“Social proof” is a term that gets thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean and why do you need to think about it if you run a business? Let’s start with a definition: The term “social proof” was coined by psychologist Robert Caldini in his 1984 book, Influence. It describes a phenomenon where individuals in a group take cues from people around them on how they should act. It’s something we do every day, for example picking the crowded restaurant over the empty one or adjusting the speed of your car to match the traffic around you. You’ve probably already realized why this is important for your business. Yes, that’s right. When people see that a product or service is popular with others (like the example of the restaurant above) they are more likely to think that it is good. Popularity can also be conferred by an association with something popular or authoritative, for example “as seen on TV” tag lines on advertisements. Building social proof isn’t difficult, especially if you run a successful business. But it does take a little work. Here are five ways to start creating social proof today.
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