The Shocking Power Of Social Proof On Video

How are we affected by social proof and the herding instinct?

Are our actions really influenced heavily by the actions we see of others around us?

Consider the astounding results in this study by Albert Bandura of nursery school children afraid of dogs.

Young children terrified of dogs watched a little boy happily playing with a dog for twenty minutes a day.

Just 4 days later 67 percent of these kids would now climb into a playpen with a dog and stay there petting it and scratching it even when everyone else left the room!

And this transformation from terrified children to dog lovers using some simple social proof seemed to be long lasting too.

A month after the initial test the children were more willing than ever to play with dog.

Here's something even more powerful if you're using online video.

Further studies showed that it wasn't necessary to show live demonstrations of other children playing with dogs.

Watching videos worked just as well!

And the best results of all were achieved when a video showed a variety of children interacting with dogs.

Social proof seems to work a whole lot more effectively when prospects see various members of "the herd" taking the desired action.

Another study of pre-school age children by Robert O'Connor points towards a powerful way you can use online video to influence the behavior of your prospects.

O'Connor wanted to see if he could help socially withdrawn pre-schoolers begin interacting with other children their age more actively in a more natural, relaxed, happy way.

O'Connor created a video with 11 different scenes where a solitary child was watching a social activity then joined in much to the the enjoyment of everyone involved.

So the video went from the child:

1. Alone considering joining "the herd".
2. Joining the herd.
3. Having a great time and being accepted by the herd.

What happened to the pre-schoolers who watched this 23 minute move?

The socially withdrawn children immediately began to interact with other children their age in a normal way.

And six weeks later the children who watched the video were now leading their schools in the amount of social activity they engaged in.

(You can read more about these studies in the excellent book Influence The Psychology Of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.)

In another study in 1972 by Robert Liebert and Robert Baron it was discovered that children shown excerpts from a television program where people intentionally harmed one another were far more likely to harm other children.

Put simply we're herding animals and we're deeply influenced by the behavior of others we see around us (or even on video).

You can use this power of social proof to your advantage by using video testimonials and videos and stories that dramatize the process of joining the herd who are buying your product.

"Like you I thought I was the only person with this problem."

"Then I found this product and I saw that a whole pile of people just like you and me were using it and their problem was disappearing. Finally a solution that can work for me you and hundreds of people just like us."

"I bought the product and now my problem is solved. I'm now part of the happy group of people like Sara, Michael, Jane, Mark, Bruce, Pamela, Andrew, George. People just like you and me who've dumped their problem and enjoy these benefits. Come join us and enjoy the benefits too."

Also read:
What Is Social Proof And The Herding Instinct?
Why Is Story Telling So Effective?
Testimonials In Sales Copy: How Do You Place Them For Maximum Sales?
Dan Kennedy Video On Testimonials

Kindest regards,
Andrew Cavanagh

More FREE High Value Online Copywriting Secrets Than Any Other Site On Earth. Andrew Cavanagh's Online Copywriting Blog

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