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What is Social Proof?

Let’s start by talking about what social proof is.  It’s what happens when people talk positively about a product, service, company, or any other commodity.

Social proof can take multiple forms. For example:

  • Online Reviews
  • Online Ratings
  • Social Media Mentions
  • Professional Certification and Recommendations

The idea behind social proof is that people are influenced by the behaviors of others. Social proof provides evidence of the usefulness or validity of a thing – whatever that thing might be.  There are some psychological reasons that explain the effectiveness of social proof.

  1. People appreciate transparency. One the of benefits of social proof is that it doesn’t come from a company – it comes from consumers of what the company makes or provides. That is part of why people trust it.
  2. People also have a need to feel that they belong.  There’s a mental glitch know as the Bandwagon Effect that makes people more likely to support a cause or product when others do, too.
  3. FOMO (the feat of missing out) is a real thing and a powerful one.  When everyone else seems to be doing something we want to do it too.
  4. Human beings are hard-wired to connect with stories. Since customer reviews and testimonials are short stories, it’s no wonder that we gravitate to them.

Long story short we can be comfortable with the products and services we use.  Social proof gives us a risk-free way to evaluate things before we spend money on them.

Do you offer a worthwhile product or service?

You know you do!  But how can you convince the people in your target audience of its worth?  That is the purpose of marketing. It’s your job to prove your products worth.

There are all kinds of ways to prove a product is good. Remember the old Coke vs. Pepsi taste tests?  That’s one example of proof.

But, in these days of social media marketing, by far the most popular and impactful kind of proof social proof.

What is social proof?  Why does it matter?  And – most importantly – how can you use it to come out ahead of your competitors and grab the lion’s share of your target audience?

Check back next week to learn Why Social Proof Matters!


Kacy Carlsen is the Co-Founder of UpDog Media located in Redlands, CA
She has 25+ years of experience in digital marketing and branding.
She has worked with thousands of business owners in dozens of countries across the
world, helping them build, market, and scale their businesses.
Contact Information:  kacy [at] | 909.498.4416

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