Social proof is the principle that people will do things that they see other people doing. It’s a powerful force in human behavior, and it’s the reason why so many of us are drawn to Instagram and other social media sites.
You might not have thought of it as a marketing strategy yet, but do you know?
By the end of 2022, social proof is expected to grow by 10%.
Social proof has the power to make your content go viral, or it can make your content sink like a stone. It is a powerful tool to convince onlookers to take the desired action. You can use it to make your business seem more trustworthy, increase conversion rates, and grow your audience.
In this article, we will explore why social proof is important for various industries to convince onlookers. But before that let’s know that,
Who acts as social proof?
Social proof is nothing but a persuasion that is based on people’s desire to be socially accepted. It is the phenomenon where people do something because they see other people doing it, but who those other people are?
There are four main categories of social proof:
- Social Proof from people who are similar to you like the buyers who have purchasing experience before you.
- Social Proof from people who have authority or expertise in the topic.
- Social Proof from people who have a lot of followers and likes may be celebrities or an influencer.
- Social Proof from your friends and family.
For instance, An influencer with one million followers, positively reviews an online gold company, for its authenticity and easy availability. This tends to cause 50% of the followers to consider an online company to purchase gold. Here, influencers acted as social proof.
Importance of social proof to convince onlookers
1. Social proof can help you get more sales and improve your conversion rates.
Social proof is the idea that people will be more confident about taking an action if they know others have taken it. For example, a study of 5,000 consumers showed that 87% of people were more likely to purchase a product after seeing social proof.
Generally, the presence of other people can be harnessed to increase one’s own confidence to take action. In the situation where one is unsure whether it is appropriate or necessary to engage in a course of action, seeing that others have opted for that course can imply social proof as justification. This helps new startup businesses like little-little steps to convince onlookers to become their clients.
Many businesses use social proof as a tactic by showing real-time stats. Like you can see details of “how many people are viewing the product” or “how many people have this product in their cart”. This makes the user make quick decisions due to social proof as well as because of the fear of missing out (FOMO.)
2. Social proof can help you get more email subscribers, followers on social media, and customers.
The power of social proof can help you get more email subscriptions, followers on social media, and customers. The idea is to have others vouch for you and your business by liking, following, or sharing your content.
Influencers or celebrities and a large number of friends and families from someone’s circle can be the reason that your business account successfully converts many onlookers. Onlookers get convinced by the persuasion of personalities with a large following.
Consider that there is an e-commerce clothing business and it shares a lot of content on social media, which is followed and seen by a large number of onlooker’s friend’s circles. The person sees them buying clothes from them and loving their video content, this attracts him or her to follow the herd and make an impulsive purchase as well as compelled to follow their social account to stay updated with new articles.
3. Social proof helps you build your credibility with potential customers.
Social proof can be used to build credibility with potential customers. Social proof is an effective marketing strategy and when combined with other strategies produces significant results. A recent study conducted at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth found that consumers feel more comfortable with products that have been endorsed by people they trust.
It can be done through testimonials, reviews, and User-generated content. The number of likes a post has is a form of social proof. According to research, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know. This means that if your business has been promoted by a number of people, your website is highly ranked, or your products are loved by celebrities or people with high titles it means that onlookers will consider them credible. The expected result is that they will choose your business to get a service or product whenever needed.
Isn’t it obvious? Think as a consumer, we always value reviews and UGC before trusting to spend our money to get anything. We expect that existing customers would not give fake reviews as it will not benefit them in any way and that makes us trust their recommendation.
4. Social Proof can help you get better reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or other review sites which convince onlookers
Reviews are the lifeblood of any business. The more reviews you have, the better they are, and the more likely you’ll rank well and get more customers. But it’s not always easy to get reviews on your own – even if your customers love you! That’s where social media can help.
A Case Study: Starbucks in 2014, added a fun new feature to their mobile app that allowed customers to share pictures of their drinks on Instagram. The result? In two months, they received more than 120,000 posts! They clearly used social proof to attract more customers.
In another example, Rachael Blenkinsopp, owner of Lulu’s Chocolate, said that “We always try to do whatever we can to get the word out there, as it’s important for us to be seen and heard.” So when she started noticing that some of her customers were posting reviews on websites like Yelp or Allure magazine, she knew she had to step up her social media game, “Yelp is so powerful because it’s the first thing that people see when they’re looking for you”. When you have worked on social proof techniques for your business, it attracts many such people to review you who were reluctant before.
If your business successfully gathers reviews from social proofs there is a great chance that it will also lure the onlookers. Research shows that 91% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase that’s why reviews on Google, Facebook or any other site should not be taken lightly. It is best to encourage your customers to review you. More the number of customers, more social proof and that attracts onlookers to review you too.
Conclusion: It’s time to start using social proof in your marketing strategy
Social proof is a popular marketing strategy that business owners are learning more about. It shows potential customers that other people have bought your product, liked it, and given it a good review.
A study by the Harvard Business Review found that people were more likely to buy a product if they saw other people like them using it. This is because they see themselves in these people and they want to be part of the group.
The same goes for businesses. People are more likely to buy from you if they see that other customers are happy with the service or product. We have all heard the old saying “seeing is believing”. This is the reason why testimonials and UGC are so powerful in converting onlookers into customers.
About the Author
Aabhas is the founder of Avija Digital a complete digital PR agency for online Strategy and Marketing, Expert in providing consultation as a content strategist for SaaS and tech brands. He began his career in digital marketing in 2016, which continues to this day. He spends his free time in the gym, playing board games, and learning new technologies in the IT sector.