There exists a particularly funny scene in the Can Ferrell film Elf when he passes a run-down looking restaurant that has a sign saying “World’s Ideal Sit down elsewhere.” With exuberant delight, he bursts in to the shop and yells “Congratulations!”
It’s a hilarious time, but a common exemplory case of
“social proof” that is found in the advertising world for decades. When we don’t
know the reality, we search for clues from our external atmosphere (like a
promise in a storefront screen) to help us make decisions.
isn't always true or correct, it just has to provide an effective effect of
In my book Return On Effect, I point to a famous example of
this, actor Robert Adolescent.
Young was an attained
radio, film, and tv actor who represented the iconic All-American dad in the
1950s Tv set series “Father Knows Ideal.” In the 1970s he reprised this
squeaky-clean within an even more famous character - the delicate, and trusted
“Marcus Welby, M.D.” In fact he became so linked with this character that it had
been impossible NOT to think about him in this part in virtually any subsequent
role or look he earned.
Despite his trademark portrayal of these happy,
well-adjusted heroes, Robert Young’s reality cannot have been more distinct. He
admitted to being truly a terrible father and spouse, and was often described as
a bitter gentleman. He experienced depression and alcoholism, and spoke openly
about a suicide attempt in the first 1990s.
Yet during this same
timeframe, Adolescent was among America’s most popular television industrial
spokespersons - utterly as opposed to his tormented personal truth.
names capitalized on his sociable proof as a Tv set doctor and extended all
those powerful positive attributes to their products, even though the person
wrapped in the white lab coat was suffering as a human being.
The essence of
In the internet, “social proof” is definitely
paramount … and easily achieved because anybody can appear to be pumped-up and
important, even though they’re not.
There has never been a period in
history where the mantle of authority possesses been hence effortlessly assumed
and promoted. Words like “best-marketing,” “award-winning” and “expert” have
And yet in our information-dense world of the web,
we’re starved for clues to greatly help us establish leadership and authority
and we easily transform to “badges of influence” like amount of Twitter
followers or even a Klout score as effortless indicators of
Perhaps the most prestigious symbol of cultural proof today is the
Facebook “Like.” Among countless companies, you will find a Facebook arms race
happening as competing companies do anything necessary to gain top of the hand
on this important metric. Not long ago i wrote a content describing an
organization who has an internal advertising and marketing metric of “cost per
like.” At first glance, this seems ludicrous nonetheless it demonstrates how
strategically important this symbol is becoming.
Let’s buy some facebook likes
As you may predict, an underground market has emerged which will
happily sell you Facebook fans . A search resulted in a market value of
$199 for 10,000 likes.
A client just lately asked me if this is a
legitimate solution to build their social proof, particularly if their
competitor does it. My instinct mentioned no. As much as I’ve written about the
necessity to be trustworthy and traditional on the social world wide web this
tactic seems unethical.
But the more I consider this, the more I
speculate if this position is definitely hopelessly naive. Let’s face it, for
most brands, social media has become another advertising channel. Almost every
corporate Facebook account I understand of is run, at the very least partly, by
an advertising agency.
If we appear at Facebook with regard to being just
another advertising platform (which it really is) then what’s the distinction
between pumping up your Facebook accounts with fake Wants and …
account that is primarily populated by empty accounts and spambots? (This is the
case for almost every person with an enormous Twitter following.)
A badge on
your own site claiming your site is among the “Top websites of …” when it had
been simply a popularity contest that you manipulated by encouraging friends and
family to do mass voting?
Claiming “several out of five physicians …” when
you genuinely have no idea what the analysis was in relation to or how it really
is being put on the advertising claim?
Claiming to end up being an
“qualified” or “guru” when you’ve never had a paying customer?
observe any outcry against these examples of social proof … actually chances are
good that you may be participating in something similar to this yourself
somewhere on your own social profile. If we are willing to look another way on
these additional trumped-up claims, why is there this emotional backlash when it
comes to Facebook?
The Business Case for Buying Facebook Likes
we pontificate concerning the imperative for “authenticity,” when you get right
down to it, nobody really cares. Like the case of Robert Small, reality plays no
part in manipulating people’s perceptions about authority.
I run my
enterprise and my life with integrity. Not merely do I stay away from anything
unethical, I stay away from whatever even LOOKS unethical.
wondering if it's irresponsible and out of step with truth to keep a customer
from buying Loves to match a competitor that is already doing it. EASILY only
built a natural following because of this customer, it will put them at a
aggressive disadvantage … and by the end of your day somebody sounding their
page won’t care any way.