Using Popularity To "Sell" Compassion

CopyBlogger describes six principles of persuasion. I'm addressing each one here at Selling Compassion with practical ideas for activism. This is the fourth of the series. Part 1 was: The Power of Reciprocation, part 2 was: Commitment and Consistency, and part 3 was:
Attracting Allies.

Today is about popularity.

Social Proof — Most of us are imitators in most of what we do. We look to others for guidance, especially when we are uncertain about something. We ask, “What do others think about this? What do others feel? What do others do?” Then we act accordingly, all thanks to the power of social proof.

Application: Show others using your services or buying your products. List testimonials of satisfied customers or clients. Feature stories of those who have been “converted” from another service. Show pictures of people using your product. Provide case histories of some of your best customers. When people see that what you offer is okay with other people, they are more likely to give it a try themselves.

A classic example of this method of persuasion is the list of famous vegetarians:

Some bloggers who "sell compassion" use this idea almost exclusively:
  • Ecorazzi - a blog about celebrities and their environmentally-friendly or unfriendly actions.
  • Vegetarian Star - a blog about, you guessed, vegetarian stars.
Then, of course, there are the celebrities themselves who sell compassion:

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Please keep it civil. No anti-animal (including humans) discussion.