Picture this: It’s a relaxing Sunday evening and you decide to pull up Netflix to watch a movie.  But, hm…. what to watch?  How about a movie that is rated five stars?  Surely that has to be good because so many people have liked it!

OR picture this: It’s a relaxing Sunday evening and you decide to go out to eat at a restaurant.  You and a friend are wandering Downtown looking for a good, tasty meal at a new place.  You peer into a restaurant while passing by and notice that it is empty.  Because of this, you quickly assume that the food must not be very good.  You walk further along and see a restaurant bustling with people—a line of people is out the door waiting anxiously for a table!  You think that the food at this restaurant must be amazing to attract so many people, and decide to eat here.

People simply choose to follow crowds.  Also called the “me too” effect, social proof is the theory that “people will adopt the beliefs or actions of a group of people they life or trust.”  The human desire to conform and fit-in plays a huge role in individual’s lives.  For example, look at social media.  Large numbers of followers or likes or shares a piece of content has is (more) likely to attract more attention because of its already large following.  People question and become curious as to why this piece of context is so alluring to other people.

Take into consideration these statistics:

  • Over 70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase.
  • Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.

Both of these statistics show the emphasis and consideration that humans have for others opinions.  People trust when a large group of people approves or follows something.

Social proof is crucial to be aware of in the marketing field because it can help to make or break a business.  For example, good product reviews or ratings can help to boost sales.  Whatever the case, social proof is a technique that is utilized and monitored all of the time in marketing.  Can you think of a time where you have been affected by social proof?


Sources: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/social-proof/, https://blog.kissmetrics.com/social-proof-factors-2/