29 November 2011

On the value of social proof (informational social influence)

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Velvet rope line
Aileen Lee, partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, believes that the best way to cost-effectively attract valuable users is harnessing a concept called social proof.

“What is social proof? Put simply, it’s the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something. It’s also known as informational social influence.

Wikipedia describes social proof as “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect the correct behavior for a given situation… driven by the assumption that the surrounding people possess more information about the situation.” In other words, people are wired to learn from the actions of others, and this can be a huge driver of consumer behavior.”

The author provides a “teardown” on various forms of social proof, and how some savvy digital companies are starting to measure its impact.

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