The Psycology of Social Proof
A good marketer is also a student of psychology. Today I want to introduce a concept called social proof. Social proof is this phenomenon that we, as human beings, tend to look around and see what other people are doing so that we can make better decisions. It was kind of a survival mechanism in the early days of humans, but today we use it because there’s not enough time in the day to accurately or completely evaluate every product and service that we buy. We tend to look around and say, “What are other people like me buying? Then I want to buy the same product.” You see this all over the world in marketing. When you drive by a McDonald’s and you see “over a billion served” it may seem absurd that anybody doesn’t know what a hamburger is today, but way back in 1955, Ray Kroc put up the first “over one million served” sign so that anybody traveling into a town with McDonald’s would know that it was something that they had to try.
Examples of Social Proof
Think about any restaurant you walk by with a huge line and a bustling crowd inside. You certainly look around at the people that are going to that restaurant and you can make a lot of assumptions about whether that’s somewhere that you want to eat. When you walk into an office and you see client logos like the ones behind me you tend to make decisions about the kind of work that company is doing based on the kind of companies they’re working with. There’s tons of examples like this. On your website, if you can actually have the logos of the clients you work with or the media outlets that you’ve been featured on, such as we have on Juicy Results, then it tends to send a strong signal to people without you having to tell them that you do work and that you work with great companies.
Why Social Proof Matters to Marketers
Social proof is ingrained in all of us as human beings. If you can understand it and you can take advantage of it you’re going to be a more successful marketer. Think about the way your website is organized, the way your marketing is organized. Can you get case studies and testimonials from clients that you want to attract more clients like those? That’s what’s going to set up your website to be the most effective marketing tool for the kind of clients that you’re targeting. Take a look into social proof. It’s been around for many decades in the marketing community, and see how you can work it into your marketing.
Check out our website packages to see how we can help you use social proof to optimize your Internet marketing.
What are your favorite examples of social proof being used effectively in marketing?