Have you ever purchased a tool online? If you received a hammer and it was the best hammer you've ever used, you'd want to leave a review so others know how happy you are, wouldn't you? That's called social proof. You have probably noticed clicking on the “Review” tab to check what other people say about it, yourself, before the purchase. You must have done this at least once in your life while buying a product or visiting a restaurant. Taking the steps to make sure the product you are buying is going to enhance your life or be a lousy blow to your wallet, social proof is what you will look into. Social proof is buying Levi's over a store brand because most of your friends have Levi's and they swear by their quality.
Why and How Social Proof Works
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where a person purchases items based on popularity while giving little consideration to price. When you're living among people, you subconsciously observe the behavior of others around you and naturally, will focus on buying similar products and brand. The social proof phenomenon has so much power over us that it takes over our abilities to make our decisions based on what we think or know beforehand.
Go to Amazon, type in a search for social books. Once the product comes up, you will see the first six books are focused on improving your social skills, that's what you needed, but which one did you choose? Most likely, you would scan through the covers first, discarding the lousy cover art. Most importantly though, 99% of you would go to the customer reviews, not bothering with 3 stars and lower, you're drawn to 4 stars and above, why? Because, socially speaking, "those ratings prove value over the other reviews. Now that you've narrowed the books down by the star reviews, the number of people who bought the book are huge stats. These are all subconscious skills that you've learned over time. Buy, if someone else has bought it and it added value to their lives.
Amazing right? Our mind is conditioned to follow the behavior of the people living around us. Even if we force ourselves to ignore the behavior of other people while making a decision, there comes a feeling of dissatisfaction left. This is a negative side of social proof but you can not disprove that it helps companies generate huge sales within their brands. Social Proof is more related to human psychology.
Did you pick, "Social: Why our brains are wired to connect," because of the first listing and high reviews, or did you go with "Persuasion: 3 manuscripts" because it received nothing lower than four-star reviews?
Examples Of Social Proof In Our Society
Stanley Milgram’s study is one of the most famous on that of social proof. In 1969, Milgram hired people to stand outside and stare up at the sky for an hour. Remarkably 80% of bystanders saw the actors looking up at the sky, and took part in doing the same. Because others were looking randomly into the sky, they felt the need to see what the big deal was.
This study shows how human psychology works in the case of social proof. Our mind is conditioned to follow the behavior of people around us, especially if the situation is unknown to us.
Social Proof and How It's Important for Me Online
700 million people scroll Instagram, 1.6 billion users own a Facebook account. As I continue to use social proof on 4 social platforms I've had a jump in people buying and sending money. I've proactively launched 5 totally free campaigns geared toward helping users succeed online, totally free.
Here's what I did:
Searched Twitter and Facebook accounts that had lousy cover art and social banners
I sent them a message letting them know that I could set them up with a beautiful graphic banner totally free
They responded. "sure, go for it."
I delivered, giving them a new banner that will help support their business
The social proof came when I shared this on my latest post. Having seen others who were satisfied with my services, my follows have gone up by 25, I've had 3 people purchase my book, where people hadn't purchased at all in the past.
The primary focus for helping others for free is to engage the masses, and in this case, I was able to share that users were satisfied, through testimonials, and through that more exposure came. Social Proof played the important role in growth over the past 2 weeks.
So if you really want to attract more people toward your business, you must use Social Proof. You must understand the importance of Social Proof. By gaining the attention of your audience by showing how other users are satisfied, you will grab the masses, eventually.
How Do I Get Social Proof?
Build up an audience. Advertise and market your product to everyone you can, either online or real world. Use different methods to increase the interest of your audience. For example is if you have a page on Facebook, you can run a small contest to get the likes and comments from your audience. When new users to your page see the comments exploding, their attention will peak and want to join in.
If you run a YouTube account, try to promote that video through different channels, the more views it gets, the more attention other YouTubers will give it.