Digital marketing has taken the marketing world by storm. With so many brands and options in the market, it is very difficult to make a purchase decision for any consumer. This is where word of mouth and awareness steps in. This blog will help you understand what is Social Proof and how can you include it in your marketing!
What is Social Proof?
Imagine you are matched with someone on a dating app and having fun talking to this person. The first thing you do is find him on various social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. Your motive is to find proof that this person is exactly how he talks and projects himself to be.
The same happens for websites on search engines. Today, online word of mouth (reviews and ratings) are considered before the user interacts or makes a purchase. Hence, social proof in terms of credibility, quality, and brand awareness can always help the user in making a decision in favor of your brand.
Now that I have answered what is Social Proof, let’s have a look at what social proof is in advertising. One of the most powerful forms of advertising is nothing but word of mouth! Most people say that recommendations make them more likely to purchase the product or service.
Social proof in advertising is the phenomenon that customers will change their buying behavior according to what other people are doing. For example, when we see a celebrity drinking a particular brand of beverage or a line of customers waiting to get into a restaurant, it creates hype and also creates demand for it.
Why is Social Proof important?
Social proof can be a very effective marketing tactic for the simple reason that it acts as a motivational force – like a bandwagon effect. Just because other people are doing it, one is more likely to do it as well.
For example, if 20 people in your friend circle have praised a particular movie, you are more likely to go and watch it as well. If 1 million people have used a brand’s services and it is communicated through testimonials that they enjoyed working with them, you are more likely to trust them.
Lastly, it is also used to promote exclusivity. One testimonial from an industry leader or displaying the logo of top brands is a quality lead. If the top companies use the service, by logic it is a good company.
Social proof builds trust, and credibility and also reduces the barriers in the purchasing funnel.
Types of Social Proof: Examples Included
Now that we know what is Social Proof, let’s move forward to the various types of social proof with examples.
Products and Reviews
Reading proof from real people increases your credibility. This increases conversions as your company looks more reputable, therefore attracting more and more customers.
Awards and Press
Displaying any previous work done for big companies looks very appealing to clients. This is a great example of how social proof works by including press on your website. Include any blogs or news articles you may have been mentioned in.
Showcase their logos on your website and make them clickable.
Email Social Proof
Social proof influences human behavior. Hence, if you include it in your emails, it will add value to your communication and build trust in your users to convert. (Source)
Numbers are a great way of showing results and actual proof of your services. Buffer uses this tactic to showcase not only how many people have used its services but also how much they loved it and their expertise in the field.
Case studies are data-driven with hard facts. This is great for digital marketing agencies and other B2B services as it builds confidence. (source)
Check out these interesting brand case studies.
Social Media Plug-Ins
Today, everyone is on Social Media and so should your brand be. There is no more effective Social Proof for online word of mouth than Social Media Sites such as Instagram. So ensure that your plug-ins for Social Media are visible on the website for the users to be redirected to.
How to Optimise & Use Social Proof for Your Business: Strategies
Social proof is a very important phenomenon that every marketer out there needs to include in their marketing strategy. Here are a few strategies you could apply to leverage social proof for your business-
1. Collaboration with Experts on Social Media
Social Media is like a deep ocean where you must find your target audience and showcase your brand value. By collaborating with experts, your credibility boosts and so does your engagement.
2. Publish and Promote Case Studies
Case studies showcase expertise in the field. Include them on your website to show your customers that your product or service is effective just like you’ve been marketing it. Demonstrate how your product added value to real-life customers.
This works well for promoting for Gen Zers as well as they prefer authentic content.
Also Read: how to effectively market to Gen Z.
3. Showcase Numbers
Numbers can be very powerful. Banners with success rates and other numbers such as project delivered, number of clients, etc. add to your company’s brand image. For example, let’s take McDonald’s world-famous slogan, ‘over 99 Billion Served’.
If billions of people have eaten here, by human psychology, it is bound to be good.
4. Make Use of Labels
Besides numbers, make use of labels such as “hot selling, top-rated, trusted by the experts” to create an impression that people have purchased the product or service and provided positive feedback. It also promotes authority.
5. Display Logos
Include the logos of all the best companies you have worked with to date. If for example, you display logos of reputed companies such as HUL, NIKE, etc. people would automatically associate your brand with trust and exclusivity.
6. Include Ratings and Positive Ratings
Positive ratings are one of the most effective ways to promote your business. As a seller, encourage and request your customers to provide their feedback and ratings. Visually display these ratings with stars or points so that it is easy to read.
7. User Testimonials
Testimonials with a person’s name, designation/company, and preferably a photo on your website are a good way of getting new clients to trust you as well.
If they are willing to, you could request them to share their experience with your product or service on their social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube – this will add to your word-of-mouth marketing.
8. Display Important Certifications and Badges
Use accreditations and badges as a stamp of trust and establish that your brand is legitimate and cares about customer satisfaction. Accreditations from reputed 3rd party institutions will add value.
Badges such as ‘money back, ‘safe returns’, etc. are extremely important to the customer as they will instill confidence in them about your services. You could also get a badge from Google Customer Reviews.
To increase web traffic and also to get quality leads that ultimately lead to conversion, social proof is of utmost importance. It builds your reputation as a trustworthy seller in the market and also gives assurance to the customers about your brand.
Q. What is meant by social proof?
Social proof is a phenomenon wherein a certain decision to be made becomes more secure and validated through the reviews and recommendations provided by other customers.
Q. What is an example of social proof?
Testimonials are an example of social proof. Short recommendations from customers go a long way.
Q. What is social proof and why is it important?
Social proof is the process of leveraging the human instinct of following others’ buying habits to one’s advantage. It is very important as it builds trust in the long run.
Q. What is social proof in digital marketing?
Social proof in digital marketing is nothing but evidence that other people purchased a product or a service and are satisfied with it. This can be through testimonials and reviews.
Q. What is social proof in psychology?
Social proof in psychology is a phenomenon in which people copy the behaviors of others as they are uncertain. They tend to believe that this behavior is right and acceptable.
Q. What is social proof in persuasion?
Social proof in persuasion is a type of feedback that others copy that they tend to think is right.
Q. What is social proof in advertising?
Social proof in advertising is using methods such as celebrity endorsements and user testimonials for the purpose of selling a particular product or service.
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