Social Proof – What Is It & How You Can Implement It In Your Business?
Even if we think we don’t, most of us spend a lot of time following the crowd.
Whether it’s liking that new song on the radio, spending obscene amounts of cash on the latest iPhone (even though it’s not really that different from the last one), or debating your preferred pick for England’s Euro 2020 squad, as human beings we like to do the same things as our friends and peers.
Great marketers know that all we want to do is fit in and build their strategies to bombard us with Social Proof, showing off content packed with cool people, doing cool things all because of the cool new product/service they bought.
In this article, we’re going to break Social Proof down to its bare bones. We’ll look at what social proof is, why social proof is so important and how you can implement social proof techniques into your online businesses’ digital marketing strategies straight away!
What is Social Proof?
Social Proof, often known as informational social influence, is the psychological phenomenon that means people (or customers) will copy the actions of those they like or trust to gain acceptance or emulate their results.
Let’s use a practical example. Imagine you’re a child that loves football. You turn on the TV and see Harry Kane wearing the latest boots from Nike. You want to be great at football; Harry Kane is great at football; so naturally, if you get the same boots, you could be great at football too. Social proof begins.
Now take it even further, you turn up at school the next day, and all your friends have got Harry Kane’s new boots. You like and respect your friends, and ultimately, you want them to like you too. Now you want those boots, even more, to feel accepted by your friends. Social proof maximised!
If we see our friends, peers or idols using a product or service and achieving success, we naturally want to get a piece of the action so that we fit in and do well. That’s social proof!
Why is Social Proof so Important for Potential Customers?
The clothes we wear, the products we use and the places we visit all form part of our identity. There isn’t a more powerful marketing technique than to make people feel like they’re missing out on things their friends are experiencing.
As an online business, whether it’s through your social networks, landing pages or online marketing, you’re trying to get your potential customers to feel like your product/service will make them more socially accepted through social proof.
Especially if a customer is on the fence about your product or service, a tiny bit of social proof from friends, peers or idols could help encourage the correct behaviour when it comes to buying.
Unless you’re selling something functional, like toilet paper, most purchases that online customers make are driven by emotion, and there’s no better way to trigger emotion than with positive social proof.
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The Types of Social Proof and How to Implement Them In Your Online Business.
There a whole host of ways you can harness some Social Proof strategies. Here are 4 examples of ways you can build more social proof in your marketing strategy to gain hundreds of satisfied customers.
#1 – Reviews, Reviews, Reviews.
Hands down, the easiest way to build social proof with potential customers is to have a strong presence on review sites. What’s better than knowing that loads of people just like you have fixed their problems or achieved their goals through the product or services you sell.
In fact, a staggering 91% of online shoppers admit to reading an online review for products and services before committing to buying. The great news is there are tons of great review sites out there like Trustpilot and Feefo alongside integrated review metrics in the Google and Facebook social media platforms you already use.
#2 – Build Some Detailed Case Studies
Case Studies are like social proof on steroids. They provide a rich story for your future customers to understand exactly how your product or service could change their life.
The key to nailing a good case study is the person that’s writing it. This is where you want to leverage an idol or leader of your potential customer. Your case study wants to be coming from your biggest, coolest or more successful customer to help ramp up the dial on that social proof meter.
With your big fish on board, ensure the case study highlights exactly the problems they faced and how well you both worked together to solve them. Ideally, your future customers will also face the same problems and be filled with confidence that you could do the same awesome job at fixing it for them!
#3 – Show off Big Brands
Got some big clients on the books already? Well, it’s about time you started showing them off!
Imagine going onto a website or social media page and seeing a business has worked with someone like Disney, Nike, Budweiser, Apple, Google, Range Rover or Virgin. That’s a hell of a lot of social proof.
If you’ve worked with some big names, get their names, logos and branding on your website and start shouting about it. Guess what your customers will be thinking – ‘Hey if these guys are good enough for Disney, they’ll be able to sort me out no problem!’
#4 – Leverage Influencer Marketing
If you’re on Social Media, you’ll know all about the latest and greatest social proof technique – Influencer Marketing!
Whilst many think of ‘influencer’ as a dirty word, they can’t deny that using influencers to show off products or services is a great way to turbo-charge social proof. Whether it’s through Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or TikTok, getting your product or service onto a profile with just a few thousand followers can amplify your reach massively.
You don’t need to be paying hundreds of thousands for David Beckham here either. People local to your area with a few thousand followers may even post about your product or service for free if you give them a free sample. And the best thing is, by keeping it local, you’re targeting exactly the sort of people you and your brand are looking for – easy social proof!
When you’re building your marketing strategies, it pays to keep the concept of Social Proof at the front of your mind. It’s a trick as old as time, but as human beings, we want to fit in and feel accepted, and that extends to the products we buy and the services we use!
Whether it’s through reviews, case studies or teaming up with influencers, it’s easy to associate your business with success (and successful people) to encourage potential customers to buy through social proof.
If you want to know more about Social Proof, check out this video by 365 Careers, who do a great job of diving deeper into the science behind how we are influenced as buyers and how marketers can leverage that for better results!
Need further advice? Get in touch with us here at Morgan Branding we have a fully dedicated team ready to help you and your business get ahead online. You can get in touch via our contact page or get social with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn!
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