Does the influence of peer pressure ever really become a non-factor in our lives? I know as free thinking individuals we’d certainly like to believe so. But, according to All Your Friends and Neighbors are Doing This — You Should, Too posted by the very credible Jonathan Leger, this may very well not be the case. This post explores the implementation and use of “social proof” as a viable business strategy and how the public, as a whole, are more likely to buy based on their neighbour’s opinion than a self examination of the services offered.
Are We Influenced by Social Proof?
Now I know what you’re thinking, this is not anything new. But, if you were to be asked; “why it is you had chosen a service or product?”. I would be willing to wager that the answer would not be; “Because I was told to”. The reality is, that is exactly what is happening every single day and is at the very core of ”social proof“. Mr. Leger went on to illustrated a social experiment in which:
A research group went around posting signs in a California neighbourhood which urged home owners to conserve energy. Each sign had four reasons for doing so:
- To help the next generation.
- To save money.
- To save the planet.
- Because your neighbors are already doing it.
As documented by this study, the ONLY reason that had any real influence at all, was number 4.
Why Encourage Customers to Leave Testimonials?
The simple point is, encouraging customers and clients to leave reviews, testimonials and feed back about one’s business is unquestionably A Good Thing. People are all social beings and as such we tend to favor the roads already travelled. As a business owner this added resource can be used not solely as a tool to gage and convey the reception of your services through other’s experiences. But, it also serves the duel purpose of sending a message of your business’ reputation throughout the community, which often times results in referrals and repeat business.