Social Proof

Social Proof

Picture this… you are invited to two events being held nearby. Both events are scheduled to occur at the same time and both are appealing, but you can only attend one. Not able to make up your mind, you decide to drive pass both venues and take a look at each of them. What do you see?

Venue A: As you approach the venue, you see a long line of people waiting to get in, a full parking lot and the venue doors are wide open. A good time is being had by all and there is a lot of activity there.

Venue B: As you approach the venue, there is no line to get in, no cars in the parking lot and the venue appears to be closed.

Whatever your decision is, you have used something that millions of people use every day to make decisions. You have used SOCIAL PROOF. To get a better idea of what SOCIAL PROOF is, Wikipedia has an article on it . The venues in our example can be likened to social media platforms. The people outside in the line can be likened to social media followers. The activity happening at the venue would be the Likes, Retweets, Reposts, Shares and other things that occur on social media millions of times per day. Yes, every Retweet, Page Like, Share and Repost, provides social proof to others. That is why the follower count is so important.  Strength in numbers my friends!

A social media follower count of 1,000 people provides more social proof than a follower count of only 10. While we all know that nobody is taking the time to talk with each and every one of those 1,000 followers to get feedback on the business or the account holder, we do know that at least 1,000 people have been actively engaged through social media at one time or another. This serves as an indirect measure of influence, authority and popularity. This all comes together when social proof is considered within the scope of competition.

Within The Scope of Competition

Two businesses can offer the same products, the same services and charge similar prices. Business A may have testimonials on their website and Business B doesn’t. Business A has a social media presence with 1,000 followers and Business B has a follower count of 5. Business A  posts regularly and gets consistent levels of engagement, Business B has made only a handful of posts over the past several months. While we can’t speak for everyone, it is very likely that the social proof provided by Business A, may be the final detail that tips the scale between the two businesses. So now that we know what SOCIAL PROOF is, what are we going to do with it?

Social Proof in Action!

  1. Get your follower count up! If you have 1 follower or 1 million followers, always ask people to follow you on social media. Just like you reading this, if you have not, please take a moment and Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+. You will be adding to our social proof and you will get many more articles, tips and other information regularly for free.  Just use the links at the bottom of the page and just like that, we will become YOUR webmasters!
  2. Provide information that is of value. Valuable content gets the retweets, shares, likes and additional follows. Feel free to retweet this, share it on Facebook, Google+ and wherever you frequent.
  3. Last but not least… don’t cheat!  There are some lame outlets that will provide you with artificial followers. We talked about that before and why you should avoid such cheesy tactics.

We have considered an example of how social proof is used in the real world, a comparison of social proof between 2 businesses and 3 steps that you can take increase your social proof. Practice the steps mentioned before and over the course of time, your social proof will increase. How about you use it in a sentence today…