Globalization and prosperity have made the business world competitive. While making purchasing decision we can choose from a wide range of brands and products. Your customers probably face the same dilemma. Social proof can work wonders for your business and increase sales. Keep reading to find out how!
What is social proof?
The term social proof was coined in 1984 by Robert Cialdini. It’s also known as informational social influence.
As Convertize mentions:
The effect occurs when a person is unsure of the correct way to behave. In this situation, they will often look to others for clues about the correct behavior. The same principle applies when someone is unsure whether to trust something or believe someone.
The effect of group persuasion is enhanced by:
- the multiple source effect – people trust more a number of opinions
- similarity – when people perceive themselves as similar to others, they’re more likely to adopt their choices
- uncertainty – social proof can be more powerful when it comes to trying new solutions when a customer isn’t sure of the choice
- the authority principle – testimonials from celebrities and experts can influence customers’ behavior
- attraction – the halo effect transfers positive associations from a particularly significant person to others
Why is social proof essential for business?
92% of online customers check at least one review before making a purchasing decision (Bizrate, 2019)
Well, it seems quite reasonable – nobody wants to buy a cat in the sack. We would like to check at least one opinion of someone before we’ll decide to proceed further.
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations received from their friends (BrightLocal ,2019)
The fact that customers trust online opinions should motivate business owners to collect such reviews.
57% of people will choose a business with a rating higher than four stars (Hubspot, 2019)
You need to keep your rating high, it’s important for customers to choose only e-shops which are providing top-rated products.
97% of consumers read companies’ responses to the reviews (BrightLocal, 2019)
Don’t leave the comments and opinions without answers! Show that you appreciate positive reviews and try to make up the failures. For example, if a customer is not entirely satisfied with a product, send apologies and an improved product or a special gift. Avoid using copy and paste answers – write personalized messages to delight shoppers.
How to enhance a business strategy with social proof?
Once you’re sure that your product and services are refined and will meet customers’ expectations, as well as your website is mobile-friendly and optimized you can involve the social proof effect in your strategy.
Ask for a review
Most of the customers write opinions online once they’re not satisfied with a product or service. But no worries, we have good news for you! As one of the research shows, 70% of customers asked to leave their opinions about the products are willing to do so (Search Engine Land, 2016). Therefore, don’t be shy – just ask for it!
On the other hand, don’t “eliminate” negative opinions completely, customers tend to have a lack of trust for products without any unfavorable reviews. They might seem suspicious. Instead, respond to these opinions with an apology and a solution.
Moreover, you should make the most of the clients’ feedback to improve your services and products.
Reviews delivered like a pizza
Creme de la creme of social proof, provide customers’ opinions directly to your website.
Reviews are like pizza; the best taste has the hot one delivered straight to our doorstep. Enable easy access to the opinions on your website.
While a visitor is checking a product page deliver him final proof of your trustworthiness. By such simple element you can:
- improve customer experience
- shorten customer journey because buyers don’t have to look for the opinions on their own
- be transparent and, hence, trustworthy
You have everything to win, nothing to lose. Consider social proof as a must-have for your business. Thanks to tools such as RocketPop you will be able to pop up chosen opinions directly on the product page.
Build a community
Use social media to gather your clients in one place and reach new potential customers. Exchange ideas, educate, collect feedback, and engage your community. Social media platforms are great channels where social proof can make a difference.
Provide excellent customer support via social media and watch your community grow! After a while, you’ll easily spot your brand ambassadors that love your products. Surprise them with a special gift to thanks them for their advocacy.
Team-up with influencers
Find the right micro-influencers that are suitable for your target group. If their followers match your customer personas, then you’ll on the right track.
RocketLink can help you track the performance. You can easily shorten links, attach UTM tags, and share them with the chosen influencer. You’ll know exactly if the cooperation is resultful for your business. Afterward, you can run ad campaigns and retarget the influencer’s audience. You can use RocketLink also to create an affiliate program and use a snowball effect to gain even more trust.
Make the most of the user-generated content
Encourage your customers to show how they’re using your products. You can create a social media contest and re-use the submissions on your Facebook or Instagram accounts.
Key takeaways on social proof in marketing
- care about basics, create a clear and selling product page
- gain reviews from customers
- use social media to build a trustworthy image
- delight your customers to turn customers into brand’s ambassadors
- use the authority of influencers to enhance social proof
The social proof effect is a team effort of the marketing and customer service departments. Deliver the best products and services, be helpful, and ask for honest opinions. If you prefer to get personalised advice in weaving social proof in your marketing strategy, then you can test out some of the top marketers on GrowthMentor.social proof