Social Proof in Online Dating Profiles

What if there was a way to influence potential online daters to perceive you and your Plenty of Fish profile as more attractive? There is a way, it may not be up some people's alley, but we're going to take a look anyways.

There is a concept in psychology called Social Proof. Social proof is essentially a phenomenon that occurs when the consensus of others has an influence on the thoughts of a person. Hence, it is society giving us proof of a decision. This concept was made famous by Robert Cialdini's book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

A good example of social proof is the idea of "canned" laughter that we often hear on sitcoms. Though we probably tend to think it is annoying, at least I do, there has been research conducted by television producers that say canned laughter in a show will have a higher perceived "funniness" than the same show without the canned laughter. This is social proof at work, as the laughter is the proof that is influencing a person's decision on whether the show is funny or not.

So what does this have to do with online dating? Actually the better question is, how can social proof help me in my online dating?

Luckily there are a number of dating gurus who have been testing this concept on a number of social media and online dating websites. Let's take a look at some of these concepts and see how they can be applied to your Plenty of Fish dating profile.

Using Prop Profile Pictures

A prop picture is a picture with you either doing something really interesting or in an interesting place. The point to using prop pictures in your online dating profile is to help convey higher value or status. 

For example, if you've ever been on vacation or traveled to an interesting place, lets say Paris, then putting up a picture of you standing in front of the Eiffel tower is going to help convey desirable qualities about you. It shows that you like to travel, that you are adventurous and that you like to have fun. And displaying these values goes a lot farther using pictures than it ever would by simply writing it in your 'About Me' section.

Getting Testimonials on Your Profile

We've all seen sales pages or commercials with testimonials from various people about how great a product is. This is a common marketing tactic which uses social proof and there is a reason that testimonies are commonly used for these purposes - because they work! Well, what if we applied the same principle to our profiles?

On the bottom of every PlentyofFish dating profile there is a section in which other people can write a testimony about you and it can be from anyone who has an account on PlentyofFish.com. Now this might be a problem for some people because they don't know anyone who would write a testimony for them.

One way to get these is to simply ask a good friend of yours of the opposite sex. For example, I recently asked a girl I've known for about ten years now and is one of my best friends if she could quickly sign-up for Plenty of Fish and write me a glowing testimonial of how super fun and awesome I am:) Well, because she is such a great friend, she pulled through and wrote a great testimony which now acts as social proof for me.


Another form of social proof which I've talked about in the past is the number of Favorites that is listed at the bottom of your profile. Favorites are essentially like a bookmark for people who find your profile attractive or interesting. It's almost like a positive vote for your profile and the higher the number your Favorites is, then the more it is likely to act as social proof. For instance, when someone scrolls down the page and sees that you have a huge number of favorites than they will be more likely to take a closer look at the profile.

Of course, there isn't really any good way of manipulating this number to make it higher, so you'll just have to work hard on creating a great dating profile and let that number increase naturally.