The Power of Peers

Have you noticed that this is a peer-powered economy? Consider your last purchase, the last book you read, or the last movie you watched. How did you hear about it? Chances are, you got a recommendation or heard someone rave about it.
In addition to things you buy, read or watch, consider new behaviors you’ve adopted. We were talking with a colleague who was trying to get to Madison Square Garden to watch the hockey game last night. We showed him how you can choose the transit option in Google Maps to get step-by-step instructions on which bus, train or subway to take to your destination.
Using Google Maps instead of a transportation app was something we learned from a friend, and this week we had a chance to pass it on. Behavior is contagious.
The power of peers is discussed in Robert Cialdini’s work on the power of influence. One of the six influence factors Cialdini’s research identified was social proof. People will do things that they see other people doing. People will act on suggestions by other people who they see like them.
Peer power is the new currency that drives change, buying and new behaviors. Instead of worrying about crafting a perfect “change message,” consider how you can get the people who already buy in or believe in the change you want to make to share that in a compelling way. Their words are more impactful than yours!

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