When you want to buy a product or service that you have not used before, from a company that you know little or nothing, what do you think is the key factor that helps you decide? The Social Proof.
You may not know it by this name, but I mean checking how many people have purchased an item, what rating they have given it, what they think about it, in which cases it has worked for them or what objections they have found.
With all that information you make setups that tip the balance of your purchase to one side or the other.
Well, this same process that you do, users do with your brand.
Therefore, if you want more conversions, you must take into account the “testimonial content” that is generated around it. That is what we are going to see next.
What is Social Proof?
Social Proof consists of providing a real “demonstration” that your product or service exists, is reliable, and is of quality, thanks to a group of users who value it as positive.
It is a psychological and social phenomenon in which people imitate the majority, especially in ambiguous social situations in which appropriate behavior is sought.
This term, which was coined by Cialdini in 1984, is such a widespread social behavior that it is part of the popular proverb –
“When you are in Rome, do as the Romans do”.
In other words, Wherever you go, do what you see people are doing — and that you can take to your field, and take advantage of it for your marketing strategy.
With this, you can motivate and help other potential buyers to decide, who has his doubts and need that type of support.
Social Proof and Neuromarketing
This type of social demonstration achieves good results because it is based on neuromarketing, on how our mind works. According to Cialdini, our brain :
Chooses the same thing as most people choose.
Consumers choose to step into a crowded store rather than an empty store.
Follow Instagram profile with more followers than someone with fewer followers on the same niche.
It doubts and is uncertain.
And when you buy online, reasons are not lacking. It even mistrusts itself and its criteria, putting that of others first.
It is conformist.
It assumes that what the majority is doing must be the right choice without weighing the pros and cons.
This behavior not only works for the offline world but also for the online presence. Social proofs are in trend because consumers are losing faith in traditional advertisements. They see advertisements with skepticism.
Benefits of social proof
Social proof has multiple advantages, as you will see below, but you must bear in mind that this marketing strategy does not work on its own but in synergy with others. Canva shows off its number of members currently using its platform to gain more Sign-Ups.
These are some of its benefits:
1. Knockdown objections
Before buying, the customer usually has many questions, doubts, and mistrust.
“Whether the product or service is what you are looking for, how it works …”
With social proof, you overcome objections and convince your users.
2. Get to know your buyer persona better
You know what your consumer thinks first-hand: what they value about your business, their preferences, what they miss, and even how you can improve.
3. Strengthen your brand
With so much data and opinions on the table, your brand sounds and strengthens.
4. Boost user trust
By mass operation, the more evidence you put, the more inclined they will be to trust your business.
5. Increase conversions
If there is confidence, there is a sale. If you earn the trust of customers the next step is for them to buy from you, subscribe … whatever you want to achieve.
6. Differentiates you from your competition
It makes you stand out, because user opinions are not generic, but dedicated exclusively to your business or service.
7. It is very cheap
Because — except if you hire an influencer or an expert on the subject — it doesn’t cost you money. But yes, it requires dedicating time, strategy, and attention to achieve it.
Types of Social Proof
They are small reviews of how your product works, analyzing it. Here it breaks down and details the purchase or service.
Google My Business is a good example of how users value and think about your product or service.
Daiki Media has a good rating of 5 stars on Google My business and it helps us to gain more clients.
Utilizing Social evidence is an effective way to influence your target audience, and to achieve this there are many ways to present it:
What a client says about you, your attention, products or services is irrefutable and very convincing proof. Those success stories earn points if they indicate how you have helped them improve and tell their story about it. Daiki Media has gained testimonials from many clients who needed Digital Marketing services in Malaysia. Testimonials lead to more testimonials and more testimonials lead to more clients.
Show them cheesecake (Pie Chart), ascending mountain (Graphs), or just figures (Numbers). They can refer to your number of your website visitors, buyers, satisfied customers, the products that remain in stock …
4. Influencers or recommendations from an expert
Support for your brand by a person relevant to your target, who shows your product or talks about your service is a powerful social demonstration.
The public knows that you have paid for it, but the obvious, it only takes into account the person who is validating you with their comment.
5. Social mentions
Use your special hashtags, promote conversation, invite your community to share photos or share their experience with you, hold giveaways or contests.
In this case, remember that the use of User Generated Content (UGC), the content of your brand generated by your users, is a strategy.
Social interaction feeds UGC, which in turn nurtures your content marketing strategy, which in turn reinforces social proof.
That is, you can create content for networks from the mentions, comments, and opinions of your users, which is a social demonstration in itself that attracts new users, and with it, new references and reviews.
6. Opinions and comments
You can get opinions and comments on your website, but today one of the fastest ways to get them is through social networks. They are more natural than testimonials and build trust because they are difficult to manipulate.
They are those stars with which we value products on some websites, and they usually go from 1 to 5. Of course, to establish yourself, you must have an average of between 4 and 5 stars.
When you write regularly, it indicates that you are a reference in the sector, you have authority, you know the topic you are talking about. Build trust and that translates to more conversions.
9. Press Release
If you have been interviewed in renowned national media, in press releases, or your service is named in a reference podcast, it also serves as Social Proof. Let your audience know through all possible channels: on your website, on social networks, etc. It is something that can be done by our Digital Marketing Agency.
10. Wikipedia Page
One of the most important reasons why your business should have a Wikipedia page is the fact that it can help you maintain your reputation online, help you gain more exposure, and enhance your business credibility in an increasingly crowded environment and a competitive market.
How to use social proof in your business?
An effective way to apply it is to have the buyer persona carefully studied because its success lies in empathy with a similar group. Having said that:
1. Choose a variety of profiles
Here’s an example: if you are going to sell a course on a photo retouching program and you know that your ideal client is professionals, but also beginners, the social demonstration includes people of both types.
2. Use the numbers
We like the figures, they are reliable, easy to assimilate, and provide certainty.
Whether you indicate the subscribers of your newsletter or the number of your satisfied customers. If you use statistics, they are easy to interpret.
And the real numbers (12,476 subscribers) sound more credible than if you round them (12,500 subscribers).
If you use them to indicate the stock of your product, you can also take advantage of the principle of scarcity (Cialdini again) to increase sales.
3. Combine strategies
Like the UGC example above and social evidence. You can combine different strategies and feedback on each other. For example, you can transfer comments from social networks to your blog.
4. Use testimonials
They must be truthful and are more effective if they are accompanied by a photo of the person speaking. Remember that Social Proof must generate trust and a text without an image does not produce it.
Besides, video is the most widely consumed medium, so bet on it whenever possible.
5. Promote feedback
Ask your customers what they think of the product sometime after their purchase, close your blog post with a question to encourage comments, analyze the comments on social networks.
After asking permission from the user/Subscriber/Buyer, you can turn those opinions into Very Helpful Ratings and Testimonials (UGC).
6. Includes Star Ratings
This star rating is not only easy to use but is increasingly internalized by the user. Do not limit yourself only to add it in the sale of products, a service can also be rated with stars.
If you are one of those who fear negative opinions and do not dare to listen to your customers, our advice is that you give it a try. Even from criticism, you can get something good: improvement.
Besides, if you know how to manage those negative opinions, you will surely turn that user into an ambassador of your brand.
Social Proof is the psychological spring by which we let ourselves be guided by what the majority says or does.
Applied to marketing, it is a very effective strategy because there is no better recommendation than that made by the users themselves and because it generates interesting synergies with other strategies.
It requires little investment, although a lot of dedication, active listening, and care.