Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Social Proof:

Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion” offers a great primer on social proof.

Advertisers love to inform us when a product is the fastest growing or largest selling, because they do not have to convince us directly that the product is good, they only need to tell us others think so and that is social proof…

Human beings are social animals, we like being in restaurants that are frequented by other people, that reinforces are decisions. Restaurateurs have known this little tidbit of information for some time. That is why window seats are almost always seated first. The impression is created that the place is full because people walking by see only the people at the window and no one else. Many times a large restaurant will seat only a section. This sometimes creates a wait for people getting into the restaurant. When you are finally seated and notice the extra tables that are available, you wonder why you had to wait. At times lack of staff coverage creates this manufactured wait for tables, also creating the illusion of popularity. Restaurateurs will often ask friends to come populate the restaurant, again creating the illusion of popularity so that when paying guests arrive they will feel more comfortable that others are reinforcing their decision to visit your establishment.

If you have to wait for a table or service, it must be popular, if it is popular that is more than enough Social Proof!