We’re only human right?
I wish I could go around saying whatever it is I want to say, wearing whatever I feel like and mostly, just do whatever I want, without having to deal with people’s mocking faces or disapproving looks.
But I can’t. I simply can’t because, well, I’m only human. I want people’s approving looks, I need to feel like I belong, like people approve of my behavior. And turns out I’m not the only one.
We need to belong
People, as the social creatures we are, need to belong, to feel a part of our society. So yes, there are the occasional brave men and women among us who choose to challenge our social and cultural “dos and don’ts”, but as a whole, most of us tend to conform with the rest of us.
That’s why we usually turn to our peers to see what they’re doing, how they look, what they’ve decided, when we face a behavioral dilemma. It makes us feel safer and more secure with our choices.
This social proof effect is relevant in our online endeavors as well. While surfing the web might feel like an intimate experience involving only me and my computer, it’s clear we’re actually wandering around in a social platform, made for millions of other users as well. And so almost every decision we make online, whether it’s on a website or within a social network, is made in a social context.
We are faced with the same insecurity when entering a new website as we do walking into a strange party; we don’t know anyone there, and we’re scared to make any substantial decisions, like purchasing an item or registering.
So here too, we turn to social proof, and we do it for two main reasons:
1. Social proof works best in situations of uncertainty. Social studies show we’re most inclined to follow other people’s behavior when we’re most uncertain, or when the situation is ambiguous or unclear, which is exactly how we feel when trying out a new brand online. This high sense of insecurity people feel when they’re about to purchase a new item or register to a new website, is all the more reason for online businesses to leverage their social proof and make their potential customers feel secure and comfortable with their brand.
2. Social proof works best with similarity. The effect of social proof is often activated by similarity. It’s most effective when we observe the behavior of others who are similar to us, like other users. Needless to say, showing potential customers their peer users had already chosen your brand, is the best way to make them trust you.
SeatID’s Technology enables Social Proof by leveraging easy opt-in of future clients on your website (Social Login) AND visibility into which of their friends and social circles have previously purchased from your company. Rolling out your Social proof with SeatID will remove obstacles standing between your brand and future clients, leading to improved engagement, conversions and more sales.
Implementation is easy and takes only a few hours.
Photo by: Aidan Jones