categorized as Social Proof

Using Social Proof to drive donations on PBS

12-09-2009 BY bbulman

It’s PBS fundraising season, and tonight I was watching WTTW’s Hidden Chicago 2, and every 30 minutes or so they would cut back to WTTW’s studio where the wonderful Geoffery Baer would be trying to convince viewers to donate.

I noticed occasionally he was talking and sometimes there were 10 or so volunteers looking bored and waiting by the phone for callers. WTTW is missing a huge opportunity here, if these volunteers looked like they were taking calls, viewers would be more likely to call and donate. This is the power of Social Proof, where people do things they see others doing.

Ok, so the idea of having volunteers fake like there are calls may be a little “evil”, but why doesn’t WTTW do a text crawler with donations at the bottom of the screen, like Krisi B. from Chicago $70, Tom J. from Elgin $150, etc…

This would let people know that others were donating and quite possibly they would get off their sofas and donate as well.

Infomercial developers know the concept of Social Proof very well. QVC takes live calls from customers, which are obviously to convince others to buy. Other informercials tell viewers if you call and get a busy signal, call back.

Do you really think viewers ever get a busy signal?

These infomercial developers knew how to key in on many consumers inability to resist element of influence, like Social Proof and Scarcity.

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Wikipedia’s Donation Model

12-04-2009 BY bbulman

Wikipedia, which collects donations from users to keep the site running, use a key tenet of social proof that many charities use. They display what other users have donated. It helps put a face to donors and helps convince others to donate. An example for this can be found here. You may have to refresh the page a few times to see the example.

Screen shot 2009-12-04 at 9.24.58 AM

(via @regiskuckaertz)

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Mental Notes

11-03-2009 BY bbulman

Stephen Anderson is launching Mental Notes, a set of Psychology flash cards, which I think look great. There are 50 of them and each on has a different insight/method, with an explaination and ways to apply that insight to a project. While they wont be released until Spring you can preorder, and also download a PDF with a few samples. I ordered mine a while back and cant wait to get them…

A couple of my favorites are:


Also interestingly, he is using a wee bit of scarcity(in regards to price) to sell them as well, with the accending pricing model.

Looking forward to them.

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Social Proof – Sacramento Municipal Utility

09-18-2009 BY bbulman

Found via twitter – @JasonSpector

Since April 2008 The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has been using peer pressure and social proof to try and get customers to lower their energy consumption by giving them information about their energy consumption compared to their neighbors and to the company’s most efficient customers. Those customers who have gotten this information have lowered their energy usage by up to 2%.

This is a very interesting example of Social Proof, where seeing how others are saving, hits the customer directly in the wallet. What a great idea.

More Info:

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An Introduction to Social Proof

08-07-2009 BY bbulman

People will do things that they see other people are doing.

Additional content coming soon.

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