What Is Informational Social Influence? | Role in Marketing & Buyer Behaviour

Informational social influence is when people change their decisions or behaviors based on what others do, especially under uncertainty. In marketing, it’s used to shape consumer preferences by aligning products with popular trends or trusted opinions, influencing purchases by tapping into the desire to fit in with the crowd.

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Understanding the Concept of Informational Social Influence

Informational Social Influence is a psychological phenomenon where individuals look to others for guidance on how to behave or make decisions, particularly in ambiguous or unfamiliar situations.

In simpler terms, conformity is the tendency to follow others’ actions or beliefs because we perceive them as having more knowledge or expertise.

Implications in Buyer Behaviour

Informational Social Influence plays a significant role in shaping buyer behavior.

When consumers are uncertain about a product or service, they are more likely to rely on the opinions and recommendations of others.

Observing what others are doing gives individuals confidence and reassurance in their purchasing decisions.

Role in Marketing and Advertising Strategy

Marketers can leverage Informational Social Influence to their advantage by Using testimonials, reviews, and social proof in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

Sharing positive experiences from satisfied customers or using influencers who have authority in their respective fields can help create a sense of trust and credibility, encouraging potential buyers to follow suit.

Best Practices and Examples of Informational Social Influence in Marketing

  • Utilize Social Proof: Display customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials on your website or product pages to showcase others’ positive experiences.
  • Collaborate with Influencers: Partner with influencers or industry experts who can endorse your products or services, leveraging their expertise and credibility to sway consumer opinions.
  • Create a Community: Foster an online community where customers can interact and share their experiences, encouraging others to rely on the group’s collective wisdom.


Informational social influence can significantly impact consumer behavior by shaping their perceptions, attitudes, and purchasing decisions. When consumers see others positively engaging with a product or service, they are more likely to follow suit, believing that the collective wisdom of others holds valuable information.

Brands can capitalize on informational social influence by strategically incorporating elements like customer testimonials, reviews, and endorsements into their marketing efforts. By leveraging the authority and expertise of others, brands can build trust and credibility, encouraging consumers to make confident purchasing decisions.

Examples of informational social influence in marketing include celebrity endorsements, influencer partnerships, customer reviews and testimonials, case studies, and social media influencers sharing their experiences and opinions about a product or service.

Informational social influence is driven by individuals seeking guidance or knowledge from others when faced with unfamiliar situations, while normative social influence is based on the desire to conform and fit in with the social norms or expectations of a group. While both types of influence can impact consumer behavior, informational social influence is more focused on seeking information and making informed decisions.

Understanding informational social influence is crucial for marketers because it allows them to tap into the power of social proof and leverage the influence of others to sway consumer behavior. By incorporating strategies that align with the psychology of informational social influence, marketers can build trust, credibility, and ultimately drive greater engagement and conversions.