social proof wordsIf you really have no idea what the concept of social proof is all about, let’s define it right here. Social proof is the idea that people will shape and conform their ideas and beliefs to the prevailing wisdom of the crowd, assuming that it is believable.

The ability to persuade large segments of people with a notion totally supported by the crowd is a heady idea. There are many types of social proof out there, and they can be put into use in the form of testimonials, expert endorsements, sheer numbers and more.

Let’s look at 5 types of social proof, and let the ideas begin to percolate.

5 Amazing types of social proof

Celebrity – No doubt if you can get a celebrity endorsement or testimonial, you have something quite valuable. These work best when the person in question is either extremely likable or somewhat controversial.

Scarcity ploy – In this consumer-driven society we live in we all live with the fear of missing out. This is because you or someone else has just informed them that they really need this right now, just like dozens others just like them have gone for this limited time, one-time only offer.

Expert social proof – There’s something about placing your trust in someone who has been there, or is viewed as an authority or expert on the subject that conveys just enough trust to get people to buy into the offer. This is where the term “influencer” emanates from, and is a powerful technique in sales today.

User generated – Having your customers provide unsolicited reviews is something that happens often. (And much more often if you encourage the practice!) It’s what you do with these that counts. Visitors to your page often see this as the tipping point because these unbidden “testimonials” carry an air of authenticity that a paid endorsement and other social proof only wish it had.

Friends influence – When products or services come recommended by our friends, we give it a bit more legitimacy than we otherwise might. This is why the number of friends and followers a person has does have some real value.