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How Social Influence Shapes Behavior and Viral Marketing
“Humans are social animals!”
“You are an average of the five people around you.”
We have heard these lines from time to time; however, we don’t know the effects of being social in society. Knowingly or unknowingly, we follow people from time to time. To leverage this benefit, use SEO services in India.
Most people won’t notice this, but it happens often. For instance, if you want to join your child in one school, the next thing you would do is to inquire about the schools from the people you know.
Understandably, you gain a bunch of options from the people you know. Nevertheless, there might be one constant school that is common among many people, and that is what I call social influence.
Now, you have realized there is a thing called social influence, even if you didn’t accept this theory initially.
Is Social Influence Good?
Well, the answer is yes and no.
For one, it is minimizing the options you want to know the good one and saving your time. On the other hand, you are missing out on a couple of other good options if there are any good ones outside that bubble.
But one thing is for sure: that you get influenced by the surrounding people. Hence, realize that and accept it, instead of denying it.
Why Do People Accept Social Influence?
Now, we know that, mostly, everyone accepts some type of social influence in one way or the other. However, you might question yourself — why do we usually accept it in the first place?
In all fairness, there are myriad reasons we accept social influence. Everyone has their own reason to believe in social influence. For instance, I am writing this content hoping my readers will read it, but I am writing this content while keeping my readers’ interests in mind. In a way, this is one type of influence whether or not I accept it.
Similarly, you read this content based on the number of likes, shares, and comments on this content. Therefore, it happens in both ways.
This intrinsically reveals that we are accepting the social norm of acceptance of society or conformity.
If the above factor is one reason, the other reason is to facilitate the cooperative environment among people. This usually happens when a group of people shares a common goal. To encourage people to do one thing, it is important to have a common belief among people to work together, otherwise, everything can go haywire.
The third reason is to encourage groupthink. Groupthink can do wonders if one group has been working towards the same goals with the same intent. This groupthink will also reject any negative ideas proposed by any individual in the group to make the journey smooth and safe.
The fourth and final reason is to improve cohesion among the people in the group.
The Impact of Social Presence
In physical consumption circumstances, a customer is seldom alone; instead, there is often someone else present, such as another buyer or salesperson (i.e., a social presence).
Some solid data showing the influential power of others on a customer comes from research that concentrates on the impact of a passive social presence. A passive social presence is a social reality that is present but does not communicate with the focal consumer.
Although a passive social presence deliberately tries to be powerful, often the influence is accidental and even unknown to the social presence.
Types of Social Influence
There are three types of influence that a social presence can have on a buyer, and they are utilitarian, value‐expressive, and informational.
Utilitarian Social Influence
Utilitarian influence occurs when somebody is motivated to get rewards or circumvent punishment from a social presence. This type of social influence commonly works through an agreement process. In order to get rewards or evade punishment, customers will comply with a social presence.
Value-Expressive Social Influence
Value‐expressive influence happens when people choose behaviors or beliefs that improve or strengthen their self-concept. Certainly, individuals have a pervasive want to hold a positive self‐view, and thus, they try to magnify, protect, and correct their self-concept as required.
We center it on improving and preserving the self-concept, rather than entertaining a need to belong, which distinguishes value‐expressive influence from utilitarian influence.
The value-expressive influence works through an identification process wherein consumers associate with a confident social presence and disassociate with an adverse social presence.
Informational Social Influence
Informational influence involves accepting information from others to serve as evidence about reality. This influence operates through an internalization process and is accepted if it enhances consumers’ knowledge.
Informational influence, which is based on the urge to get valuable information through conformity and produce a correct or suitable result. Informational influence happens when people seek members of their own group to get and gain accurate information about reality.
Over the past decade, research has essentially moved the area of social presence forward. In doing so, our knowledge of the influence of a social presence on a consumer has widened.
Despite this consideration, there remain several relevant directions for future research to improve the field in significant ways.
No one is an island; instead, those around us are remarkably influential. This showed the impact other customers and salespeople can have on a customer’s knowledge, affect, and behaviors by focusing the article around three types of social influence: utilitarian, value‐expressive, and informational.
Several examples of how past research has examined each type of influence are presented. In general, the impact of technology, sustainability, hobbies, and leisure time are considered encouraging contexts that could develop the field’s knowledge of the role and impact of a social presence on customers.
To summarize, social influence plays a crucial role in a customer’s choice. To exploit this, you need to have a strong SMO services marketing strategy.
Praveen works as a technical writer at Infiniticube. He loves to educate readers on the latest technologies – his expertise includes Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science, Digital Marketing, and Cloud Computing. He has written a few articles on Medium and Forbes. If you are keen to read his other articles, then check him out here.