Social Proof: The New Currency of Credibility

I loved this article so much because it talks to what we have been talking about in class. Companies are finding out that consumers are more in control of their reputation than ever especially with social media. Businesses that can implement the social web effectively into their marketing efforts and get people talking about them favorably online will most likely succeed. As the article states “reviews can either build up a brand’s name, or tear it right down to the ground.” What I found curious though was what studies from Wharton doctoral candidate Jae Young Lee and Wharton marketing professor Raghuram Iyengar yielded. According to them, reviews should be mixed. If they come from people with overwhelmingly similar tastes, then the profitability for the company could be negatively affected.

So what companies now have to figure out is how to reduce negative reviews and then get the right social groups talking about them favorably. In other words, companies have to figure out a way to be socially rich as this will be the new currency of credibility. The question I am posing to the class is what things can companies do to improve their social richness.




4 thoughts on “Social Proof: The New Currency of Credibility

  1. To improve their social richness, companies should be open about and share customer’s opinions about their products and services whether good or bad. It’s one thing to display all the positive attention you’ve garnered but surprising consumers by airing the negativity would make a brand social rich. People understand companies have flaws however, what they truly care about is how the brand/company is going to improve their brand health and reputation. The key is educating people about these steps. This will make a company socially rich. In turn, the brand/company will become one customers want to talk about on social media platforms, in chat rooms, among their friends etc.

  2. According to the article, the way to increase social richness is to show the best mix of reviews to new customers. To better measure which reviewer resemble the customer is the key issue. To do this, more purchase history information and personal information need to be collected, for example, what is the typical time the customers purchase and what features they care most. Also information about customer’s age, income level, and even home address is also helpful.

    The survey mentioned in the article really mirrors some of my personal feelings. When shopping, I sometimes read only the negative review because I think I can see what the worst situation were. Thus negative review provide more incremental information. No review is definitely bad, because it look like no one ever tried the product.

  3. I find this very interesting. In another class, we had an entrepreneur guest speak. She told us all about Yelp and how if you pay the website more they will post only your best comments or they will put the best comments first. I don’t think it’s fair to manipulate a business’s image based on how much money it pays a website..but I guess that is business.

    I think it’s really important for a company to try their best to uphold their social value. In order to improve their social richness, they must make sure they are very alive in social media. They need to ensure that their Twitter, Yelp, Facebook are all up-to-date and active. A social media campaign may help boost these platforms popularity for a specific company. This will get people even more interested in the company and provoke conversation.

  4. I’m not proposing to ignore social richness; however it’s all about the product. Is the product meeting expectations for the target customer. Nothing takes place of quality and service. I think each company should approach social as an opportunity to express who they are as a company. The review should show a mix of reviews that best represent the product.

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