Some of you may remember one of the famous scenes of “When Harry met Sally”, where Meg Ryan playing a college graduate having dinner in a restaurant successfully attracted all the restaurant visitors and made part of them want to order, what she is having.
This dynamic force is called social proof and it is well explained in Robert Cialdini’s book, “Influence,” as “the tendency to see an action as more appropriate when others are doing it.” Cialdini claims social proof is more powerful when we’re uncertain what to do.
Traditional advertisements are full of examples of social proof use: celebrities wearing Nike trainers and drinking Pepsi; experts advising us what toothpaste we should use to polish our teeth or protect the gums.
In addition to the above mentioned methods there are some other powerful sources of social media proof: approvals form users, friend / people you know, and from the large group of other people.
Lately Internet has made possible to get reach of all above 24/7 via Social networks. Stuff like friend’s rating reviews and testimonials, crowd opinions are a powerful source of information and play key role as a trigger for sales activities.
You can quite on budget post a Facebook ad, advertise it among your followers and other audiences, gain easily their Likes thus gathering great amount of social proof for your product or service which can be a powerful trigger for future sales.
TripAdvisor and Airbnb ratings, social counts as well as LinkedIn recommendations are also good examples of how we use social media to boost other people opinions and drive certain marketing results.
It is very obvious – the majority of us simply choose to follow the crowd.
As experts we should plan resources to spend not only on Social media advertisements, but also on community building, use of some game-based techniques to motivate people following us, Liking our products / services, creating and distributing user generated content about it, providing positive feedback and sharing via their social media profiles or channels.