Take the guesswork out of your holiday shopping by getting your friends and family members to send you a wish list.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the Ben Franklin Effect suggests that people who do favors for you will come to like you more. Your parents have been using it on you for years: They get you to come home for the holidays by saying they’d have more fun if you were gone anyway (of course, you book your flight just to prove them wrong). Human beings are generally risk-averse creatures—meaning we are more motivated by bad outcomes than good ones and will therefore do whatever we can to limit risk. A 2012 study from the University of Michigan suggests, “[P]eople are more likely to disclose sensitive information via text messages than in voice interviews.” So when you want direct answers, take to your keypad. When people are tired, their mental energy levels lag along with their physical energy levels—which, oddly enough, can work to your advantage. Getting friends to share their wish lists can be a challenge, but Intel® RealSense™ snapshot will make sharing perfect photos with friends easy and fun—no arm-twisting required. So whether you’re hot and heavy for a new job ASAP or just open to the idea of getting wooed by recruiters, shrug off your modesty and read these tips. Profiles with a photo receive 14 times more views than profiles with no photo at all; so if you haven’t uploaded a photo yet, cut the excuses and do it. Just make sure to snap the pic in a well-lit room (that’s especially important for smartphone photos), and to wear a shirt that makes you look polished. Members who list skills on their profiles receive 13 times more profile views on average than those who don’t, according to LinkedIn.
Here’s reason enough to sweat the chronology and list all of your past positions: Your profile is 12 times more likely to be viewed if you have more than one job listed, LinkedIn found. Strong recommendations can help improve your ranking in LinkedIn’s people search results, but recruiters won’t stop at just reading those glowing reviews, says Serdula.
She suggests getting recs from wow-worthy names by asking for the recommendation through LinkedIn (sending a separate email adds more work for the recommender) and drafting a short recommendation on their behalf.
Listing volunteer experiences and causes can score you six times more views than if you left them off your profile. Fortunately, we’re pretty keen on experimenting and testing here at Buffer, so I can try lots of different ideas and see what works best. Upworthy is arguably one of the most successful content marketing companies around, with massive successes on social media to their name. The Takipi research found that while numbers work well in headlines, digits in particular are more shareable. The team from Takipi analyzed a bunch of tech blogs to see which posts were shared more on social media than others, and what they had in common.
For instance, including the words no, without, and stop lead to more shares that more positively framed titles using words like do or start. One of the most interesting things I found in my research was about what doesn’t work.
As with most of the social media topics we discuss here at Buffer, your particular audience will determine what works best for you. This could mean avoiding jargon or slang, keeping your word choices simple and your sentences short, or avoiding swearing.


We often try multiple headlines for the same Buffer post to see which one will work best on social media and we’re sometimes surprised to see a big difference between our tests. Research has actually shown that different audiences will respond better to different messages. Customers in the study responded more positively to messages that aligned with their own attitudes—whether they were to fulfill their aspirations and satisfy achievement goals, or to fulfill their responsibilities and satisfy their security goals. Keep in mind your audience and their attitudes and goals when crafting your copy or tweaking your headlines. So surprises are more stimulating for us and will get our attention much more easily than things we already know well. I’ve mentioned which words are the best to use, but knowing which types of words are best can give you more flexibility. Social media scientist Dan Zarrella analyzed 200,000 tweets that included links and found that those that included adverbs and verbs had higher click-through rates than those using more nouns and adjectives.
Business and team-building researchers recommend leaders exhibit the behavior they would like to see in order to elicit similar behavior from their peers.
Leading up to the holidays, keep an ear out for ways to make life easier for your friend or loved one—if your roommate gets home tired after work, offer to do the dishes; if your significant other mentions an errand he or she needs to run, offer to do it instead. The story goes as follows: Benjamin Franklin won the favor of a rival Pennsylvania legislator who didn’t much care for him by asking the legislator to lend him a rare book. So assure the people on your list that they will get exactly what they want (and nothing they don’t) if they send you their wish list. Your family is more likely to be honest about their desires, and less likely to give you a line about “loving anything you give them,” if they see the request in print. If you saddle someone with a request when he’s tired, he’ll probably tell you he’ll “do it tomorrow.” In doing so, he puts himself in your debt. If the perfect gift isn’t appealing enough for the people on your list, offer to sweeten the deal. Start by asking for more than you want—say, an itemized list of the exact items your loved ones want for the holidays, including links and prices.
The professional networking site has tracked and analyzed exactly what it takes for a profile to get seen far and wide and to land near the top of a recruiter’s search results. While you’re getting all nostalgic, be sure to fill out any credentials you’ve earned, organizations you’ve joined, or languages you’ve learned. And that info won’t just bring more eyeballs to your profile—it can improve how recruiters evaluate you. Her work has appeared in Fast Company, New York, Real Simple, Health, and O, The Oprah Magazine. I found some really useful data about crafting the perfect blog post or copy, and hopefully you’ll find it useful too. One of the things they found was that using negative, dark, and aggressive words in titles lead to more shares.
Another part of this finding was that aggressive or violent-sounding words encouraged more social shares, as well. So, one way to use this technique is to still focus on the positive, but to turn it inside out.


One example where we had this work incredibly well, was when we announced the 1 million user milestone for Buffer. You can in fact, create the exact same emotions that you had when experiencing a situation in the other person if they are listening to your story. The psychological principle of conformity also holds that people are likely to change their actions in order to go along with the group (just look at any group of teenagers).
The psychological rule of reciprocity states that people are inclined to do things for those who have done things for them.
Reactance theory says that people who sense their control is being taken away from them will grab it back by going against express requests, even if doing so may seem against their best interests. Even better, they can use the website GoGivit to rate your gift ideas, thereby eliminating any duds. And, as we’ve previously discussed, no one likes being in another’s debt—making it more likely your friend will respond to your wish list request the next morning. The website Wish operates on the same principle: The more wish lists you create and the more you buy through the site, the more rewards (in the form of gift certificates) you rack up. First step: “Leave modesty at the door!” says LinkedIn’s Catherine Fisher, who helps people create and leverage better profiles. But if not, it’s OK to use your smartphone,” says Donna Serdula, author of LinkedIn Makeover: Professional Secrets to a Powerful LinkedIn Profile. But if you can wring out 40 words or more, your profile will get viewed seven times more than the chump who skipped this profile section entirely, according to LinkedIn’s data.
Instead of making it an announcement we made it into a story full of pictures and events that happened throughout the Buffer journey.
In that case, use one of these 11 tricks (and some handy apps) to convince your friends to cough up their gift preferences. While you may know your employee is telling you your hair looks great in order to ask for the day off, you’re still more likely to feel a subconscious self-esteem boost from the flattery and give your coworker what he wants. Make doing so even easier for him by signing up for Whimventory, a quick and convenient tool that allows you to build your wish lists as you surf the Web.
Already feeling guilty about slamming the door the first time, your friend will be more than happy to share their wish list, especially if you invite them to do so through a user-friendly, private app such as Giftster. As tempting as it might be to copy and paste some portion of your resume to fill this field, resist, urges Serdula. When the National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed hiring managers about the skills they planned to prioritize when recruiting, soft skills—like the ability to work in a team or give a killer presentation—topped the list.
So tilt the scale in your favor, then ask your friends to do you a favor by sending you their wish lists. Therefore, should you decide to ask for your friends’ wish lists in person, casually and subtlety mimic their gestures and vocal tones (the subtlety here is key; if you go overboard, this could backfire). What are some of the successes you’ve had, what gives you real satisfaction from the industry?



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