The magic of social proof

According to wikipedia, the social proof phenomenon can be described as "a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation".

Basically, we as humans, are trained to take shortcuts in the decision-making process.

Instead of wasting hours researching each and every decision, we trust a lot the decisions of our peers.

It's a lot similar to the "Bandwagon Effect", a well known cognitive bias. Cognitive biases are thought patterns designed to help us spend less time on decisions.

A few concrete examples:

  • You are much more likely to like a tweet already liked 209 times than one liked 0 time
  • Checking reviews on Reddit before buying a product / signing up for a service
  • Relying on ratings before downloading an app
  • Buying something because a friend told you about it

It can be fun to try to recognise it when you make (small) decisions and see how it affects you. You'll be surprised!

Now, you should use social proof to your advantage to increase sales or conversions to your product.

  • Adding user testimonies to your website
  • Increasing your social media presence
  • Encouraging word of mouth, affiliate can be a good technique
  • Making great products give great reviews
  • Being transparent as to who (and how much people) are using your app

I can let you know when I write new posts