First off, what is social proof?

Wikipedia has this definition of Social Proof:

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in ambiguous social situations when people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior.

Making the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation, they will deem the behavior of others as appropriate or better informed.

Basically, social proof means that we tend to use the behavior of others as an indicator of what we should do in a particular situation.

How about a few examples:

  • People following the moving crowd at a ballgame rather than asking for directions
  • Lines outside of night-clubs. “The place must be bangin’ if all those people are waiting to get in.”
  • People stopping to stare at the sky because they saw someone else doing it

What I did in the opening of this article is establish that 217 other people (people just like you and I) found one of my articles insightful and useful, even taking the time to email me.

Setting it up this way, I created a framework for you and other readers to think of me – as an expert.

The trick is to use your content and

You should be doing this with your marketing to build yourself as your market’s expert of choice… “if others say you’re their expert of choice, then I’m safe in picking you as my expert, too.”

When you inject social proof into your real estate marketing you build value for yourself simply by showing that others perceive value in you.

Social proof should be developed throughout all of your marketing but especially in your follow-up email campaigns to your prospects.

Obviously, testimonials and case studies are prime for building social proof but you can do more…

Proof by Credibility Source

If your name’s in the paper or other news source – flaunt it, baby.

In last week’s City Tribune I was quoted on the effect Hollywood films were having on local home prices.

Proof by Association

By mentioning your name with a recognized authority, celebrity or expert you “borrow” their credibility.

In last week’s City Tribune Mayor Quimby and I were quoted on the effect Hollywood films were having on local home prices.

Proof by Numbers

Over the past 7 years, 82 families have found their home sweet home with me.

So, here’s the thing… people instinctively look for social proof (ever Google someone to see how many results they have and on what websites?) to help themselves make a decision. It’s natural and we all do it without thinking about it.

What I encourage you to do is to be conscious about it and look for areas in your marketing to further build social proof for yourself.

Your email subscribers are prime candidates since they’re at the evaluation stage in the real estate process and are more receptive to social proof elements.

Now, I’ve listed a few ways of building social proof. What others can you think of?

This is a reblog posted here with permission by Guerrilla Marketing Expert, Mark Eckenrode, author of HomeStomper.com.