When it comes to business and marketing, many consumers aren’t aware of the psychology that ties these two industries. With new trends constantly emerging in the digital age, more marketing tactics are being implemented in businesses. We all understand the importance of trust when it comes to making sales. Social proof is one effective way of building trust. However, trust isn’t the only thing you need in generating business.
What is Social Proof?
First and foremost, what is social proof? To put it simply, social proof is a psychological effect that persuades us to imitate what others around us are doing. Social proof is already used by many popular brands that you know and love.
Getting the latest iPhone launched from Apple because all your peers bought it, or purchasing a skincare product because your favorite celebrity endorsed it are examples of social proof in action. Social proof comes in many forms, including but not limited to:
- Influencer marketing
- User testimonials
- Sharing on social media
- Expert’s stamp of approval
- Case studies
The psychology of persuasion is another way to view social proof. More often than not, when we are skeptical or unsure of a service or product, we tend to turn to those around us who are more knowledgeable than we are.
The overall impression we get from social proof in practice is, “If other people like it and it works for them, then it must be good.”
Businesses and brands must keep in mind that there is the influence of conformity with any product or service. 66 % of consumers are considered early and late majority, while innovators and adapters only account for 16%.
As a prominent and influential phenomenon, social proof is a key technique used in marketing today.
Why Should You Use Social Proof?
Seen in many online and offline areas, social proof has become an essential marketing technique used by companies worldwide. Well-known eCommerce websites such as Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress incorporate social proof into their platforms’ product pages. This provides the opportunity for customers to view items without having to see the product physically.
According to Nudgify, the fact that customer reviews are available for most items is one reason why Amazon converts four times more browsers than an average eCommerce website. When you look at the bigger picture, you’ll see that implementing social proof into your marketing campaigns can bring beneficial results for a growing business. By enforcing social proof, brands can see considerable gains for their company such as:
- Increased traffic
- Brand establishment
- More awareness for the brand
- Building brand trust
- Higher rankings and reviews
Social proof is relevant for all industries, but is most dominant in the eCommerce industry because of the successful results. By utilizing social proof marketing, brands can see an immense boost in sales and conversions as they connect with their audiences.
Put Social Proof Into Practice
There are multiple ways to put social proof into practice. It can be implemented in numerous ways, which allows you to get creative in your marketing campaigns. While the options of how to use it are endless, below are just a few examples of what you can do to put social proof into practice:
1. Influencer Takeover
Whether it is a celebrity figure or a micro-influencer, having recognized personalities make exclusive appearances on your social media handles can do wonders for your brand. When followers and peers see a popular figure endorsing or collaborating with another brand, this creates curiosity and drives traffic to learn more or, even better, purchase! Chances are, big-time followers of fan-favorite celebrities and influencers will want to support them and try out the product. Never underestimate the power of influencers!
2. Testimonials, Ratings, and Reviews
One of the most common forms of social proof is through reviews. According to Oberlo, the average consumer reads ten online reviews before making a purchase decision. This connects to the psychological aspect of consumer behavior. We tend to feel more comfortable deciding to make a purchase based on how well the ratings and reviews of the product are. For every brand’s website, whether it be an old or new business in the market, your website is crucial for not only showcasing your products but displaying testimonials and reviews from established buyers. Reviews left by consumers can leave a big impact on your brand, posing as stepping stones into giving others a reason to try out your product. As 2020 saw an overwhelming amount of online reviews, trusted social proof app, Nudgify can actually help businesses verify comments and reviews that are displayed on your website.
3. Stamp of Approval
Expert certification establishes trust between the consumer and the brand. A product becomes high-quality and lives up to the expectations that it is meant to serve with an official seal of approval. For example, PTPA incorporates social proof by adding PTPA “Parent Tested Parent Approved” on products to reassure the safety of use to families.
4. User-Generated Content
A similar method to reviews and ratings, user-generated content (or UGC), is an example of the saying, “Seeing is believing”. Besides written testimonials and reviews, brands can incorporate user-generated content such as photos, videos, and stories from consumers who praise the product. UGC visuals can drive interest, making the brand appear more authentic and trustworthy, especially when influencers with a large following back it up.
According to Hubspot, people are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on referrals they’ve seen on social media platforms. In fact, online conversions increase 133% when mobile shoppers see positive reviews before buying, and 54% of people have purchased a consumer packaged good after seeing visual UGC showing it.
5. Create a Blog
With industries becoming more competitive, many brands are beginning to create blogs for their websites to boost their ranking and establish their brand. Creating a blog can be beneficial for any business, and it costs almost nothing. Blog articles allow brands to showcase just how knowledgeable they are about their industry, which shows consumers that they can be trusted. By being informative, consumers will see brands as “the expert” of their industry, further establishing their authenticity and why they can be trusted. Adding social share buttons and counters on a blog can also help optimize your blog while encouraging your audience to share with their peers and increase engagement.
All in all, the benefits of investing time into boosting social proof for your brands proves valuable. As marketing continues to evolve across all industries, the properties of social proof can help draw in more leads and conversions, all while improving customer satisfaction. Put social proof into practice and see your brand grow in acquisition and customer loyalty!
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DeGruttola, M. (2021, January 13). Social Proof in Ecommerce: How Does It Work? (2021). https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/social-proof-examples/#different-types-of-social-proof
Ewing, M. (2019, June 28). 71% More Likely to Purchase Based on Social Media Referrals [Infographic]. https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30239/71-More-Likely-to-Purchase-Based-on-Social-Media-Referrals-Infographic.aspx?__hstc=60045554.63899367ffc2623ea80220733c109356.1543452060713.1586455273541.1586469288733.1096&__hssc=60045554.8.1586469288733&__hsfp=26548933722
 Lin, Y. (2020, December 17). 10 Online Review Statistics You Need to Know in 2021. https://www.oberlo.ca/blog/online-review-statistics#:~:text=Nearly%20nine%20out%20of%20ten%20consumers%20read%20reviews%20before%20making,brands%20that%20censor%20online%20reviews