What is Social Proof and How Can You Use It?

Social Proof

Learn What Social Proof is and How It Can Best Be Used

If you really have no idea what the concept of social proof is all about, let’s define it right now. Social proof is the idea that people will shape and conform their ideas and beliefs to the prevailing wisdom of the crowd, assuming that it is believable.

The ability to sway large segments of people with a notion totally supported by the crowd is a heady idea. There are many types of social proof out there, and they can bet put into use in the form of testimonials, expert endorsements, sheer numbers and more.

There are lots of ways to use social proof, for now let’s consider 5 different types, and let you begin to think of how you might use them in your business.

5 Powerful types of social proof

Celebrity social proof – You’ve seen this one a million times, as the latest, hottest celebrities endorse products they like. Now I’m sure Peyton Manning eats pizza, but that’s not why it works. It works because people LIKE Peyton, and trust him. Papa John is smiling all the way to the bank.

Everyone else on the planet has it – The fear of missing out on something you’ve just told them they need, because 15,494 of others like them have just gotten one, is a powerful tonic.

Expert social proof – There’s something about placing your trust in someone who has been through it, or is viewed as an authority or expert on the subject that conveys just enough trust to get people to buy into the offer. This is where the term “influencer” originates from, and is a powerful technique in sales today.

User generated – Having your customers leave unsolicited reviews is something that happens often. (And more often if you encourage the practice!) It’s what you do with these that counts. Visitors to your page often see this as the tipping point because these “testimonials” carry an air of authenticity that a paid endorsement and other social proof only wish it had.

Friends influence – When products or services come recommended by our friends, we give it a bit more legitimacy than we otherwise might. This is why the number of friends and followers a person has does have some real value.