Social Validation Sells


 Social Validation Sells

Social validation is an internal feeling that comes with the validation of other people. Examples include getting a compliment, hearing a friend praise your skills, and receiving a "thumbs up" online.

In today's society, many companies use social validation to gain customer trust because they know it is an effective way to build rapport with customers and increase product sales. This can give false results though as an individual can experience the effect more heavily in their early stages of adulthood due to their heightened level of self-esteem. It has been found that individuals in poorer countries experiencing feelings of low self-worth have stronger tendencies for social validation than those from wealthier countries and this has consequences in terms of material wealth.

Social validation is often featured in marketing. For example, the label on a product may include the number of votes received and how many people liked it. This can be extended to celebrity endorsements as well. The purpose here is to give the customer a sense of validation that they are making an informed decision by purchasing from a company and product that others "like" or "approve" of.

An example of social validation at work would be an online store where customers can publicly review products for sale. These reviews, regardless if they are positive or negative, influence potential buyers to purchase goods based on what other people have said about it. These reviews influence individuals on a subconscious level, whether it be positive or negative. When a customer visits the store and picks up an item, they are likely to feel validated for their choice because of the reviews left by others.

Regardless if it is positive or negative, there is always a percentage of social validation that is caused by self-deception. For example, people who purchase items from online stores may not actually know much about the products themselves. Instead of reading the product description to determine if it is worth purchasing, they may rely on other peoples' opinions and simply assume they will like them as well. This works especially well in those who do not have much experience with the item being purchased. For example, many online shoppers purchase beauty products without ever looking at the ingredients or results of the product.

Positive social validation is very effective for marketing because it can be used in a variety of situations to give customers a sense that they are making the "right choice". A study done by Bradley Owens and Ami Srebro at Cornell University has shown that consumers who have been given positive social validation have a higher chance of purchasing an item than those who were given negative validation. This leads to more sales and better overall business performance.

The main cause of using social validation lies with self-deception. Many marketers want to appeal to as many customers as possible so they will use this tactic because it works most of the time. It is an inexpensive way to show customers that the product is "approved" by many others.

One of the main issues with using social validation lies with self-esteem and wealth. In a study of international households in different regions, it was found that self-esteem was not strongly related to material wealth in wealthy countries but it was very strongly associated in poorer countries. This means that individuals from wealthier countries will not have as much favor towards people they know while those from poorer countries value the opinions of others more. This leads to more fraud and lower quality products in poorer countries while people are less likely to be fooled by fraudulent businesses in wealthier nations due to their strong self-esteem. This can also lead to higher quality products in wealthier nations which creates a double-edged sword.

Social validation based marketing has many problems that it needs to overcome if it wants to be successful and we will discuss them below.

The biggest problem that social validation faces is that it is not easily duplicated. It requires a large amount of resources and time to set up a website where people can leave reviews and this takes away from the company's ability to make money in other ways. This means that if steams of people start leaving reviews for products, the company will have an excess supply of them and may not be able to effectively sell them.

Another issue that social validation faces is that it is a very mental construct. Many companies will use the tactic of highlighting positive reviews on their products as a way to persuade customers to buy them. This "social validation" sometimes can backfire if a company does not have many reviews and many of the ones they do have are negative. The psychological effects of seeing so many negative reviews may cause customers to hesitate and reconsider their purchase. Even worse, if there are only a few reviews, potential buyers may doubt the authenticity of them and leave their own negative review in order to break the chain.

The third major problem with social validation is it is not sustainable in nature. The more that companies rely on social validation, the more resources they will put into it. These resources may not always be the most efficient and this can lead to a loss in overall business performance. For example, let us say that a company wanted to use this marketing tactic so they target two customers. The first customer likes the product they are viewing while the second customer hates it and thinks it is awful. If this company focuses on using social validation, they will want to increase their positive reviews and decrease negative reviews. While doing so, the positive review will feel validated because other people like their product but may also regret their purchase if there are too many negative reviews around them.


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