Social Proof in Marketing

What’s “Social Proof”? Have you ever walked past a nightclub with a line 50ft out the door and immediately thought “it must be brilliant in there”? That’s social proof. Or when a TV programme plays somewhat patronising canned laughter in order to help you recognise the comical moments from the serious. That’s social proof. Essentially, it’s the idea that humans, naturally, conform to the actions of others – and it’s hugely influential in marketing.

An obvious example of this is customer reviews. I, for one, rarely buy a product without looking at the reviews, this is because I want to be assured that others enjoy the product and it’s worth the money I’m spending on it. It’s simple really, if the majority of reviews are bad I won’t buy it.

social proof in marketing
Katy Perry is the most followed person on Twitter

Subscriber count is an equally important. We are far more inclined to subscribe/follow people when we see that thousands of others do so too. So, if you already have a hefty following – display it, show it off. Your fans are a form of social proof. This stems from the idea of “wisdom of the crowds”. Similarly, McDonalds used the slogan “Over 1 Million served” in 1955 which they still use today (other than the fact it’s billions now). The use of these vast numbers is implying that a million people can’t be wrong.

Another brilliant example if from Zynga who you are most definitely familiar with. If not, they are a games company that have games on facebook and smartphones primarily. Their average daily users grew from 3 million to 41 million in a year as they used Facebook to prompt users to invite their friends to play.

“User social proof” can also be very beneficial; if you get those who have used your service or bought your product to give bespoke, positive feedback and showcase it on your website customers will be far more inclined to buy from you. This feedback can be more beneficial to you if it from either a celebrity or an expert in your field.

If you would like to find out more about conducting yourself on social media, the influence of social proof in marketing or anything else for that matter, make sure you get in touch.