Social media marketing

The Talent of Persuading Social Tribes is more effective than pure SEO

Image above added 2016, the rest written 9 years ago.

SEO is persuasion.

We live in a world of persuasion.

Our attention is constantly being sought after. I see SEO as a tactical way to persuade someone to pay attention to a piece of information.

Once I have their attention I want the person to perform an action, click an advert, add to rss feed, leave an email or even just click through to another site. Whatever is required.

SEO is not just about the technical aspects of on page optimisation.

It is about getting one human being to perform an action you want them to. Whether they need to or not is another matter, my job is not to question the ethics of persuasion, it is merely to persuade through the tools I have available.

Social Media Optimisation is not a branch of SEO, it is a branch of persuasion. SEO is also a branch of persuasion. The two are mutual supportive.

Not going to bore you with the “what is it, what does it do?” or as I like to call it WIIWDID. Much better people than I have talked about it, here is a list of posts about social media

Gaming social media is different to SEO, it’s more difficult, because it’s not just a case of learning and doing.

Not sure that you need to create a higher mental state and adopt The Zen and art of Linkbaiting. But it certainly is easier for those with the right mindset.

It’s difficult to write a killer headline that packs a punch, if you do not have the mindset. It’s the midset of the persuader. Have you noticed how some people can get other people to do stuff just by using words?

If you can’t persuade your friends to see a great film you’ve just seen how can you persuade someone to read your blog with simple words.

And that is the great thing about milking the social media cow, all it is about is words. And for a wordsmith like me that’s great, but for the SEO dude who wraps himself in nerdy world of mod_rewrite and 301 redirects it may not be great. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I myself use the same blanket from time to time.

Is the geek dead? Is it the day of the used car salesman?

No, it’s the day of those who can speak numerous social langauges. It is the day of the social butterfly, the connector, the maven who can transpose itself to different cultures.

It’s not about php, perl or python anymore. It’s about being able to use the language of specific social tribes. Talk to the tribes in their language and you may be able to persuade them to do stuff.

The tribe of Digg is the one everyone wants to sit down and smoke the peace pipe with. The only problem is, they speak a unique and to some unintelligible language.

You may find you only pooh pooh it because you can’t do it. If you can’t do it, then hire someone who can.

Use the tactic of social media optimisation correctly and your overall online strategy will be bound to succeed.

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9 replies on “The Talent of Persuading Social Tribes is more effective than pure SEO”

I’m with Michael up there from March…seriously, no one had any thoughts on this? I think it’s brilliant. Both forms of optimization are important. But while good SEO can have tremendous search engine benefits…SMO can reposition you as an expert or an idiot…it’s important to get it right. 🙂

“Talk to the tribes in their language and you may be able to persuade them to do stuff.”

And man does it ever take some time to learn the language and customs of 3 or 4 new cultures at once 🙂

Send an ordinarily dressed man at a busy New York intersection into oncoming traffic, and no one follows. Send a well-dressed suit and tie man into same traffic, and some will follow. Send a half a dozen well-dressed men in business suits into traffic, and nearly the whole crowd follows.

Persuasion is really a very important aspect of seo.
Thanks for this article. It highlights a very important skill we have to have wich is persuasion. This article helps us to focus on the real important skills to have. A good direction to follow.
Thanks Lyndoman.

I guess the reason why there are not many responses is that the post leaves an impression “Yeah, so?”. And no one loves to be advertised at the end of the post 🙂

So if you expect the comments here, they’ll be along the lines of “What, more advertising and no meat?”

Seriously, though. It’d be great to know how you (Lyndon) find the emotions to touch upon with the target audience, how you use them, etc. I’ve been asking for such a post for some time now (I think you mentioned writing a book, right? The book isn’t enough 🙂 )

Yuri you raise an interesting point. It’s all well and good for someone to say that plugging into emotions make for better communication, but what does that actually mean?

What you are asking is how to get to D, and what I would say is you have to go to A, B, C first. It’s a highly complex issue that needs a large amount of knowledge from different disciplines to be able to get to grips with it. Psychology, anthropology, socialology and also cultural knowledge.

But there is a more basic grasp of insight into the human condition that must be in evidence in the communicator. I don’t this can be learned from a book, but is more about the character and mind set of the individual.

I have been thinking about writing an ebook based on the themes of this blog. But I don’t know where I can find the time at the moment and I’m not sure I want to give away so much knowledge, so cheaply.

But yeah, the odd blog post may get squezed out regarding this.

Nice post Lyndoman.

Graywolf also wrote a good post recently about controlling your message with a target audience in mind (i.e. shape an attack bait to apeal to the right people). Aaron Wall also often talks about appealing to a reader’s bias.

The road to least resistence in gaining mindshare is to appeal to a tribe’s drive for self-perservation. Money, sleep, food, sex, friends, family – they all have some say over what we are willing to believe. For example, it would be harder for me to convince someone making $10k/mo selling paid links than a regular Digg user that doesn’t even know paid links exist – that paid links can harm search results. The link seller’s belief system is shaped by his need to survive, and that need is met by the Pay Pal payments he receives every month from link brokers.

To convince him that paid links are good for search engines, on the other hand, wouldn’t require much effort.

So you may find yourself at a crossroads: 1) exaggerate, misinform, repackage to appeal to the masses, or 2) push unpopular ideas that may never catch fire.

I see some marketers write “me too” posts that support popular beliefs, but SEO thought leaders (Rand Fishkin, for example), will step out of the SEO community’s confort zone (e.g. attacking directories/supporting internal nofollow). And at the end of the day, who we believe are those whose ideas we repeatedly benefited from in the past.

Lyndon, sure, you need to include all the information about emotions for people to be able to use it. But if there is a certain amount of people, who don’t need the background for the idea, who have already learned the basics of social media and just need the instructions how to master emotional writing, then you can only write just that.

This book, although well wrttien and well laid out, is simply a rehash of Hogan’s earlier book, The Psychology of Persuasion . This book introduces literally nothing new, simply reorganizing the material. If you own the Psychology of Persuasion, do not purchase this book. Otherwise, definitely buy one or the other. (As an aside, I find it amusing that Hogan and his publisher believe the key to sales to be re-introducing the same material in different works, rather than creating new editions . They may be right, but as someone who almost bought two identical books, it’s a little annoying!)

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