Question: What is Social Proof to You?

Recently one of my posts (Social Proof helps launch a Restaurant) has generated some conversation over on Google+ and it was thought provoking to say the least. I wanted to share the dialogue with you and see what your personal definition of social proof was. I believe it is one of the pillars of social media marketing efforts and thus deserves the attention.

Here is the excerpt:

Mana Ionescu's profile photo

Mana Ionescu  –  +Spiro Pappadopoulos I am not sure if your article defines social proof the same way as +Andrew Crestodina ‘s does. The technique I see used for Facebook is gaming the EdgeRank algorithm. And I don’t say that as a negative thing, it’s exactly what we recommend for Facebook. But a better example of social proof in the Facebook situation would be when you buy followers. Lots of companies do this. Those followers are just empty accounts, but having that number of followers makes people believe that the page is more worth-while following than a page with only 40 followers, let’s say.
12:24 PM

Spiro Pappadopoulos's profile photo

Spiro Pappadopoulos  –  +Mana Ionescu I may disagree with the way it is defined then. I believe it is much more human than that. I think the visible interaction between a business and someone you know, or better yet multiple people you know is the true power and source of social proof.

Follower count/Friend count alone without compelling content and human interaction is more on the spoof side than the proof side, to borrow from Andrew, in my opinion.

I would say that because of facebook’s algorithm this natural interaction gets more pronounced, and surely it can be gamed. But with compelling content and human interaction it just may get you the real deal proof that drives truly remarkable results.

That is what I work toward at least, and that is my definition of social proof. Granted I have not written any guru books on the subject, I just use social media to get the story of our business out drive people to the door.

Thanks for the response, I appreciate the time and thought.

What is your definition of social proof? Please share in the comments.

If you want to see the article we are referring to it is here: Andrew Crestodina