Human Beings are by nature social creatures. We like to seek the power of numbers and the comfort of group consensus. Social anthropologists could probably explain precisely how this power of numbers and social strength was the cornerstone of how our ancestors survived in an often hostile environment.
This need for “group”, for social acceptance, and for social consensus has been a long evolved part of who we are. The concept of social proof really taps into this part of us…
Harness the Power of Social Proof in Your Marketing
If you really have no clue what the concept of social proof is all about, let’s define it right here. 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.
This profoundly popular and powerful tactic is admittedly very appealing. Getting large numbers of people to cast votes in your favor, merely by virtue of what they like or follow is a notion no marketer could let pass idly by.
Let’s look at 5 types of social proof, and let the ideas begin to flow in your head.
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.
Scarcity ploy – In this consumer-driven society we live in we all live with the fear of missing out. This is because you or someone else has just informed them that they really need this right now, just like hundreds of others just like them have gone for this limited time, one-time only offer.
Expert – People implicitly trust authority, and if you trot out an expert, no matter how obscure, you have instant social proof. This is where the term “influencers” was born and is a core concept in social media marketing today.
User generated – Many times satisfied customers feel compelled, (especially when encouraged) to leave a review. This is golden, as you didn’t have to do any ting extraordinary to get it, and it strikes a chord in your readers as someone just like them has found your product or service useful. This form carries an authenticity that is hard to beat.
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.
The power of social proof has been strategically used by marketers and advertisers for decades. However in this modern age of social media, social proof can be leveraged exponentially, by the average business and average marketer. Further, these concepts can be utilized on shoestring budgets or even at no costs through effective viral social campaigns.
This truly is a golden-age for social media marketing and for taking advantage of the phenomenon of social proof.