The Norm of Reciprocity is pretty much your best friend when it comes to gaming social situations online and off. In a nutshell, the Norm of Reciprocity means that if you do something for someone they are more likely and willing to do something for you. You’ve no doubt observed this in a million ways in your own life. Help a friend move and when you move they are almost definitely going to answer a call for help. People feel subtly or significantly obligated to help you when you have helped them, and that’s a wonderfully useful thing to remember!
In the world of social engineering and gaming social media systems you can apply this knowledge to get people to do what you want by doing it, or something equally positive, for them first.
Want your Facebook posts to be liked? Just like other people’s posts! Now, it’s important to understand that it’s not a 1:1 relationship. If you like 10 of John’s Facebook status updates that doesn’t mean he is going to like 10 of yours. Maybe he’ll only like 1, or 2, or none. Maybe John’s a sociopath and feels no sense of obligation, or maybe he’s busy, or maybe he just doesn’t “like” things. This isn’t about John, though, this is a norm of society, so you do this with enough people enough times and you’ll get the response you want.
And just a reminder that you shouldn’t need… Don’t go liking every single status update someone makes or even 30% of their status updates. Be normal, be natural. Nobody likes or wants a stalker. Remember you’re playing the odds. If you like 10% of 100 people’s status updates that’s far more normal than 100% of 10 people’s and you’ll get a better response.