Posts tagged 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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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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Social Proof – Customer Video Testimonials

07-21-2009 BY Bill Bulman

A wonderfully powerful example of the principle of Social Proof at work online is the use of customer testimonials.  Many product or services websites have customer testimonials in one form or another, usually in the form of a short written testimonial about a paragraph in length with the customer’s name, title and location.

Sometimes these testimonials get watered down and instead of including the customers full info like Cynthia Jones, 31yrs old, Scranton, PA it becomes Cynthia, Scranton, PA. This watering down of the testimonial removes the feeling of authenticity and transparency and makes consumers wonder if the testimonial is just pure fiction.

So when I recently ran across 37 Signal’s video testimonials for their project management software Basecamp, I was very impressed.  Not only do the Basecamp video testimonials portray real people and the business problems Basecamp solved for them, but there are several testimonials so it is easier to find a testimonial from someone like you, which is makes the testimonial more relevant and meaningful.


37 Signals even blogged about their experience of creating the videos here.

Kathy Sierra has a great post about Rethinking Testimonials that is a good read as well.

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