When it comes to online marketing, social proof is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal.
By using social proof correctly, you can increase your website’s conversion rate by leaps and bounds. But what is social proof, and how can you put it to work for you?
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can use social proof to your advantage.
What is Social Proof?
A psychological phenomena known as “social proof” occurs when people use cues from others to decide what is right or appropriate. In other words, if we see that everyone else is doing something, we’re more likely to do it ourselves.
This phenomenon occurs because we are social animals. We’re hardwired to conform to the norms and values of our group in order to fit in and avoid rejection. And when it comes to making decisions, we often defer to the judgment of those around us.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we always blindly follow the crowd. We’re also capable of independent thought and making our own decisions. But social proof can still have a strong influence on our behavior.
How to Use Social Proof
Now that we know what social proof is and how it works, it’s time to stop wondering how to create a social media campaign using it. Here are some of the best ways to use social proof to boost your business.
1. Use Customer Testimonials
One of the simplest and most effective ways to use social proof is to showcase customer testimonials on your website. When potential customers see that others have had a positive experience with your product or service, they’re more likely to take the plunge themselves.
Make sure to include testimonials that are relevant to the page where they’re featured. For example, if you’re selling a weight loss product, feature testimonials from customers who have used the product and lost weight.
Testimonials can also be collected from affiliate partners if you’re doing B2B marketing. In this case, it would be helpful to include the customer’s logo next to their testimonial.
2. Use Reviews and Ratings
Another great way to use social proof is to showcase reviews and ratings on your website. This is especially effective if you sell products or services online.
When potential customers see that your product has been well-reviewed, they’re more likely to take the plunge and buy it. The same goes for services. If you can show that your service has high ratings, potential customers will be more likely to give you their business.
Make sure to have your ratings displayed prominently on your website, and be sure to include both positive and negative reviews. Don’t try to hide the negative reviews; potential customers will see right through that.
3. Use Famous Endorsements
If you can get endorsements from famous people or influencers, you can use them to your advantage. When people see that someone they admire or respect is endorsing your product or service, they’re more likely to take the plunge and buy it.
Of course, getting endorsements from famous people isn’t always easy. But there are other ways to get endorsements that can be just as effective. For example, you could get endorsements from well-known bloggers or industry experts.
4. Use User-Generated Content
User-generated content is a great way to show that your product or service is popular. When potential customers see that other people are using and enjoying your product, they’re more likely to take the plunge and buy it themselves.
There are a few different ways to use user-generated content. You could, for example, feature customer photos on your website or social media pages. Or you could ask customers to leave reviews and testimonials.
Influencers can be great partners in this regard, too. All you have to do is send them your product and ask them to post about it on social media. To find a good influencer, look for someone who is popular in your industry and has a large following.
5. Use Social Media Shares
Social media shares are a great way to show that your content is popular. When potential customers see that your content is being shared by lots of people, they’re more likely to read it and perhaps even buy your product or service.
To get social media shares, make sure to create high-quality content that’s relevant to your target audience. Once you’ve created the content, share it on your social media channels and ask your followers to share it with their followers.
6. Use Certification Badges
If you’re certified by a well-known organization, be sure to showcase that on your website. When potential customers see that you’re certified, they’re more likely to trust you and do business with you.
To find certification programs that are relevant to your industry, do a quick Google search. You could also ask your industry association if they offer any certification programs.
7. Use trust symbols
There are certain symbols that convey trust, such as the padlock symbol that indicates a website is secure. If you can use trust symbols on your website, do so. They’ll help to build trust with potential customers and increase conversions.
Other trust symbols include the Better Business Bureau logo and the VeriSign logo. You can obtain these by becoming a member of the relevant organization.
8. Use People That Reflects Your Target Audience
If you want to build trust with potential customers, make sure you use people that reflect your target audience. For example, if you’re targeting stay-at-home moms, be sure to use photos of stay-at-home moms on your website.
This is important because potential customers will be able to see themselves in the people you’re using. And when they can see themselves, they’re more likely to trust you and do business with you.
This is also true when partnering with influencers or looking for celebrity endorsements. Choosing someone, your audience can’t relate to or doesn’t follow will not bring you the results you want.
9. Get Real-Time Social Proof With FOMO
FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a powerful psychological principle that you can use to increase conversions. When people see that others are doing something, they’re more likely to want to do it themselves.
You can use FOMO to your advantage by creating urgency and scarcity. For example, you could offer a limited-time discount or a free gift with a purchase.
What Are The Six Types of Social Proof?
Not all social proof is created equal. In fact, there are six different types that have different uses and benefits.
Here’s a quick overview of each:
Expert social proof is when an expert or authority figure recommends your product or service. This could be in the form of a review, testimonial, or endorsement. An expert or authority figure would be someone who is respected and well-known in your industry.
User social proof is when someone who has used your product or service recommends it to others. This could be in the form of a review, testimonial, or social media post. A user is someone who has first-hand experience with your product or service.
Celebrity social proof is when a celebrity recommends your product or service. This could be in the form of an endorsement, social media post, or mention in the press. A celebrity is someone who is well-known and respected by the general public.
4. Wisdom of the Crowds
Wisdom of the crowds’ social proof is when a large number of people recommend your product or service. This could be in the form of online reviews, testimonials, or social media posts.
5. Social Influence
Social influence social proof is when someone with a large social following recommends your product or service. This could be in the form of an endorsement, social media post, or blog review. A social influencer is someone with a large social media following.
In-group social proof is when people who are like you recommend your product or service. This could be in the form of reviews, testimonials, or social media posts. An in-group is a group of people who share similar characteristics, such as age, gender, or interests.
Is Using Social Proof Worthwhile?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes!
Social proof has many benefits, including increased trust, credibility, and conversions. Not to mention, it’s a great way to build relationships with potential customers.
If you’re not using social proof on your website, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to increase conversions.
What’s the best way to use social proof?
The best way to use social proof is to be strategic about it. Don’t just throw up a bunch of testimonials and hope for the best.
Instead, take the time to understand your audience and what type of social proof they’re most likely to respond to. Then, choose the type of social proof that will best suit your needs and goals.
Social proof is a powerful tool that you can use to increase conversions and build relationships with potential customers. When used correctly, it can be an extremely valuable asset to your business.
Lucas Green is a young digital marketing enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona, US. Passionate about graphic design, social networking, content writing, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes about graphic design and business for DigitalStrategyOne.