Social Proof

We copy the behaviors of others, especially in unfamiliar situations

‘Correct’ decisions or behaviors are dictated by the actions of others, particularly those we’re similar to or aspire to become.

Bandura & Menlove (1968). Factors determining vicarious extinction through symbolic modeling. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The study

Setup

32 dog-phobic children were split into 3 groups and shown 8 videos of either one child playing with a dog,  many children with different dogs or no dogs, and then asked to interact with a dog themselves. 

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Results

Those who watched another child play with a dog performed far better. Those who watched many children also kept this up a month later. 

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In detail

Key Takeaways

Provide mental shortcuts through the judgements of others; the more people, the more persuasive.  First-time consumers of your product will benefit the most from this approach. 

Persuade with similarity. We're most influenced by those who we deem similar to ourselves. Communicate characteristics relevant to that segment, such as proximity, gender / age, profession or social class to successfully direct behavior. 

Use role-models. Understand the emotional drivers of your audience and seek out positive, aspirational individuals to direct specific consumer decisions and reinforce behaviors.

Social Proof

We copy the behaviors of others, especially in unfamiliar situations

‘Correct’ decisions or behaviors are dictated by the actions of others, particularly those we’re similar to or aspire to become.

Bandura & Menlove (1968). Factors determining vicarious extinction through symbolic modeling. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The study

Setup

32 dog-phobic children were split into 3 groups and shown 8 videos of either one child playing with a dog,  many children with different dogs or no dogs, and then asked to interact with a dog themselves. 

Results

Those who watched another child play with a dog performed far better. Those who watched many children also kept this up a month later. 

Key Takeaways

Provide mental shortcuts through the judgements of others; the more people, the more persuasive.  First-time consumers of your product will benefit the most from this approach. 

Persuade with similarity. We're most influenced by those who we deem similar to ourselves. Communicate characteristics relevant to that segment, such as proximity, gender / age, profession or social class to successfully direct behavior. 

Use role-models. Understand the emotional drivers of your audience and seek out positive, aspirational individuals to direct specific consumer decisions and reinforce behaviors.

Social Proof

We copy the behaviors of others, especially in unfamiliar situations

‘Correct’ decisions or behaviors are dictated by the actions of others, particularly those we’re similar to or aspire to become.

The study

Setup

32 dog-phobic children were split into 3 groups and shown 8 videos of either one child playing with a dog,  many children with different dogs or no dogs, and then asked to interact with a dog themselves. 

Results

Those who watched another child play with a dog performed far better. Those who watched many children also kept this up a month later. 

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

Highlight how others got started

As well as providing a clear first, low-risk step into your world, bolster any new customer's foot-in-the-door task with some communicating that 'most existing customers started this way too'. This could be a membership tier, order amount or frequency or simply a first engagement with your brand (i.e. signing up for your newsletter before buying any products you've for sale).

Where can you provide reassurance that new or potential customers are taking the right step down a path trodden by many before them?

Start small. Start social.

Let popularity guide your defaults

The behaviours of others greatly inform what we ourselves will do. Taking this a step further, when setting up default choices, use what is most popular as the default option to supercharge its effect. Communicate this clearly when presenting your options to reduce analysis paralysis and provide further choice confidence, especially for new customers.

What default options do you present, consciously or otherwise? How can you use the decisions of others to add a level of confidence to them?

Going further, if you wish to change your defaults, think about highlighting the social group that best helps reinforce this. For instance, a coffee shop defaulting to a new premium espresso that is already most popular amongst its online coffee bean subscribers.

Conversion

Let the actions of others reduce personal fear of the unknown

Evolutionarily, we're hard-wired to avoid unnecessary risk. However, this means we have a frustrating tendency to stick to what we know, forgoing opportunities for new and better things. However, we also naturally follow others, especially in such new or unfamiliar situations.

How can you use others’ choices to reassure individuals, help reduce risk aversion and ultimately explore the benefits of what is currently a little unfamiliar?

Connected to

Running workshops?

Social Proof

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box One