What Is Social Proof
Why Social Proof Works
- Uncertainty – When looking to buy a product, we face so many choices. This makes choosing the right product difficult. The uncertainty this creates pushes people to seek recommendations from others. That’s why people read an average of 7 reviews before making purchasing a product.
- Similarity – People try to copy the behavior of those who are like them. It’s the same reason marketing certain cosmetic products can be gender-specific (e.g. men’s soap or face cream).
- Attractiveness – People listen to and copy the behavior of people who are attractive. You’ve probably noticed that advertisements often feature people who are above-average in attractiveness.
- Desirability – People are likely to engage based on how desirable a person’s qualities are. This is why fit people are promoting supplements.
Here are 6 types of social proof:
#1 Expert Recommendation
#2 Celebrity Endorsement
Here are some qualities that you should look for when hiring a brand ambassador:
- Relevant – Your brand ambassador needs to have an audience that is like your own.
- Passionate – Look for influencers that will be passionate about your brand’s message.
- Professional – Brand ambassadors need to understand the importance of their role.
#3 User-Generated Content
- Email your customers – Ask customers to share their opinion on your product.
- Make the reviewing process simple – Your customers want an easy way to quickly leave reviews.
- Offer discounts – Give discounts in exchange for a review to entice your customers.
#4 Real-Time Proof
- Show sales in real-time – You can use tools such as Sales Pop to show recent purchases on your website. Seeing other people buy a product will make your visitors feel more comfortable buying it themselves.
- Show how many products you’ve sold – Display the number of sold products on each product page. You can also combine this with showing the number of products left in stock to create a sense of scarcity.
- Display social shares on product pages – Display the total number of social shares.
#5 Friends’ Approval
- Happy customers – You need happy customers. If your customers aren’t satisfied, why would they recommend you to their friends?
- Meaningful incentives – You need to offer meaningful incentives. Not just for your customers, but also their friends. If your business gets repeat purchases (e.g. you sell clothing or makeup), most of your customers will be happy about getting a discount for each friend they refer. On the other hand, if you sell products that people usually buy once (e.g. a mattress or a TV), you might want to opt for offering a cash incentive.
- Program promotion – A referral program can’t be successful if you don’t promote it. Create a dedicated page on your website for your referral program. Next, email your customers about it and post about it on social. Try to get as many people as possible take part. Ask for referrals directly – while 83% of customers are willing to provide referrals, only 29% of them do so.
What type of social proof do you use?