The Social Proof Principle   The Six Principles of Influence

The Social Proof Principle The Six Principles of Influence


Hi there. Glad to see you’re back for another great
lesson! In this video, we will be talking about the
concept of social proof or consensus. You may have noticed or you may have been
endlessly annoyed by laugh tracks running in the back of sitcoms, but have you ever
wondered the precise reason why those are there? Put simply, there is a general tendency that
when people find themselves in a situation of uncertainty, when they are not sure how
to act, they look at the environment around them to find cues and guidance. Like laughter from a ghost audience. And they are especially influenced by people
of their own age and status. This type of reasoning is what’s driving
the success of websites and applications like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and “like-a-local”
guides. People like to rely on the experience and
opinion of like-minded people to guide their own decisions and actions. There is an excellent experiment that demonstrates
the utility of this principle in action. The main goal of the study was to try to get
people who are staying at a hotel in Arizona to reuse their towels. Four reasons were given to four different
groups of guests, each appealing to a different thing: the environment, prospective donation
of end-of-year laundry savings, an already completed donation, or the fact that the majority
of the hotel guests reused their towel at least once per stay. And, yes – the last method proved most effective,
with a 10% increase in towel reuse from when people were only considering the environment. Or to put it otherwise, as effective as thinking
about the environment turned out to be, with 35% of the people reusing their towels, taking
a cue from the other people who visited the same hotel was more: 45% of hotel guests decided
to reuse their towels. And if those people were told that the majority
of people staying in this hotel, and in this exact room reused their towels, compliance
numbers reached 50%. Amazing, right? One driving force behind social proof is the
need to belong to a social group. Humans base about two-thirds of their self-image
on the social groups they are part of. It stands to reason that when a situation
occurs that makes us feel uncertain, we re-evaluate ourselves and start thinking on behalf of
the group it makes sense to be a part of for this decision. For example, if choosing between several hair
products an individual can ask themselves “What would make sense for me, as a young
college graduate on a budget who cares about quality?” She would go with the choice that fits this
description the best, and many others in her position will too. So, how can the social proof principle be
applied in a marketing strategy? One way to do it is to give your product credibility
boost by gathering testimonials. Identify your target audience and have satisfied
customers show them that your product or service is something their peers enjoy! In case your mind jumped directly to “Oh
no, infomercials!” as did ours, let us reassure you that this is not what we mean by testimonials. In today’s digital age there are tons of
exciting ways to market a product using social proof. You can collaborate with bloggers that share
your target audience to popularise your product, or use podcasts. You can also aim to generate comments which
are often the go-to testimonial in online marketing. One very clever strategy used in TV ads was
to change the usual tagline from “Operators are standing by” to “If our lines are
busy, please call again”. At this point you can probably guess what
that accomplished. This simple switch conveyed that many others
are also calling in, thus the product or service must be very desirable and you will not be
placing your eggs into the wrong basket if you also trust it. An easy way to convey a similar message in
an increasingly online world is by introducing counters on your web platform, for example,
of how many people have bought or support the product. Think about Kickstarter – the “funded
in one day” banner on a project fulfils this exact purpose. And it is super effective! All of that said, the wisdom of the crowds
can be a mighty tool if you just know how to harness it. We hope we gave you some pretty useful ideas
but feel free to go on and brainstorm with friends! We are sure you can come up with amazing stuff. Thanks for watching! And see you next time, because we will be
discussing liking, or how much does liking a person increase the chances of a Yes!

One thought on “The Social Proof Principle The Six Principles of Influence

  1. We are ALL about social proof 🙂 It is one of the best ways to build customer trust online. We find that adding reviews to the product page is the BEST way to convert visitors.

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