Persuasion Psychology:

Social Proof

By Sarah Jamieson

Persuasion Psychology - Social Proof: Social influence is sometimes referred to as social influence. It works on the principle that we all decide how to behave by looking at what other people are doing.

If a lot of other people are doing something, we view it as the right thing to do.

Social influence is an extremely powerful marketing technique. It’s used by showing prospects that many people are using the product and getting good results. An alternative is that you have many followers in your social marketing.

The more people we see doing something, the more convincing we find it to be.

You can see social influence in play when bartenders start their shift by putting a few dollars of their OWN money into the tip jars - making it look as if they’ve already received some generous tips. I’ll hazard a guess that you’ll never see a tip jar made of anything but glass.

When you see advertising statements such as “best-selling” or “fastest-growing” – that’s social influence at work.

There is a good reason why charity telethons on TV devote a lot of time to showing the names of people who have already donated. The names and amounts donated stream across the screen. It’s a compelling reason to follow the example to give.
Social influence is more persuasive when prospects are uncertain what to do or the situation is unfamiliar or ambiguous – for example, when they are trying to decide the best product to buy.

We are more likely to be influenced by someone who is similar to us than someone who is not. This is why marketers often try to convince us that they are “just like us!”

Social proof works at the back of the prospect’s mind and is one of the best persuasion tools you can use online.

The most common social influence technique online is the testimonial.

From a merchant point of view, I’ve found that I can never get enough of testimonials. They are easy to obtain – just ask – and they are highly effective.

There are many ways online to show the number of sales of a product. For example, if you are selling an eBook - every time a sale is made you can publish the up counting number on your sales page.

Some web sites show the names and locations of their most recent online buyers. The Progressive insurance company shows how much money customers have just saved by switching.

Persuasion Psychology > Persuasion as Mental Shortcuts > Favor Reciprocation > Commitment and Consistency > Social Proof > Liking and Partiality >

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