In my previous post, "The Art of Persuasion", we have gained an understanding of the importance of persuasion.
In this post, we look at harnessing the power of social proof in increasing the effectiveness of your persuasion.
It means that in many common situations such as shopping at a supermarket, driving in a traffic jam or browsing at a public library, people will pick up social cues on the appropriate response based on the actions of others.
Many different examples of social proof exist. For example:
Certain nightclubs and bars employ social proof in an effective manner in order to increase the popularity of their venues.
By deliberately reducing the rate of entry, this artificially causes the line to be longer, thus customers might perceive this long line as a positive signal of the place's desirability. This might be the case while in fact the venue might be mediocre and nowhere near its full capacity.
Television shows increase the perceived "funniness" of a show by merely playing canned laughter at key "funny" moments.
Theaters similarly sometimes use audience members, specially planted within the audience who are instructed to give ovations at pre-arranged times. Such ovations might be perceived by non-expert audience members as signals of the performance's quality.