Social Proof

social proof

Social proof is a powerful tool for marketers that when used effectively, can persuade more customers to convert. Social proof can take many forms online. One of the more obvious examples is the use of consumer reviews but there are lots more.

So what is social proof? To paraphrase the Wikipedia entry, social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. At its worst, it’s a type of herd behavior but in an e-tail context, it can help users make more informed decisions.

While product reviews will help to push shoppers towards buying a particular product, they won’t tell users anything about the trustworthiness of the site. For this, services such as Google’s Trusted Stores scheme provide an average user rating and essentially tell the customer that people have bought from the site before and would recommend it.

An example of social proof? provides a textbook example of social proof with examples of it everywhere. Take this search results page for example. There are so many indicators which suggest how popular the hotels are, including the average review score, the number of people looking at that hotel, and the number of rooms left to book.

example of social proof


5 SEO experts you should be following on Twitter

Believe me, it is very tough drawing up a list of just five but, right now, I would have to go with these guys when it comes to SEO.

They have very different backgrounds but the impact in their fields is enormous. Above all, they are are fantastic on Twitter!!

Hopefully you are following at least three (or all five!) already but, if not, you’re missing out. Go follow:

We still get the basics wrong (in 2014)

I don’t like picking on individual companies but I see these mistakes daily. We’re in 2014 and there is still such a gap in marketing integration across big companies.

Accepted, this example is related to HR more than anything, but it is still a directing marketing piece. One, which unfortunately has gone horribly wrong.

So here’s the latest example. BVA have paid for an advert in Marketing Week, which I’m sure you know, doesn’t come cheap. They are advertising for a new ‘Head of Digital’ position. OK, looks fine.


Here’s where they go wrong. Look at the date of the issue they have paid to appear in (21st August, 2014). Now let’s see what happens when we go the URL they have provided in the advert:


20th August?? The closing date is before the advert has even gone out (oh the irony of BVA seeking a marketing expert!).

Everyone makes mistakes. And to be fair, the consequences of this error are by no means significant. BVA will successfully find a great candidate in the end. However, what I’m getting at is that we still don’t think about the bigger marketing picture. There’s too many marketing mistakes similar to this one and I see more and more each day. I swear the number is growing instead of declining!

I don’t even want to start on QR codes or anything mobile related.

Please put the customer experience first. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, go through their journey every step of the way. Be the customer. Don’t just rush the marketing campaign out the door so that you can tick it off your list ready for the next (‘urgent’) one.

5 free tools for recording Google+ Hangouts

record-google-hangoutsGoogle+ Hangouts are proving to be one of the few popular features of Google’s social network, but there’s no built-in option to record them.

Until Google decides to add such functionality, there are some free workarounds to help you record your next Hangout. Although G+ pros may choose to invest in specialist software, the free solutions will suffice for capturing Hangouts and they offer easy sharing options, too.

Do you know of anymore? Share them in the comments below.

Direct Mail Fail

It’s 2014 and I’m still getting direct mail like this through my door:


Who is creating this garbage? It has to stop.

This has all the attributes that I would expect to see in a direct marketing example from a 1995 marketing textbook. Bold font with red underlining of phrases such as “fraction of the cost”, font size 10million for the 0800 number, and an irrelevant lie about the company’s anniversary. I could go on. It has it all. It even has the ultimate final line of “limited time offer, please act fast…”. Wow. Just wow.

The one bit that really got under my skin is the top line which says “Dear Sir/Madam”. A real kick in the teeth. Not only have you shoved crap through the door but you have no idea who lives at the property, let alone what they’re interested in. This is the old ‘send a billion flyers and one person may just buy it’ strategy. It doesn’t work. So stop doing it.

This is pure interruption advertising. You have given me no reason to trust your company and I certainly haven’t given you permission to talk to me. Do you think I’m going to use your service?

Please stop it.

(And give me a reason to trust you first).



Facebook: How do you view the most recent posts in your newsfeed (mobile)?

Here we go again. Facebook have decided that they will be choosing what you read on your newsfeed. Anyway, here is a simple way to view the most recent posts on your Facebook newsfeed on a mobile device.

For iPhone users:

1. Log in to Facebook on your mobile
2. At the bottom right of the screen you will notice three small bars and the label ‘more’, click this (see image below).

facebook-most-recent-posts-newsfeed-iphone3. Scroll down until you find ‘FEEDS’ and then you can click ‘Most Recent’

For Android users:

1. Log in to Facebook on your mobile
2. At the top you will notice three small bars and the label ‘more’, click this (see image below).

3. Select ‘Most Recent’

Please do comment if you are having any other issues with this.

How do you perform an advanced search on (the new) Facebook?

It is frustrating when you are searching for someone on Facebook and they don’t show up. The good news is that it’s possible to perform an advanced search on Facebook. Here are the steps to do so.

1. First of all, log in to Facebook.
2. Once logged in, go to:
3. You should then be presented with options such as ‘people you may know’
4. To the right of this are the advanced filters to use when searching for friends.

It should look a little something like this:


How do you turn off auto-play videos on the Facebook iPhone app?

It is really embarrassing when an annoying Facebook video starts playing automatically as you scroll through your newsfeed. Here is how to turn off the auto-play feature on the iPhone app and stop those horrible moments!

How to turn off Facebook auto-play videos on the iPhone app.

One solution is to turn on the ‘Auto-play on Wi-fi only’ option. To do this you will need to do the following steps on your iPhone:

Step 1: Go to Settings and locate ‘Facebook’:



2. Click on the small ‘Settings’ tab under the ‘Facebook’ logo:



3. Finally, turn on the ‘Auto-play on Wi-Fi only’ feature:


Please note: as stated in the settings, this is only to turn off when not connected to Wi-Fi. Right now, Facebook, for whatever reason, do not allow you to completely turn off auto-play for videos.