Whatever your business, the goal is the same: to convert users into customers and improve your results. Social proof is a crucial element that will help you convert more.
In this article we go through everything you need to know to grow your business by taking advantage of it.
What is social proof and why to leverage it
Social proof is a psychological theory that shows the tendency of humans to base their actions on the behavior of others.
In fact, it is true that preferences, opinions and actions of other people can influence ours.
Imagine you are travelling in a new city. You want to go to a restaurant but you don’t know which one is the best.
You go to the center and you see that there are three restaurants open. Two of them are crowded with people eating, while one is empty.
Which one would you choose?
We are sure you would never pick the one without people inside. You should have thought “If nobody goes in there, is because it’s bad“.
It may be the best restaurant of the world, but if you don’t see people inside, you won’t go too. Or at least, not before checking TripAdvisor or other application.
Social proof influences us in our everyday choices, including shopping. This is why businesses started to see its potential.
If you want to raise your conversion rate and sales, social proof is the right strategy to implement.
Social proof is particularly important for digital marketing. In fact, it gives users the possibility to see the difference between two products without the physical presence.
Moreover, social proof makes them save time and effort while analyzing your company, because other people would have done it for them.
Now, you can see how important it can be for your. And how beneficial can it be for your business.
The types of social proof you can leverage
Have you ever tried to book an hotel, to find out that the room you were checking was the last one?
That is part of social proof.
Have you ever noticed a website using a celebrity to sponsor their products? That is social proof.
Social proof can show up under various shapes. In this paragraph we will see the most popular models of social proof that brands and companies are using online.
#1 Endorsement of experts
When you want to buy a new phone you don’t limit yourself to watch the reviews of other people, but you look for experts. You are investing in a fundamental tool for your life. You want an expert to give you his/her opinion about the memory, the megapixels of the camera, the power and much more.
When an expert endorse a product, users consider that product a good investment.
#2 Celebrity and Influencer Approval
Another aspect that can help you boost your sales, is using the support of celebrities and influencer. Yet, it can be a tricky question.
In fact, people know that you can partner up with these figures to promote your products. The only way to get real benefit out of it, is by creating authentic content.
If you want to know more about influencer marketing and how to do it right, you can read our article.
There is nothing better to earn the trust of users, than showing what other users think and say about you. This is why reviews are so powerful when it comes to social proof.
Customers trust other customers and want to know how they feel about your products before buying. In fact, they look for online review before completing the order.
If you want to convert users, show the reviews of your previous customers to them. In this way, you will be able to make them trust you and your services or products.
Similar to reviews are user generated content. They can be used to promote your business because they are spontaneous content. They can be images, videos or any other kind of content created and shared voluntarily by customers. Read more about this strategic sales booster in our previous article.
#4 Wisdom of the crowds
You can also call it proof of demand. It’s the strategy where you use numbers and data to make people buy. It’s what happens with the restaurant full of people vs the empty one. You think that the mass is smarter and chooses the best option.
How does it work for your business?
It’s pretty simple, you only need to showcase the number of your users or previous customers.
How many people bought your product?
How many satisfied customers do you have?
How many countries do you ship to?
These can all be useful information for your users. They can help them choose to buy from you. In fact, if they see that a huge number of people bought from you, they will want to do it too. It’s how social proof works, they would never want to miss out.
Other than using the number of products bought, you can showcase the number of products available. In this way you will be able to trigger scarcity, making users more likely to buy.
#5 Earned media
Has your business been mentioned by some authorities? If it did, you can use that to promote the trust of your brand.
It’s what we did on our website. Since newspaper like Nasdaq and Forbes talked about uDroppy, we showcased it on our homepage.
#6 Cases studies and clients
If you offer a service, you can talk about your cases studies. What have you done to improve the results of a client? How did they use your service to make their life easier?
These are all examples of how you can use cases studies to prompt users to choose you.
Look at this example from a B2B marketing service provider. As you can see, they showcase their clients, among which you can find popular names. This help them gain authority in the market and make other business trust them.
#7 Awards and certifications
Want to make visitors trust you? Want them to buy from you? Showcase your awards and certifications.
If you won any of these prizes you can put them on show. They prove your authority and reliability in your field.
An example? The certificate of excellence from TripAdvisors that restaurants and ice-cream parlors show near the entrance.
#8 Social media
It’s undeniable, social media has a huge impact over every business. They are the trend of the moment and you need to use them in the right way if you want to survive. Social media are useful to implement your video marketing strategy. They are fundamental for influencer marketing. They are critical touch point to find your brand and your products. You can use them to make people subscribe to your newsletter and much more.
In other words, you cannot avoid the use of social network for your marketing strategy. This includes social proof. The number of your followers, the level of engagement, and the social share of your content (e.g. blog articles) are important. They can influence the behavior of your users.
Where to use social proof
We have seen that you can show social proof in many different ways. Now, it’s time to understand where you should display social proof.
#1 The website
If you have an e-commerce business, your website is the most important place where to display social proof.
First, you have to create a website with the right copy. Include in your content numbers of clients and products sold. Talk about the satisfaction of your customers. Show how many people subscribed to your newsletter. Everything will help you improve conversions.
Another way is to the reviews from your customers. You can choose to place them on your product page or to create an ad-hoc page dedicated to all the reviews you received.
Not only you will have to display them, but also to prompt your customer to leave reviews.
Try to stimulate conversations with them and to ask them to add also an image.
Finally, you can use UGC (user generated content). In this way you will help people understand how they can use your product and how other customers are enjoying it.
#2 The emails
Email marketing is a powerful strategy to help you turn users into loyal customers. It’s the best channel to educate users to your product and to help you create an authoritative image.
In fact, email marketing can help you make your clients not only happy, but more likely to come and buy again.
By using social proof in your emails you can double the effect of these two strategies.
#3 The Ads
If you do advertising with PPC (Pay-per-click) campaigns, you can use social proof to improve your results.
This is what happens with Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and Promoted Pins. Social proof will raise the engagement of your post, making it more visible. In this way you will invest your money in advertising, seeing real results.
#4 The social media
Researches show that customers find new products on social media, today. This is why, your social media profiles are the right places to display social proof.
In fact, here you will be able to engage users, converting them into customers. Not only this, but you will grow your brand awareness, your reliability and the loyalty of your customers.
First by using the UGC. Second by asking users to share your posts and tag friends under your pictures. Third, by improving engagement and establish conversations with users. Finally, by using stories to create polls to stimulate users to show their preferences.
Want a further way to improve your conversion by using social proof on social media?
Pin the most relevant and popular post in your profile. You can do it on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
When and how you should use social proof
Social proof can improve your conversions and sales. It’s a powerful tool that still works for business, but is it always necessary?
Tests and researches show that social proof can be beneficial, but can also damage your business.
For example, if you have low social shares, you should never show them to other visitors. No social proof is better than low social proof.
In fact, if people see you have only four clients they would never be likely to buy from you.
This means that you should think carefully when to use social proof.
Another key element when it comes to social proof is testing. Whether you have a Shopify store or you work with landing pages (e.g. Instapage), you have to test where and which kind of social proof performs better.
Let’s make an example.
You can either choose to use reviews with name only, or with name, role and a picture. The second option, usually, converts the most. This is because it seems more authentic and trustworthy to people.
There is no rule of thumb and no magic formula. You have to test different models, placement and variations to find what works best for your business and your clients.
Remember, thought, that if you use trust icons (or earned media), you should only mention the ones that your audience can recognize.
Moreover, if you are working with reviews, remember that social proof will be worthy and successful only if you have at least 3/5 stars scores.
If you want to raise conversions and sales, social proof is the way to go. In a market that is increasingly complex and where acquisition costs keep rising, you have to find alternatives for your marketing strategies.
Social proof is cost-effective and can help you acquire new customers easily.
The best way to use this powerful tool is to test the placement and the different types of social proof you can take advantage of. In this way you will assure your business a higher brand awareness, conversions and revenues.
If you want to get positive reviews, you will have to give your clients quality products. With uDroppy you can have them at the best price with the fastest shipping.
Thanks to our platform, selling products it’s easier than ever, because with only a few clicks you can import products and fulfill orders. We will take care of all the complex operations of e-commerce, thinking about sourcing, shipping, delivery, customs and much more.
If you are ready to take the challenge and make your job easier and more efficient, you need uDroppy.
We are always at the forefront, to give you all the information and resources you need to become a top player.
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