Social Proof

Social proof is having your value validated or demonstrated by people. It can be considered a type of displayed authority.

Common methods include:

  • Mentioned in Ultimate Persuasion:
    • Testimonials;
    • Referrals;
    • Recommendations;
    • Word of mouth;
    • Introductions;
    • Associations;
  • Others:
    • High-demand (queues in stores, full calendars, others);

The Persuasion Psychology Behind the Technique

Social proof works by simply illustrating in a person’s mind that other people want this, which frequently leads to them wanting it too. It can be augmented by:

  • Included in Ultimate Persuasion:
    • The person’s degree of being influenced by others (the more the person follows other people’s suggestions, the more social proof works. For example, contrarians are practically immune to social proof);
    • The similarity of the recommending people to the target (being recommended something by someone that is exactly like you is much more powerful than being recommended by “someone in general”);
  • Others:
    • The importance of the recommending person (having a famous person buy your product convinces more than the “average Joe” – at least, in most cases);

You leverage social proof by simply having other people sing your praises (or your product or service’s).


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The canonical example. Someone taking the time to write a review (or leave a video) justifying their choice

Word of mouth

Another example. Someone recommending something to others because they loved it


Another example of social proof. If an important person or organization validates you, it’s even more effective

Use Cases For the Four Quadrants

Key Takeaways
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