Social proof is when people are more likely to engage in something if they see that everybody else is, too.
For example, when you’re on a landing page and come across a testimonial from a respected industry expert, that right there is social proof. If you’re looking at a pricing page for a certain tool and see an industry giant is using it already, that’s also social proof.
Signing up for a demo or buying a product that has been acclaimed by an accredited person or group in a similar field or niche? Here we are again: that’s social proof.
What are some other examples, and how can social proof help your business? Let’s dive deeper.
Coined in 1984 by psychology professor Robert Cialdini, in his book Influence social proof describes the phenomenon in which people copy the actions of others to emulate the behavior in certain situations.
Let’s dive right in with an example. Remember the dinner scene from Titanic in which Leonardo DiCaprio’s impoverished character, Jack Dawson, studies the manner of the upper-class guests, emulating their behavior, posture, and language? Though quickly abandoned, he first copied the behaviors of others to fit into an unfamiliar setting and mask his caste. The character was using what Cialdini would later go on to call social proof.
But what connection does social proof have to marketing, consumers, or selling products?
When consumers consider a brand, a product, or a service they’re unfamiliar with, they’ll often seek insight from others to inform their decision-making. These insights are influential and may persuade a buyer to act or simply move on. These insights or persuasions are a mirror of social proof in commerce and can be leveraged in marketing in the form of case studies, testimonials, word-of-mouth, and online reviews.
Let’s talk about those a little more in-depth.
1. Use case studies and reviews.
Utilizing social proof is a great way to show your potential customers the benefits your current and past customers have received from your brand. One of the best marketing tricks is ensuring that people know your success rate as a brand and that you have satisfied clientele.
Case studies are an effective way of demonstrating social proof and as ways to create content that can be used as a sales tool. Case studies use real-life examples of how your product or service benefited a client or customer by increasing sales, leads, or other key performance indicators. While there are variations in the type of case studies, most of them show statistics, results from goals, and even quotes from those happy customers. And who doesn’t like hearing from happy customers?
2. Share testimonies on social media.
Most businesses receive reviews and testimonials online, but have you considered sharing them on social media? Turning the feedback you receive into social media content is a great way to spread the message about all your organization’s offerings. Reviews are the ideal example of social proof, as they give your audience first-hand evidence of the positives of your company. Hearing directly from your consumers you’ve benefited can make all the difference for somebody on the fence about engaging with your business.
3. Don’t forget about influencers!
Instead of sharing reviews yourself, you can pick influencers that will show your company to the world. Whether they are nano, micro, macro, or mega influencers, the power of a testimonial posted on an influencer’s page can draw in more traction and engagement with your brand. Choosing an influencer related to your brand’s niche to interact with provides an opportunity for a huge boost in brand loyalty and increased trust among more followers.
4. Highlight, highlight, highlight.
It’s also good practice to share your company’s accomplishments, awards, and accolades. It’s great to share that your business has received praise for its excellence. Send out press releases, or take photos of the team involved in that award-winning project. Let people know your business means business and that you have a team of dedicated and motivated professionals. Don’t be hesitant to share this online and establish yourself as an industry authority. If your company’s output is winning awards, then you must be reputable, right? Once again: that’s social proof.
The benefits a company may yield from social proof are countless, but it’s not the easiest task to ensure everyone’s eyes are on your business. Clearbridge Branding Agency can help your company’s reputation sell your product for you. Let’s do this: 856.327.4141.