come across a few of them in my time and the ‘Follow Me or else brigade’ in Twitter prove that one. Not what Cialdini is referring to but close methinks.

The easiest way to get authority is have somebody proclaim you an expert.

Being an Expert is about reputation rather than knowledge and it attracts others. If the person who is attracted then sees no evidence that you are an expert and that you lack knowledge or understanding or experience, they will personally downgrade you but your reputation will still last longer.

Many an incompetent has been deemed an expert and survived – it occurs to me as a Westminster sort of thing Open-mouthed smile

An expert is somebody who says or writes something that somebody else hears or reads and then tells someone else. To the third person, who heard or read what the second person has said, the first person will probably become an expert.

Isn’t that Social proof?


Now-a-daze, ‘Liking’ is a function, in Social Media. It may mean I like what you have written (emotional) or simply I have read what you have written (function).
‘Likes’ count towards Social Capital scores and Social Capital is a measure of Influence.

Unfortunately using ‘Likes’ as a measure in calculating Social Capital means that scores can be manipulated. For example you can visit someone’s page and like everything  they have posted –this is known as  ‘Like Bombing’.

Coming back to Cialdini’s point, if you express like for someone or something about them, you can achieve positive rapport much more quickly and that is good practice. It is also good practice in Social Media.

People are usually likeable. Find something to like about them.

If you genuinely like what someone has posted then hit the like or favourite buttons. Its good feedback for them and they will like you for it.

The feedback can also help stop somebody becoming a ‘Cracked Record’


Probably more akin to Marketing but also tactical in personal relations. Not being readily available is attractive – isn’t that right, girls?

I don’t think that being unavailable is a good thing in established relationships and that includes your followers or friends in Social Media. But in courtship: ‘Is there any other way ?’

‘Is there any other way ?’
~ Melvin Udall [Jack Nicholson] in ‘As Good As It Gets’

Court prospects, court potential lovers, court supporters, court partners, court Joint Venturers and appreciate everything they do for you

I conclude

This isn’t the truth. Its just my thoughts as  a person who has been called an expert by somebody else. I hope you Like what I wrote and that it does bomb. I’ll like you for it!
If I haven’t been posting to my blog of late, I was probably being Scarce but consistently so Open-mouthed smile

Sources NOT!
Robert Cialdini ‘
Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion’
Image Wikipedia


The Heads up on Rapport

“So the Jock said to his unsuspecting listening audience:

Yeah, if they look to the left , they’re lying!”

That was in the blog post from 5th August and so was
“wait until you get onto studying what people do with their heads yet alone the words they use!”
and here it is. You see …

A nod’s as good as a wink

well sort of……
Much is made of body matching to get into rapport with someone:
full body matching, half body matching, mirroring, etc. but actually it is much more simple than that!

Use your head

You don’t have to sit in the same way as the person you are talking to
you don’t have to shape your body into a posture that they are using
you don’t have to follow their movements to get into rapport although it helps and sometimes there is no alternative, such as young love where you just have to mirror and match! Smile

In “That’s a Lie” we looked at what people do with their  eyes, which means we can also quickly glean what is their prime sense. Whether it is Visual or Kinaesthetic or Auditory or Gustatory/Olfactory.

It is fairly safe to assume that if a person repeatedly looks up, whilst in conversation, they are probably accessing remembered (Vr Visual remembered) or constructed images (Vc Visual constructed) and therefore, their strongest sense is probably Visual.

To gain rapport with a Visual you could start using visual words and upward eye movements also. BUT you MUST Calibrate – look at their repeating physiological patterns and test them.

What people do with sensual input is part of the way they use their Representational Systems – the systems they use to represent their reality (Sight, Sound, Touch,Smell, Taste and Self Talk)  and the sub modalities, which is how they use their senses  e.g. how bright, how sharp, how loud, etc.

Some people are “Digital”, which means that they offer very little sensual output.
Digitals don’t tend to use sensual words like “see”, “feel”, “sound” etc.
They tend to have a fixed gaze and they may appear to be “in a world of their own” (they are probably in trance).

If a Digital were to explain something in great detail, they would not notice that most of their audience falling asleep – anybody know a professor like that?
Since they offer  little sensual  output they receive little sensual engagement. If someone’s senses are not engaged, they usually go to sleep!

If you think Digitals are nerdy or offbeat, consider how someone who is sensually engaged, behaves, in particular, their language patterns.

I am high Visual so I say things like “do you SEE my point”, as if there is actually a physical sharp object floating in mid air that you can see!!!!!  Clearly illogical.
I am visually representing that I want to know that you understand.

In a conversation with a Digital, I  would get bored very quickly and start LOOKING around because I need visual stimulation quick!
he visual sense has the highest velocity (Sensual Bandwith as  David McCandless describes it in an earlier blog post )
I just couldn’t see the Digital’s point and I would probably end up LOOKING for Mischief Open-mouthed smile

I can’t get into rapport through language or eye movement. Fortunately ….

Rapport is easy, all you need to do is use your head

Meet and Greet

as they say hello watch how they move their head

Do the same back

For example, they may flick their head up and down in a quick, small, nod and then swallow

Do the same back

They may throw their head slightly forward and tilt it downwards so that one of their eyes gets closer to you and is in slightly lower position than before. They may wink at the same time (the smooth talking Hello ladies manoeuvre Winking smile)

Do the same back

Active and Passive

People use their heads in big movements or subtle movements. If they strongly agree they may nod their head strongly up and down – Active – or they may just wink once – Passive. You have to observe how they do Active and how they do Passive – Calibrate

Negative and Positive

Similarly Negative and Positive head movements are distinct like Active and Passive head movements, for example:
left to right and back again repeatedly (shaking one’s head) to represent disagreement – a negative response and upward and downwards (nodding) to represent yes – a positive response.
You have to observe how they do Negative and how they do Positive – Calibrate

Decision Making Strategies

Observe the series of head movements of people while they make decisions and you will usually find they move their heads in a particular pattern.

It may start by a look up to the right, switch to a look upwards to the left and then back again before looking down to their right, a Passive Positive movement of the head.

This pattern will usually be the same for all decisions that they make but you have to observe how they do their Decision Making Strategy – Calibrate

Taking the above example, the person:

  1. probably constructed a visual image (Vc they imagined how the result of the decision looks)
  2. pictured a memory that relates to the decision (Vr)
  3. checked that image against their constructed image (Vc)
  4. asked themselves how they felt about their decision (Ai) and
  5. finally nodded (Passive Positive) as they agreed with their decision

The advantage of observing someone’s decision making strategy is that you can physically make the same movement pattern if you want to influence them
i.e. hurry up or cause a decision when one needs to be made – i.e. they cause them to be in Rapport with you.

Past and Present Orientation

Similarly observe how someone uses their head whilst they relate to past events.
Most people never actually tell you what happened. They tell you the story of what happened, which means their focus is internal and they are usually in a trance state.

They may tilt their head left, while they are speaking.

To interrupt their Past Trance subtly nod your head in the opposite direction – This is a suggestion to their unconscious that should step back into the present where you can suggest by your head movement that they need to make a decision by using THEIR Decision Making Strategy on them.

and there’s more ……..

image wikipedia

Influence takes time |

A blog post from
I was not aware of  sites like Klout, PeerIndex and Twitalyzer until I attended a presentation by Thomas Power of in December – these sites measure your influence on your social media networks.
I was then pleased to go to and find my score in the high fifties.
Today it stands at 65 and has grown 2 points in the past 3 weeks.
Just being aware helps us understand things much better; so thank you Thomas!
This article is from Klout’s web site and it makes a very good point: Influence takes time

May 28th, 2010 by Joe Fernandez


One of the most common questions we get here at Klout (besides “can you raise my score?”) is “why isn’t my score updated every day/hour/minute?” Obviously we love that people care so much about their Klout scores. It’s exciting when you are retweeted by an influencer or gain a dozen new followers and it’s natural to want to see how those actions are reflected in your Klout score.

We approach our measurement of influence from a scientific background and rigorously test our scores to ensure that they are accurate predictions of actions like conversations, retweets and link clicks. This process takes time. We are not just adding your follower count and dividing it by the people you’re following. There is significant analytical processing behind every Klout Score. In fact, Klout measures how much you influence or are influenced by every single person in your social graph. We also semantically analyse all the messages and links you share to understand what you are influential about. As the standard for measuring influence, we believe every interaction and message needs to be analysed in depth to generate an accurate measurement.

Most people would agree that social media is rife with people trying to “game the system”. We value consistency over sudden spikes as a means to verify a person’s influence. The Klout Score isn’t meant to be updated on a hourly or daily basis and we believe that this is a good thing. Just like Google doesn’t change your page rank after a single blog post or you would never expect your credit score to change after paying a single bill, we do not believe a single retweet from an influencer should significantly impact your score. Every time we process your score we look back over the last 30 days to generate a holistic view of your activity and overall influence.

Our goal with the Klout Score is to provide end users, companies and everyone within the social web a robust and extremely reliable means of understanding the influence, authority and reputation of individuals. This means performing rigorous analysis that does take time, but also using time as a method to verify how influential a person really is (sustained action is more valuable than a brief spike). While this can be frustrating in the short-term our hope is that everyone will benefit from this approach through the more accurate Klout Scores that it produces.