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What is Social Proof

What is Social Proof

In this article we will look at:

So, let’s imagine for just a second that you are shopping for a brand-new lamp. You have found three different lamps that you really like. The first lamp has 400 reviews and has an average rating of 4.5 stars. The second lamp has 100 reviews and an average rating of two stars. The third lamp has no reviews at all. Which lamp do you buy?

Naturally, most people will purchase the first lamp because it has the most reviews and the highest rating. This is because of a psychological concept called social proof. What is social proof? How can we use it in business? Let’s take a look.

Picture detailing what is social proof

So, What is Social Proof?

The first mainstream instance of social proof was recorded back in 1984 by a man called Robert Cialdini. He wrote a book about the idea of social proof, calling it informational social influence.

The idea behind social influence and social proof is that people will copy the actions of other people in certain situations to emulate their behaviour. So, to give an example, if somebody was in a social situation and they did not know what to do, they might copy somebody else who looked like they knew what the social protocol is.

In the world of marketing, social proof operates in a similar way. When people shop for a product, they look for reviews and recommendations. This testimony from real people serves as a reassurance that the product they want to buy is the right one.

This is the reason why online shopping companies like Amazon work as hard as they do to get people to review products. This social proof helps them to increase their sales. In marketing, social proof takes the form of reviews, testimonies from existing customers, and media coverage.

Why Do We Need Social Proof?

So, why is social proof so important for a business?

Well, social proof is useful in a number of ways. Did you know that 83% of all consumers recommend a brand that they follow on social media to friends and family? Alternatively, did you know that 91% of online shoppers will read a review before they buy something?

Ultimately, this social proof is what helps to drive up your sales. If you give people a tangible reason to believe that your business can do something amazing for them, they are much more likely to make a purchase. However, they are very reluctant to believe what you say because you are a business. You naturally have a vested interest in promoting yourself. That’s why hearing it from somebody else who made a purchase can be very useful.

Final Thoughts

Social proof is a pretty unique concept that people don’t always take into consideration when trying to sell online. However, social proof can be really helpful when it comes to convincing people to buy your products. You should always keep a look out for how you can use social proof to your advantage because it makes a big difference.

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