It is the physiological phenomenon of looking forward to or copying other people’s behavior before taking any action in a given situation. Social proof is a very important factor to help people arrive at a decision in ambiguous or complex situations. It is also referred to as “herd behavior”, however social proof is more powerful than herd behavior because it follows the assumption that the larger group possesses better knowledge than the individual.
There are different types of social proof: expert, celebrity, user, crowd, friends, certification, among others. You can see the best examples of social proof when ordering products online and it shows the number of people who have bought the product in the last hour.
Types of Social Proof:
1.Expert – An expert social proof is when an expert in your industry recommends your products or services or is an evangelist of your brand. For example, a LinkedIn shoutout by an expert or having an expert on your LinkedIn live.
2. Celebrity – Celebrity social proof is when a celebrity endorses your products or services. For example, a Tiktok or an Instagram post about your product by a celebrity or a social media influencer.
3. User – User social proof is when your active customers recommend your products and services based on their experience with your business. For example, brand advocacy by your customers on social media or positive product/service ratings on review sites.
4. The wisdom of the crowd – This kind of social proof is when your loyal customer base or product advocates are seen to be endorsing your business. For example, having hundreds of thousands of customers or millions of followers on your social media.
5. The wisdom of your friends – This kind of social proof is when people see their peers or friends approve your product or service. For example, watching their friends use your product or your interaction with the business on social media.
6. Certification – This kind of social proof is when you are given a certificate of approval by an authoritative figure in your industry. For example, verified mark on social media platforms.