Social Proof. Social Proof is, in a nutshell herd mentality. Herd mentality is when people are influenced by companies to buy products or by peers to follow a trend or join the bandwagon, as they say.
It’s one of the most powerful tools used to persuade, manipulate and influence people. We’re so used to it that we notice it subconsciously. Items like social networking share buttons are types of social proofs; using testimonials is also considered social proof; videos going viral, or even listening to music or diets- all forms of social proof.
It is one of those things that we’re psychologically affected by, and there is not much to little we can do. Why do we get conformed to it? This dates back to the caveman era. Back then, humans used to stick in groups and herds, and migrate collectively. This was done to prevent any individual dangers (you know, strength in numbers). Since then it has been implanted in our minds that we must stick to and conform by societal rules in order to be a part of a group, giving us that sense of belonging and comfort.
It’s tough to be devoid of social proof, and there’s hardly much we can do about it since we notice it, most of the times subconsciously.
Next time you see a new trend, or a video go viral- remember, Social Proof.
If 50 million people say something foolish, it is still foolish- rob dobelli