In the current business scenario, Social Proof Marketing works as a “virtual word of mouth”. It is widely used in many areas for both offline and online marketing (including social media marketing).
As more and more Businesses are getting online, the whole experience of purchasing products and services is getting massively de-personalizing. A human touch is vital for any business to gain relevance. The underlying truth of this statement is that the customers are the blood and life of any business.
The main aim is to convert your visitors into customers.
WHAT IS SOCIAL PROOF?
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. Coined by Robert Cialdini in 1984 in his book “Influence”. He defines it as “a tendency to see an action as more appropriate when we see others doing it. “This social proof can influence people in such a way that they trust a brand more based on the attitude and behavior of others around them (other online buyers in case of e-businesses). Think for yourself, in a situation of uncertainty, you would automatically turn to someone who you think has more knowledge on the subject matter. This is where the Herd Behavior and the Halo affect come to play.
WHY SOCIAL PROOF
Social proofs make online customers feel more comfortable purchasing from an e-commerce store, making them an integral part of conversion optimization. Shoppers feel much more confident buying from an online store if they know they are not the only one there. More than 80% buyers trust customer reviews more than personal recommendations.
Similarly, to make an impression in the hearts and minds of your customers, you must incorporate a “human touch”. It can be anything like customers help chat boxes, ratings and reviews, feedback forms etc. Anything that doesn’t make them feel like the only visitor there.
TYPES OF SOCIAL PROOFS
E-commerce websites like Amazon and Ebay incorporate Social Proof into their product pages because it helps customers choose the best items without seeing or touching them.
- User Testimonials
Buyer reviews can be immensely powerful. People like to rely on the experience and opinions of like-minded people to guide their own actions. Adding approvals from your past customers in the form of reviews, ratings and testimonials impacts the mindsets of the customers in such a way that they are compelled to buy your products.
User testimonials are the most important when it comes to buying technical products and gadgets.
- Business Credentials
Customer reviews are important to build inclusivity but business credentials help build a sense of Trust among the new visitors of your website. Adding business credentials like other big businesses that are your customers or awards and certifications from other customers on the first page of your business makes the customers believe that your business is worth paying attention to. Third party certifications tell users that you are knowledgeable, trustworthy and offer high quality products and services.
- Wisdom of the Crowd
Wisdom of crowds refers to the idea that large groups of people are collectively smarter than individual experts. Everyone feels comfortable joining the crowd.
Popular streaming websites like Netflix and HBO have a trending and most watched section. This tells the user what everyone around the world is consuming. This shapes public opinion in such a way that people end up clicking on the popular products.
- Creating Urgency
Showing visitors that an item is being viewed and sold in large numbers that too very quickly creates a sense of urgency. Visitors don’t know if the item will sell out soon so they end up clicking on it. Buyers see the message displayed and their minds begin to think “I see if the product is going out of stock so soon, it is of high quality and high in demand.”
- Creating FOMO notifications
When a lot of people are buying a product, credibility is created in the minds of the prospective buyers regarding the product and the store. The fact that a large number of customers are already enjoying the benefits of your products creates a fear of missing out (FOMO).
FOMO notifications show recent orders, customer behavior and analytics on your website. Thousands of businesses use FOMO marketing to show prospective buyers that other people trust your business. Social Proof helps you gain trust; in you and in your brand. Offering a social proof on your website makes your claim seem more reliable.
Using all these ways you can integrate Social Proof in your marketing strategy. A little research and execution can help you increase your conversion and engagement rates.