What is a Social Proof?

Feb. 4, 2019, 1:19 p.m.

What's its role in marketing?

1 Answer

Feb. 24, 2019, 10:48 p.m.

Social proof is a psychological perception that forces a person to act according to a certain behavioral pattern, given that the chosen model personifies the right actions in his eyes. At the expense of popular public media, social evidence (recommendations, reviews, and others) quickly came to the mind of the average user, but marketing still knows this tool to multiply and convert customers.

The principle of social proof works as fully as possible when we see the actions of people like us. The behavior of those with whom we have much in common can have a great influence on society. It is well known to advertisers: for effective sales of advertised goods, it is necessary to convince the public that many people use this product. Social proof (English social proof) works well in combination with an authoritative opinion. For example, research in health care has shown that the fight against smoking, conducted among schoolchildren, gives stable results only when leaders recognized by pupils play the role of agitators. Very often, social proof pushes people to do not quite deliberate and even reckless actions, based only on the behavior of others.

The tendency to consider the action correct, if many others act in the same way, usually works well. As a rule, we make fewer mistakes when we act in accordance with social norms than when we contradict them. Usually, if a lot of people do something, that’s right. In this aspect of the principle of social proof is at the same time his greatest strength and main weakness. Like other tools of influence, this principle provides people with useful rational methods of determining the line of conduct, but at the same time makes those who use these rational methods toys in the hands of “psychological speculators” who lay waiting along the path and always ready to rush to the attack.

There are a lot of social proofs in our life - some are faithful advisers in these situations, others are false. The line between false and true is conditional. Sometimes it is better to rely on your intuition and attitudes rather than the opinion of the “crowd” that someone third is confidently manipulating.