“Social Proof” is a concept psychologists have used for a number of years to explain social interactions: Read More on Wikipedia
General idea is that people tend to look to the actions of others when deciding how to act in a certain situation. So, when people around you are shaking hands as a greeting during a business meeting, you might be disinclined to kiss them on the cheek. However, if you’re in a culture where kissing on the cheek is a proper greeting, and you see people doing it, then kissing on the cheek has been “proven” to be the correct action.
You’re probably thinking… “Social proof, psychological mumbo jumbo... What does this have to do with my business?” Well, to put it bluntly, social proof underlies much of the way marketing for businesses works.
Let’s think of your business as a person at a party; and let’s say everyone at the party is bad-mouthing you, behind your back. If someone walks into the party without knowing who you are, everyone will tell them all these bad things. What will these people think of you (i.e. your business)?
No matter how nice you act towards them, or how good your products and/or services appear to be, these people will probably believe you’re bad. Their perception was manipulated by the social proof in the room.
The good thing about this is that you can use your understanding of social proof to positively influence what your potential customers think about your business; and you can do this by spreading the “good” about your business by influencing customer reviews on the internet.
As a small business owner, you may be wondering just how much an impact customer reviews can have on your ability to generate new customers. Or, maybe you’re not even aware that customer reviews exist online! In the next posts, we explain everything you should know of Customer Review Marketing.