A couple of weeks ago I learned about something called the “recency effect.” And after I studied it for a bit, I realized that a lot of what is done in both social selling and sales in general can be tied to it.

Here’s the definition:

The recency effect is an order of presentation effect that occurs when more recent information is better remembered and receives greater weight in forming a judgment than does earlier-presented information.

With that in mind, here are two LinkedIn- and social selling-related areas where you can take advantage of the recency effect.

Liking and Commenting

Why do you like and comment on posts? Social sellers want to be recognized as someone who knows what they’re talking about in their field, with the ultimate goal of securing more deals. Get to that “subject-matter expert” level with a strategy that takes advantage of the recency effect in your liking/commenting efforts:

  1. Like a post as soon as you’re able.
  2. Because you’ve “liked” the post, you’ll see updates on when others like and comment on it in your Notifications feed. You’ll also appear in a notification to the person who posted the content that you liked it.
  3. You’ll likely want to answer/comment on comments others make on the post by lending your expertise on what they’ve said.
  4. When it seems like activity on the individual post is running out of steam, contribute some value to it in your own comment (as opposed to replying to others’ comments). This way, you’ll be one of the last people — if not the last — to comment on it.

As one of the last commenters, you’ll be more memorable to not only those who have liked/commented on the post, you’ll be closer to top-of-mind for the person who originally posted it. At that point, you can reach out to that person to start a conversation.

This is a bit of a different strategy than you have seen others talk about. I suggest trying it out on a few people to see if it works for you.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile

If there’s one area where the recency effect applies the best, it’s in connection with LinkedIn’s “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” (WVYP) feature. Simply put, you need to reach out to people who view your profile as quickly as you can.

When you get back with someone who viewed your profile within one business day, for example, they’re much more likely to remember why they were on your profile and what their interest was in you. Let it go for longer than, say, a couple of business days and they’ll likely forget why they looked you up.

You’re much more likely to get a conversation started with someone who viewed your profile within a business day. And if they were looking at your profile because they were interested in or researching your product or service, you’ll be catching them when you’re either at or near “top of mind” with them when you reach out to them quickly. Here’s an article of mine you can use to start that conversation.

Think of it like this: They viewed your profile for a reason. Why not find out why? This is why we refer to WVYP as LinkedIn’s version of caller ID. And since WVYP was the last item in this list, you’ll remember it… right?

I’ve come up with more examples, and I’ll share those in a later article. For now, though, I wanted to get you thinking about how you can use the recency effect in your sales and social selling activities.

Bob Woods is Executive Vice President of Social Sales Link, a LinkedIn/social selling training, coaching, and consultancy firm.