In this article, we’re going to talk about what is social proof, why it’s so important, and how you can use it in your marketing strategy.
Social proof isn’t something invented by modern marketers. It has existed in many areas of our life for a long time and is based on a psychological phenomenon to look at others when we need to figure out the right way to act in an unknown situation.
Let’s say you’re looking for a place to have lunch in a city you haven’t been to before. If you see a restaurant with only a few people inside, you may assume that the food there isn’t great. While if you see a crowded place, you most likely will think that the food there is delicious and will go there for lunch.
You may also check the recommendations for the restaurants online and decide where to go based on the ratings and reviews from other people.
Both cases are examples of social proof – offline and online.
What Is Social Proof?
Simply put, social proof is any piece of evidence from peers or authority figures that verifies a product, service, opinion, etc.
It works because people tend to copy the actions of others when they need to make any decision. Therefore, they consciously or subconsciously get influenced by the choices and opinions of other people.
Some brands and entrepreneurs realized that social proof has a huge potential in marketing. So they started using it in different ways to influence the purchase decisions of their potential customers.
Think about it! Your potential buyers will trust recommendations and reviews from other people more than ads from your brand.
That’s why using social proof in your marketing can boost your conversion and ultimately generate more sales.
Five Types Of Social Proof
Building social proof is the best way for people to learn about your product. And here’re various forms of social proof you can leverage.
- Expert social proof – an expert in your niche, like a blogger or an industry leader, recommends your product or service. For example, a highly successful affiliate marketer recommends your course about affiliate marketing.
- Celebrity social proof – a celebrity endorses your product/service. Celebrity endorsements are used a lot in TV commercials but they also work great in online marketing. And while you may not afford to hire a world-famous celebrity, you can team up with influencers who have a big following in your niche.
- User social proof – this is one of the most powerful types of social proof. When your current users recommend your product based on their experience with it, it creates credibility and helps gain new customers.
- Wisdom of the crowd – showing that a large group of people is using or endorsing your product. Stating that a large number of people choose your product implies “so many people can’t be wrong”. That’s why phrases like “Most popular post”, “Most customers choose”, “X users all over the world” are extremely persuasive.
- Wisdom of friends – people consider your product worth using because their friends are using or recommending it.
Now let’s see how you can use these types of social proof in your marketing!
How To Use Social Proof In Your Business
1. Reviews And Testimonials
Ratings and reviews from your existing customers influence the buying decision of your potential customers drastically. Don’t underestimate them!
61% of customers read online reviews before choosing to buy a product or service. Therefore, the more positive reviews you collect, the more proof your potential customers have that your product is worth buying.
You can place testimonials from your happy customers on your website so your prospects see them the moment they land on your page.
Even a short testimonial from someone who says your product solved their issue can help persuade your potential buyer.
Fortunately, there’s a number of social proof tools that help you collect testimonials and show them on your website. With the help of these tools, you can also display pop-up notifications to your website showing recent sign-ups or purchases.
2. Influencer Endorsements
One of the reasons social proof works so great is because people imitate the actions of others. And the people we respect have the strongest influence on our decisions.
That’s why having an endorsement for your product from an influencer in your niche is so powerful.
You can often see such endorsements on the covers or first pages of the books. However, they’ll also work great on your website.
A recommendation from an authoritative person in your industry makes fewer people question your product, and more people buy it.
3. Badges and Media Logos
The “as seen in” media showcase is another classic example of social proof. If your product was featured or reviewed in one of the prominent news media, you may want to show it on your website to build even more credibility and trust.
The same applies to badges, awards, certifications, etc. that your product won. You may display them on your website as well.
4. Users count
As mentioned above, people believe that if a crowd uses a product, then it should be good. You can leverage this by showing a number of users, subscribers, clients, and so on.
Brian Dean from Backlinko is using this technique together with the names of big brands to persuade website visitors to join his newsletter.
When people see the impressive number of subscribers they automatically assume that Brian should share something valuable if so many people are reading his newsletter. So they jump right in.
Sharing your clients’ logos (especially if you got big companies as clients) helps build more credibility and trust. Again, your prospects will be more willing to purchase from you if they see that other companies use your product or service.
Besides the clients’ logos, you can show their testimonials.
Social proof is certainly a powerful tool that you can use in your marketing.
People always look for proof to justify their purchases so you can provide them with it. Considering that they trust the reviews and testimonials from other customers or influencers, leveraging them will boost your conversion rates.
Are you using any kind of social proof for your product or service? Share with us in the comments!
What is social proof in digital marketing?
Social proof in digital marketing is any piece of evidence from peers or authority figures that verifies a product, service, opinion, etc. It is based on a psychological phenomenon to look at others when we need to figure out the right way to act in an unknown situation.
What are the types of social proof?
The forms of social proof you can leverage in your marketing are: 1. Expert social proof 2. Celebrity social proof 3. User social proof 4. Wisdom of the crowd 5. Wisdom of friends
Why is social proof important?
Social proof is important as it lets you influence the buying decision of your prospects. People tend to copy the actions of others when they need to make any decision. Additionally, they trust recommendations and reviews from other people more than ads from your brand. Therefore, leveraging the power of social proof helps you persuade your prospects that your product/service is worth buying.
What is an example of social proof?
Here're a few examples of social proof you can easily collect and use in your marketing: 1. Reviews and testimonials from your clients 2. Influencer endorsements 3. Badges and certifications 4. Media logos 5. Users/subscribers count 6. Clients' logos