“Have you heard about Soial Proof before? If your answer was no, don’t worry. After this quick post, you’ll know about the whole concept and how to use it to enhance your online business.”
You visited a new city, looking for a place to eat. There are a number of places. But you would probably go and eat at the most crowded place.
Want to buy some trendy clothes, finding a new place? You decide to go to the place recommended by most of your friends.
Looking for a new cosmetic product but confused regarding the choice? You choose the one that is used by your favourite celebrity.
You know why did you make all the above choices? It is the great effect of what you call ‘Social Proof’.
Know about social proof- the basics
Social Proof or Informational social influence is a psychological concept that forces you or influences you to act in a way similar to others as you are uncertain about a particular situation.
When it comes to marketing, Social Proof means you are considering or buying a product because a number of people bought that product; many of your friends bought it and liked it; maybe your favorite star promoted it or say the site selling it is a certified one.
The biggest reason for getting influenced is that we are all social beings, we live in groups. Can you be isolated from every being on earth?
Obviously not. You really won’t be able to survive. Thus, living in groups, you just can’t make each and every choice individually.
You, as a potential customer get influenced by the choices and recommendations of others and make a choice that you may not have made if you solely were dependent on yourself.
Types of social proof
Celebrity social proof
This is a pure example of celebrity social proof. Maybe, many of the users of this product didn’t have much idea about it until Kourtney Kardashian used the product on her reality show and later became a celebrity ambassador for it.
Ratings social proof
Ratings have become a usual social proof nowadays. There are many online e-commerce stores that let their customers rate their products. There are different rating techniques used but the most common is ratings with stars. The more the number of stars, the higher rated your product is.
Certification social proof
Your products certified by a well known authority. Won’t that affect your sales. If the quality of your products is assured by some grand authority, more and more customers will be assured to buy your products. In the above example, ‘Nature Made’ makes use of the USP certification to gain social proof.
Customer testimonial social proof
Customers use your products and give their views about your products. Will not the views of other customers matter? Will not they influence others to buy your products? But, make sure your customer has got positive responses regarding your products. This is an influencing social proof technique that drastically affects the sale of your products.
Friends social proof
Who doesn’t get influenced by the choice of his/her friends? It is obvious, everybody does. It might have happened many times that your friend recommends a new product launched in the market, tells you about some new picnic spot, a gym to workout or anything and you give it a try just because he/she liked it. This is a type of social proof that works both online and offline.
Case studies social proof
Hearing about the product you are going to purchase or the services you are going to hire and that too from people who have already used it and can give you the first-hand experience regarding the product or service. That would influence anybody’s decision. Right?
It is a kind of surety you get as you are initially uncertain about the purity or the quality of the product. These case studies provide you with wider perspectives and can accelerate the sales of your products, another type of social proof.
HelpScout offers video case studies from their clients right on their home page.
Bestsellers social proof
See how, TATCHA, a beauty and skincare product dealer has created a separate section of its bestsellers to enhance the social proof as well as the sales. This is a technique used for showing that the products mentioned as bestsellers have got positive reviews. This is another type of social proof which will initiate the potential customers to buy those products.
Blogging social proof
A usual tactic used for enhancing the social proof of your product is blogging. You may write some meaningful content that goes well with your product. You may provide your potential customers with the suitable information. This can be an appropriate way of increasing organic traffic and further increase your sales.
People will be tempted to read the content and come to know about the products you specialize in. After using your products, they may recommend it to others.
Positive and negative aspects when it comes to social proof
Social Proof is a really influential marketing technique as customers relying on the positive social proof that is good reviews and feedback will get motivated to buy your products. After getting so much of positive responses regarding your products, people would have to reinforce their buying decisions.
Though using social proof is a really effective marketing strategy but remember everything comes with certain limitations. Similarly, each type of social proof would have its own. So, you need to be quite careful while making the choice.
Sujan Patel writes about the steps one should take to incorporate social proof on your website and how to generate best results. know more about Sujan’s amazing tactics.
So, coming back to the aspects as I have already mentioned about the various types but you have to make a careful choice. You need to find a suitable way that to enhance social proof and that would depend on a number of factors like the product you are promoting, your requirements and the most important is your perspective.
Social proof for your online business: editor’s special note
I would go on with Customer Testimonials as I feel this would be most influencing because the recommendations of a similar person can affect us the most. I believe a ‘Customer to Customer influence’ would be more as compared to ‘Expert to Customer influence’.
Christine Gallagher in her post gives out great keys to get unforgettable testimonials that would surely enhance your sales.
You can use any or all of the above tactics to your business and see the results for yourself. Let us know if we helped you or if you have any better ideas.
We’d love to hear what you have got to say.
Till Next time. Have a great profitable week!