If you are looking for social proof in marketing, salespeople are on it.
A company who can get people to think that everyone is buying a particular car is halfway to selling them that car too.
Even if it isn’t entirely true that everyone is buying the car, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This is one of the reasons that books and authors getting the title of New York Times Bestseller is such a big deal. It’s social proof.
This same idea can work in politics too.
Make people believe that everyone thinks X.
You are an extremist if you do not think X. Why? Because nobody agrees with you.
Even if you can not convince everyone to think X, making people believe they are in the minority shuts them up, and makes them more compliant.
I see fingerprints of this everywhere.
I mean, it’s not an accident you are often prominently shown how many others have already Tweeted a post.
Advertisers love to inform us when a product is the “fastest-growing” or “largest-selling” because they don’t have to convince us directly that the product is good, they need only say that many others think so, which seems proof enough. The producers of charity telethons devote inordinate amounts of time to the incessant listing of viewers who have already pledged contributions. The message being communicated to the holdouts is clear: “Look at all the people who have decided to give. It must be the correct thing to do.”
-Robert Cialdini, Influence