Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
After reading Chapter 9 of Mark Schaeffer’s, The Content Code, I thought about how he started the chapter. Schaeffer does a test on us and I responded the way every other person he’s done the test on has responded. When given the option of two sites with the EXACT same information, I chose the one with 452 tweets rather 5. This is what he defines as “social proof”. People trust numbers. Whether it pertains to social media or not, if we see majority of people doing something or using a certain product we assume that it’s correct or the best. I found this idea interesting because I am 100% guilty of this all the time. Following the crowd is simple and makes you feel confident you’re making the right decision.
Schaeffer uses the example of seeing a room full of people with MacBooks so assuming MacBooks must be the best or seeing a large line for a restaurant so assuming that’s the best restaurant to go to. Social proof can be seen in all aspects of society but when it comes to technology and social media, it is huge. One thing that comes to mind that I do often is when a random Instagram account follows me, I look at how many followers they have and if they have a very large amount I usually allow them to follow me because I assume they’re a legitimate account. Vice versa, I do the same thing when I’m going to follow a food or fitness account or something like that, I only follow accounts that have tens of thousands of followers. Fact is, there is power in numbers!
Schaeffer explains some tips to gain social proof for your content and I think some of the most influential are promoting badges, highlighting testimonials, and collecting kudos tweets. All of these factors can show that others rank your content high and have good things to say about your content. But, as Schaeffer ends the chapter, he leaves us with a warning that I think is also an important thing to remember. Make sure you are being true to your content and trying to create the best content possible and not just trying to make it on to certain lists to get ranked higher. Although badges may look good, your content is what really matters.