Internet Marketing and the Phenomenon of Social Proof

By Deane Barker on May 28, 2012

Scamworld: ‘Get rich quick’ schemes mutate into an online monster: This is a fascinating – and often infuriating – article about the world of Internet Marketing.  This is the seedy under-belly of get rich quick schemes that are peddled to the unsuspecting and gullible.

What I found particularly interesting was this concept of “social proof,” which is the method of “proving” something with no evidence using social media.  Essentially, bouncing a percept around so often that people think it’s true just because they keep hearing about it.

[…] information about a new service or product trickles out slowly, among people in the IM community, creating hype and what marketers call social proof — essentially, “proof” that this is a quality product, not through actual evidence, but because the IM community’s echo chamber progressively reinforces the marketers’ claims.

There’s a group of marketers that do this for a living, essentially.

The Syndicate, as they call themselves,” he says, “is a group of twelve or so Internet Marketers who early on decided that they would all band together, work together against the interest of the customers, to maximize the amount of money they can make [and] to really game social proof” by flooding the internet with fake reviews and testimonials.”