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Issue #27 - Social Proof 👥

Mental Models Weekly
Issue #27 - Social Proof 👥
By Julia Clavien • Issue #27 • View online
Have you heard of this one? This week I’m covering social proof, another popular mental model from psychology and sociology. You’ll have no trouble spotting it in your day to day life. 🧠

What is social proof?
We tend to look to others to guide what we should think and do.
Did you stand up and give a standing ovation just because other people were?
Or maybe you checked a Yelp review to see if a restaurant was good?
If so, you probably were affected by social proof.
“social proof is most powerful for those who feel unfamiliar or unsure in a specific situation and who, consequently, must look outside of themselves for evidence of how best to behave there”
In other words - at time we look to others to see what we should think or do. At it’s simplest, social proof is a type of conformity.
Marketing and social proof
Marketers love to use social proof to influence us!
Here’s a useful set of categories for types of social proof from this article which I’m sure you’ll recognize:
Social proof from customers and users
e.g. the customer product reviews such as on Amazon
Social proof from friends and family
e.g. your sister recommending you a product
Social proof from crowds
e.g. someone has thousands or millions of social media followers
Social proof from celebrities and influencers
e.g. a pop star wearing a particular shirt
Social proof from experts
e.g. a dentist endorsing a type of toothbrush
Social proof from certifications and education
e.g. things noted on an executive’s LinkedIn profile
Photo by Melanie Pongratz
Photo by Melanie Pongratz
Want to go deeper?
📖 Robert Cialdini’s Influence book is a modern classic on social proof and much more
🔖 This is a great guide on how to use social proof in marketing
😂 Please recommend my newsletter so I can add some social proof!
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Julia Clavien

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