I shifted to a new place recently. A few days later, I thought of going for dinner with my family. Since I was new to the place, I did not have much idea about the nearby restaurants.
I asked someone and he guided me to a place where there are a few. I came across two restaurants- one was occupied while the other being in the same place was vacant.
And just like any other person would do, I did the same thing. I did not take the risk of going to an empty restaurant and went to the other one without even giving it a second thought.
This psychological thought process is what we call Social Proof.
Social proof is generally described as a psychological or social phenomenon where people are influenced by the action of the mass and follow the same approach thinking it to be correct simply because others find it too.
People like to stick with the majority. This is exactly what I did. I assumed the empty restaurant does not provide good services or quality food, which probably might be true else it would not have been unoccupied right? Since many people were in the other, I assumed it to better.
Social proof plays a crucial role in the eCommerce world and can prove to be a powerful marketing tool. It refers to the reviews, testimonials, social shares, etc. which have a major influence on the buying decision of consumers.
Let’s understand this more clearly by an example. When you go shopping, you try out the product, feel the quality and then make the payment.
But this is not possible in case of online shopping. You do not have the product in hand. Shoppers rely on the opinions of others, what the majority has to say about it, and based on that, they make their decision.
You can use social proof for your brand in many ways, some of which are-
Testimonials are positive reviews left by your clients or customers for your brand, products or services and can work exceptionally as social proof.
Although reviews and testimonials are usually considered the same, there is a slight difference. The latter is collected and managed by the business while the former involves a third party.
You would have often come across websites that display testimonials on their home page. It’s a great way to leave a strong first impression of your brand in front of your visitors by showcasing them what your existing clients have to say about your brand.
Reach out to your loyal clients or customers and ask them to share their experience. If a client has recommended your brand by leaving a positive review on your social media pages, use that testimonial to encourage others to try out your services.
Before putting their trust in a Brand, the first thing that the consumers do is look for its online reviews.
Research done by BrightLocal says that 82% of consumers give importance to online reviews and suggests that an average consumer reads 10 online reviews and spends nearly 14 minutes before they make their decision to purchase from that business.
Online reviews are social proof for consumers. Try to maintain a good brand image. Collect reviews on different review websites related to your industry. If you are a local business, your primary focus should be getting positive reviews on Google.
When a celebrity or an influencer becomes a spokesperson for your brand, it is called Brand Endorsement.
Brands that have a huge budget can reach out to celebrities but it’s not easy for small scale businesses to pay a huge amount of money for brand endorsement. This is where Influencer Marketing comes into play which has grown popular over the years.
Studies suggest that people trust the words of influencers more than the brand itself. An influencer can be anyone who has a great social following and is popular among your target audience.
So just analyze your right target audience and reach out to a relevant influencer who they like and trust. Plan out how you are going to make it work.
If your online business has progressed a lot over the years or even in recent times, it is always a good option to showcase it, be it on your website’s home page or your social media pages.
Numbers do develop psychological thought. Upon noticing that a business has served a huge number of customers, other consumers are attracted by it.
I have come across many businesses that use years of experience, total clients, popular clients, total projects, total users worldwide, etc. as social proof on their website.
What does it do? It is just a way to make your visitors feel the credibility of your brand along with the quality services that you have offered over the years and the number of satisfied customers or clients.
User-generated content is also another amazing marketing strategy to generate social proof. Many brands launched campaigns related to user-generated content where they ask users to share a word about their brand or products on social media sites using some specific hashtags.
You can also run such campaigns and offer rewards in return. Word-of-mouth from users can be a great social proof.
Knowband also offers a few modules that can help you build social proof, such as Facebook Share and Win Discount module through which you can ask customers to share your product on their Facebook profile and get rewarded for it.
Another module you can look for is Review Reminder and Incentives through which customers get rewarded for posting a successful review on your website about your products.
You can also try the Affiliate and Referral Program module which lets you run refer and earn kind of program on your website which will help in building social proof for your brand among users.
Through this article, we can conclude that social proof is helpful in many ways such as-
1. Social proof builds customer trust
2. It helps in acquiring new customers
3. Social proof boosts your conversions and sales
4. Social proof can help grow brand awareness
I hope this write-up helped you in identifying how you can make the best use of social proof in your online business.