Specifically, we’re going to talk about social proof and is one of the best ways that you can demonstrate the validity of your product, service, or the behavior that you want someone to adopt.

In the third video on our video series about Robert Cialdini’s book ‘Influence’ and his six principles, we’re going to talk about social proof.

This is another extremely powerful sense of obligation that someone feels when there has been a significant amount of response from other people. This is very common when people are in uncertain situations. Perhaps they will look to see what other people are doing as feedback for them to decide what the appropriate behavior is. If you are trying to get someone to change their behavior or buy into your marketing message, it will be far more successful if you can demonstrate social proof.

People want to know that other people are buying your product, that other people are making the changes for their behavior. For example, are other people wearing their personal protective equipment? Are other people buying your products or services? That will demonstrate social proof that other people who are evaluating the purchase or the changes that they’re going to be making in their life have validated that it is a good choice and perhaps it’s one that a new person should consider as well.


Buying products demonstrates social proof when other people evaluates the purchase. Photo credit: www.eccireland.ie

If you cannot demonstrate social proof, it becomes very hard to convince someone to become an early adopter or the very first person to take on your project, buy your product, buy your service, or adopt the new behavior. There is a reluctance there because they feel that someone else hasn’t demonstrated the desire to buy it. So perhaps there’s something wrong with it. The more you have social proof, the greater your feedback that will encourage you to sell your product or get people to change their behavior.

In the past, this was demonstrated through TV and the use of fake laugh tracks on television. People knew that the laugh tracks were fake but they were still being used and it was based on simple fact that the research has shown, that even though someone knew that it was a fake laughter, they were a lot more likely to laugh if they could hear someone else laughing. It just reinforced the social proof that if other people were doing it, it was the appropriate behavior for them to do as well.


Social proof is when people are doing it, it was the appropriate behavior for them to do as well. Photo credit: allenketchersid.com

If you’re thinking in terms of how you can use this to your advantage – if you have a Facebook page and people are looking at the number of likes on your page or the number of times something has been shared, it’s going to be far more likely for someone to actually check that out or perhaps to subscribe because they have seen that other people have liked it as well. So there’s probably a good chance they’re going to like it is as well too.

Social proof is an excellent way to demonstrate that you are offering something that other people value and that should be valued by the person that is currently looking at it right now.