How valuable is SOCIAL PROOF in your opinion?

16 replies
Is social proof (Twitter followers/Facebook likes etc.) a hugely valuable asset to a website?

Is it a necessity?

Is it something you would pay for?

Is it something you HAVE paid for?

At what point does it become moot? (As in, after a few thousand likes or so does the return on social proof diminish?)

I'm thinking of purchasing a social proof package for a new site, but I'm unsure of whether or not it will really be as beneficial after a certain amount of likes/followers on the corresponding Twitter and Facebook page.
#opinion #proof #social #valuable
  • Profile picture of the author RonnyRaygun
    The value I see in social proof is the concept of getting a friend's recommendation. You're more likely to look at something, do an action, but a product, etc if a trusted friend recommends it to you.

    I try to angle my social marketing so I target circles of friends. Simply getting likes or +1s on my site means nothing to me. I need to make sure someone is talking about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author JR Consulting
    Paying for social proof? Interesting.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    It's actually pretty valuable when it's real as opposed to fake or bought. When it's real, that means that real people actually DO like your site.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ceri
      I would say that it's all very well buying lots of likes, but if there's no interaction then your message isn't going anywhere. The whole point of social media is to be social - that only happens with interaction.
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      • Profile picture of the author SparringMind
        Originally Posted by Ceri View Post

        I would say that it's all very well buying lots of likes, but if there's no interaction then your message isn't going anywhere. The whole point of social media is to be social - that only happens with interaction.
        Of course.

        I'd like to point out here that the packages that I was considering obviously put forward that interaction among the "fans" you would be receiving would be minimal... but at prices such as $25 for 1000 likes, can you really complain?

        The aspect of social proof worth buying (and what I wanted to discuss) is the fact that people are more likely to participate on your pages if they see other people have already: a bigger follower count puts more "trust" into your page.

        So is buying social proof to start up a new page a worthwhile purchase in your opinion?

        Keep in mind the prices, the seller I'm talking to does prices such as 2000 likes on an FB page for 50 bucks, if you are just trying to get a head start, it might be worthwhile (and I'm only looking for 1000 likes).
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  • Profile picture of the author GaryJBloomer
    The social proof of friends and followers has some value but what's of greater importance is what people are SAYING. Quantity alone isn't enough: it's the quality of the proof.

    As to its necessity? People want to be like (or associated with) people that remind them of themselves, or with whom they wish to connect or be associated with. This stems back to tribe mentality.

    Is it something you would pay for? No. Because then it's a paid endorsement. Earlier this year NBC's Today program create a viral video. What they lost sight of 9or were blind to) is that when something is paid for (or concocted as in the case of the Today show video) authenticity goes out the window.

    Is it something you HAVE paid for? No.

    At what point does it become moot? (As in, after a few thousand likes or so does the return on social proof diminish?) Moot? Diminishing returns? Can one ever have enough fans, followers, and ... gasp, potential buyers? I think not.

    Thinking of purchasing a social proof package for a new site? BUYER BEWARE!

    What are you buying? If you think you can buy customer loyalty your short term revenues might indeed go up. But longer term, as the rented crowd fades or loses interest, revenues might well decline, and so so swiftly.

    The other question here is what satisfaction can any IM person possibly obtain from buying customer support? The sudden hit might be nit, but over time, you'll need to buy more and more voices to retain the high. The better way is to build your own crowd. Slower? Yes, but way more satisfying, and ultimately, better for business.
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    • Profile picture of the author SparringMind
      Originally Posted by GaryJBloomer View Post

      Is it something you HAVE paid for? No.

      At what point does it become moot? (As in, after a few thousand likes or so does the return on social proof diminish?) Moot? Diminishing returns? Can one ever have enough fans, followers, and ... gasp, potential buyers? I think not.
      I think I should have clarified more, I'm specifically discussing "fake" social proof for sites, obviously you would want to have as many real fans or followers as you can possibly get.

      I was asking more along the lines of how much social proof is enough for a new site/brand in order to get the natural likes/follows rolling in faster.
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      • Profile picture of the author JR Consulting
        Originally Posted by SparringMind View Post

        I think I should have clarified more, I'm specifically discussing "fake" social proof for sites, obviously you would want to have as many real fans or followers as you can possibly get.

        I was asking more along the lines of how much social proof is enough for a new site/brand in order to get the natural likes/follows rolling in faster.
        If your content is good enough it doesn't matter if your site is new or not, people will like it, they will comment on it, and they will share it, no matter how many people have or haven't already done so.
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  • Profile picture of the author xavierfok
    i wouldnt buy because there is alot of likes, unless it was my friends who specifically recommended it.

    However if i already had the intention to buy, perhaps a site with more likes would affect my choice, but not a difference of 1000 likes, the difference i guess needs to be 10,000 likes.

    That said, 1000 likes probably doesnt really make too much of a difference unless you are targeting a very niche product where there isnt alot of traffic.

    The likes can help you to get a boost to your ranking though, but many people are also doing it. and no, i have never paid because of the number of likes on a page, but i do view it because of the number of likes.
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  • Profile picture of the author dtang4
    I think it depends on the site that you're receiving this social proof on.

    For instance...

    For Twitter, I would not pay for followers. You can very easily and quickly amass Twitter followers for free (using free services/scripts). Plus, the primary purpose of Twitter is to communicate w/ them, so having fake followers doesn't do you any good.

    For Facebook, I would not pay for likes. In my opinion, the primary purposes of Facebook likes are 1) hoping for viral spreading of your site/page (since Likes appear on the Liker's friends' status feeds) and 2) to have another channel of communication to your fans/followers.

    For Digg, I would (and have) paid for Diggs. The initial momentum of Diggs is important in getting a new submission onto Digg's hompage. So, cheaply acquiring a ton of Diggs quickly is worthwhile.
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    • Profile picture of the author SparringMind
      Originally Posted by dtang4 View Post

      For Digg, I would (and have) paid for Diggs. The initial momentum of Diggs is important in getting a new submission onto Digg's hompage. So, cheaply acquiring a ton of Diggs quickly is worthwhile.
      Interesting... have you pursued the same strategy on Reddit? Reddit is a much harsher crowd, so I'm wondering if something like that would work over there (as it seems to be much more popular than Digg now).
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  • Profile picture of the author SparringMind
    Originally Posted by cosmokid View Post

    I think it really depends on what you're trying to do. Something that has more of a "vox populi" feel to it -- i.e., Britney Spears videos fan site, porn, Kim Kardashian, how to lose weight, how to make money -- might benefit from thousands of "likes" to your Facebook page. But more discriminating buyers who have been around long enough to view Facebook and Twitter as annoying pieces of crap might actually move AWAY from your product or services if they see 10,000 14 year olds from Boise, Idaho posting "OMIGOD! I LOVVVVVVVVEEEEEEE HIS SIGHT!" (misspelling intentional)



    Edited: If you look like a Greek God, it probably doesn't matter. Post pics of yourself and you WILL make money.
    And here is where the question lies really: without getting too specific, the niche I'm pursuing is akin to a younger audience, it's not a stupid celeb/porn/lose weight kind of crowd: I'm not targeting dumb people, but I am targeting young people, and I feel like the popularity of something matters to them in regards to whether or not they will stick around.

    By the way thanks for all of the feedback, this has been a good discussion, it seems WarriorForum still has a few clever members among its ranks :p
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  • Profile picture of the author dcristo
    Originally Posted by cosmokid View Post

    Edited: If you look like a Greek God, it probably doesn't matter. Post pics of yourself and you WILL make money.
    Indirect way of asking OP to post naked pic imo
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  • Profile picture of the author Claire Sharp
    Social proof! Interesting! But why buy something when you can gain huge follower/likers. If your website is worth visiting.... then there's no need to buy applications.
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