In this article, we’ll dive into what social proof is and how you can use it in digital marketing to make sure that people are choosing you over your competitors.
What is social proof?
Social proof is a term coined by the author (Robert Cialdini) in 1984. this phenomenon is also called informational social influence, and is basically the idea that people copy the actions of others in an attempt to emulate behavior in certain situations.
For example, if someone is unsure of how to act in a social situation that they may not have encountered before, they take clues from the people around them. If someone is attending a party for his first time, it’s only natural for them to keep an eye on their surroundings to make sure they fit in and behave the way everyone expects them to.
In marketing field, social proof covers a similar idea – when people shop, they look for reviews, recommendations, and ways others have used a product before making their decision.
And for that online stores work so hard to get people to review their products – it’s a form of social proof that works wonders to increase the number of people making purchases.
Social proof in marketing takes the form of reviews, current customers, media coverage, and more. Let’s learn more about why social proof is important and How to use social proof in marketing?
Why is social proof important?
Social proof is considered as an effective marketing tactic for a number of reasons.
The primary motivating force behind social proof is the chariot effect, the social psychology concept that states that people are more likely to engage in an action if others are doing it. For example, if more than two million people have bought a book and enjoyed it, then the wisdom of the crowd audience dictates that you are likely to enjoy the book as well.
Using this form of social proof involves showing that a large number of people have purchased a product or that many people support the company.
There is another benefit of social proof that it can help convey trust. Trust is one of the key factors in converting customers online, because providing a credit card number to an unknown company over the web is a huge hurdle that customers have to overcome. Showing potential clients that the business has many satisfied customers through testimonials and user reviews helps build a trust that the business is legitimate and trustworthy.
Finally, social proof in digital marketing can also be used in internet to convey authority. For example, a buyer might find a testimonial from an expert in the field more convincing than a hundred reviews from average people.
Social proof works by utilizing the basic human instinct to follow the actions of others, building trust and credibility, and lowering barriers to online buying.
How to use social proof in marketing?
There are many ways you can incorporate social proof into your marketing to showcase your satisfied customers to potential customers. Knowing that your clients have been happy with your business and its products or services before is one of the best marketing tricks.
- Case studies
One great way to demonstrate customer satisfaction is by writing a case study about their experience with your work. Identify one or more clients with whom you have had great success and reach out to them if they are willing to participate in a case study along with the initial questions.
These are usually deep dives into how you and the client can work together successfully, so ensuring you have their enthusiastic participation is key.
- Testimonials and reviews
Your business may receive online testimonials and reviews, but have you ever thought about sharing those testimonials on social media? Reviews are the quintessential example of social proof term. Including ratings and reviews on your website as well as sharing on social media lets your audience know what other people think.
- Existing customers and clients
If you work with some well-known brands, sharing this information publicly is another great way to get people interested in your product or service. Obviously, if big brands like Google like your work, that means you’re doing a good job, right?
- Awards and accolades
Has your business won awards or been ranked at the top of lists in your industry? Show that stuff off! It’s a great way to let people know that your business is popular for its excellence.
- User-generated content (UGC)
People will know you have happy clients when you share user-generated content on your own social pages. Instagram is the perfect platform for that. Simply create a branded hashtag, include it in your bio and encourage users for a chance to stand out and be featured.
- Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is similar to user-generated content. This tactic involves compensating influencers to show your brand in their photos.
People follow Influencers because they love seeing the kinds of products and services creators wear, use, and love. This is why influencer marketing is a great example of social proof and have the ability to expose your brand to a wider audience.
Integration is an another form of social proof. These are commonly seen using SaaS tools, particularly in the marketing industry, which wants to provide their customers with the ability to make the tools they already use work together.
Knowing that your software is compatible with another software that a potential customer is using is a great selling point, but it also makes your business appear more robust and trusted.
- Customer love
What better way to show off social proof than sharing your customers’ praises and goodwill? While this can come in the form of reviews or testimonials, customer love can also be a simple mention to use on social media.
- Customer base
Another example of social proof is showcasing the number of clients you have served; Products you sold or your users. This shows that your business is experienced and knows what they’re doing since you’ve worked with so many people.
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