Easy to Experience - Feet For quite a few months now, the team at Hester Designs and I have been doing in-depth planning and strategy work with one of the largest non-profit organizations in the world. We were assigned with the task of helping the organization, which is over 150 years old, find relevance and new life with it’s supporters.

So for the last few months I’ve been in research mode, exploring the psychological forces behind what motivates people to join a cause and why they donate their time and money. To say it’s a complex subject is an understatement.

During my research I ran across a study that seemed so obvious on first read, but as I continue to think about it, has become intriguing and I think it has some great applications to social media strategies. It’s called the foot-in-the-door phenomenom, which is defined as,

the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request.

The term actually originated from when door-to-door salesmen would ask small requests of homeowners in order to get inside the house ask for the sale. They found that it was harder for people to say no once they had said yes once.

Breast Cancer Action PinA good example of the foot-in-the-door phenomenom in action is the little lapel pins that the American Cancer Society asks people to wear. In a study done on these pins found that when people were asked a day ahead to wear a lapel pin publicizing a drive in their area, they were twice as likely to donate to the cause.

So what does this have to do with social media?

Well, start thinking about ways that you can you create a foot-in-the-door in your social media strategy. Think of how you can lower the barriers to entry to experience your brand, creating easy ways for consumers to become involved in some way.

Facebook Fan Page ButtonFacebook Fan Pages immediately come to mind. There’s no risk. It’s just one click. And if someone is even remotely interested in an organization or product they have nothing to lose. In turn this gives you an in with them to drip information to them, slowly easing them in the brand and ultimately leading them to a bigger yes.

What other foot-in-the-door opportunities do you see for brands?

I welcome your comments!


(Photo via: Herodoto)