Social Proof: If all your friends jumped off a bridge…

“If all your friends jumped off a bridge… would you do it too?”

Social Proof - Jumping off a bridge


According to Robert Ciadini’s Social Proof theory, the answer is probably yes.

People will do things that they see other people are doing. It’s the reason we have testimonials, and review sites. It’s why you ask your friend if they’d choose Apple or PC, or Samsung or iPhone.

We need to know everyone else is doing. 


We are risk adverse.


We don’t want to look like morons in front of our friends.

Where do we see Social Proof in Real life?

Ummm.. everywhere?

We ask people for their opinions All day long..  And let’s be honest people LOVE giving it. (Even if we don’t really want to hear it.)

Giving opinions - Social Proof


Where do we see Social Proof on the web?

Social Proof - Facebook Like

Need i say more?

In case i do:

  • Social buttons
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Celebrity Endorsements
  • Word of mouth << Still VERY important don’t forget this!

Even showing people the number of customers you have or examples of them using your product are all ways we use social proof to persuade.

Lil’ Exercise:

Think of all the websites/software you use on a regular basis (Evernote, Basecamp, Facebook, Candy Crush, Twitter) and answer the following questions:

  1. What made you signup?
  2. Did you have any friends that signed up?
  3. Did you read any reviews?
  4. What things do they have on their signup page that you’re missing on yours?

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Questions? Comments?