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Peer Pressure and Social Proof

The relationship between Peer pressure and Social Proof, has many examples, from the number of Facebook ‘Likes’, Twitter and Google+ ‘Followers’,  YouTube ‘Views’ and ‘Likes’ to reviews and so on, on one end, and the popularity and reach of successful brands, on the other end.

Shoppers are more likely to select a product or service that has a larger number of followers  and endorsers. That’s why these numbers are often displayed on their web assets, from their website to blogs and social media pages & fan pages.

Picture this, two restaurants, side-by-side, one is full, the other empty, which will you more likely check-out first? Most dinners will check out the full one first.

-This is Peer Pressure in action, building up Social Proof in our minds.

Online behavior is no different, peer pressure influences shopper’s selections.

Here are a couple of examples:

  1. You are looking for an app, at the Apple app store. There are two apps that seem to be a fit, one with 10,000 reviews and the other with 10.
    Which one are you most likely to check out first?
  2. You are shopping for a hotel in some city you never visited before. There are two hotels that seem to match your budget & desired proximity to the beach. One has 1,500 likes & followers, the other none.
    Which one are you most likely to check out first?

You must have noticed I used “Which one are you most likely to check out first?”

-The reason for this is that, you guessed right, some shoppers will continue to check out the 2nd, 3rd options, however, these will only be those shoppers that their first option failed to convert/ sell them. In other words, those companies that are 2nd, 3rd options in this example were lucky, option 1 did not do a good job…

Now that we see there is a correlation between peer pressure and social proof, and that we cannot afford to rely on luck alone. What is your company doing to leverage that?

 

Photo by: Liam Quinn

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