You may not have heard the term social proof, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been floating around for some time. Back in 1984, Robert Cialdini had his book, Influence, published, it contained the term ‘social proof’.
Cialdini argued that it was a social and psychological phenomenon. It is being witnessed and harnessed across eCommerce and social media platforms today. As far as eCommerce is concerned, social proof could be broken down into three words; see, believe, and buy.
Anyone looking to build their personal brand on social media can use this to their advantage, and Twitch streamers can benefit very quickly from social proof.
What is social proof?
It has been described as the idea that individuals are prone to copying other people’s actions. This could be said that it is to emulate the behavior in an attempt to fit in. Yet, it may be done without a huge amount of thought or done in believing that a person has something in common with another group and therefore copies their behavior in a particular situation.
There are four principles behind the theory, and these are based on uncertainty, similarity, expertise, and number.
This makes people look to others for reassurance that they are making the correct decision.
People are prone to copy the actions of those they feel are similar to them. This can be seen with peer pressure or wanting to adopt a peer’s behaviors.
Those that seem knowledgeable will influence other people’s decision-making.
This is the fourth principle that affects social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitch. The more people follow an account, the more credible and valid it appears. The higher the number of views on a video, the more likely others will watch it too.
How does social proof affect platforms such as Twitch?
Social media is partially a numbers game. When a video is watched more on YouTube than another identical upload, it will continue to be viewed faster. This is social proof in action. The most popular video is viewed as being the one to watch regardless of whether it is unique.
The more followers a social media account has, the more credible it can seem to a visitor. It seems like a good choice because many others are content to do so.
This is why people buy followers, likes, and shares on social media. You can buy cheap Twitch accounts to increase views and rapidly grow channels.
Can social proof be harnessed to help Twitch streamers?
Buying accounts is one way to harness social media. These accounts can be used in a couple of ways.
Firstly, if you buy many Twitch accounts, you can use them to add followers and views to your main (and genuine) profile. This can be time-consuming and would require proxies and an app to mask your browser fingerprint.
Secondly, you can buy an established Twitch account that has genuine followers and a history of views. This helps to quickly upgrade and start monetizing an account through ads and streams.
Social proof is a heuristic and creates a herd mentality. This is exactly why it can be harnessed to build a large audience on Twitch quickly.
When someone chooses to subscribe to a YouTube channel, or like a page, they may do so due to the number of other people who have done so. This strange phenomenon is why buying followers and likes can actually work in the right circumstances.
What are the risks involved in leveraging social proof in this manner?
You can use social media as a marketing tool, and very effectively so. But, you could be impacted negatively if you choose the wrong channels.
The problem with services that promise to boost your social network channel or page is that they normally go against the platform’s terms of service. This can lead to bans in the worst-case scenario or other repercussions.
Fake accounts can be off-putting for genuine users, and you could appear untrustworthy. However, reputable growth services do exist and these could be used to improve your reach and boost your audience.
Improving your visibility by artificially inflating your views and audience numbers could see some organic growth. But, bots and fake accounts should be avoided.
Social media is about getting noticed by many. Instagram users need to create immersive content. SoundCloud members should write enticing podcast descriptions. And Twitch streamers need audiences to obtain views and be able to monetize their channels.
Social proof can be an advantage to a Twitch streamer, or it can be a hindrance. Low viewing numbers could prevent others from checking them out, but an inflated following might attract more views.