Do you want to take your marketing game to the next level? Then it might be time to delve deeper into social proof marketing.
More than 61% of buyers check online reviews before they make a purchase. What people actually say about a product is what makes the difference.
If we sparked your interest, keep on reading! This article will teach you how to use social proof to increase conversions for your online store, build trust with your audience, and push your business to new heights.
Get the guide for creating a social media marketing plan for your business.
What Is Social Proof?
In marketing, social proof refers to the use of other people’s deeds or views to persuade potential clients. It’s a tactic used by companies to demonstrate that other people are purchasing their goods or services, or that other customers are pleased with their purchases.
Social proof might include details like client testimonials, the volume of social media followers a brand has, press mentions or honors a business has received. The idea is that if other people are doing something, it must be good and that can encourage more people to do the same thing.
You can’t help but notice when you scroll through TikTok that almost every other video involves someone gushing about the newest Revlon lipsticks. The strong, brilliant shades, the supple, creamy texture, and the long-lasting wear are all displayed in them.
You start becoming interested as more and more people talk about these lipsticks. You start to see why everyone is so enthusiastic about them, and you start to desire them as well. You start to see comments from other people who have also been persuaded by the excitement and opted to try Revlon lipsticks.
Because of the positive reviews and experiences that other people have shared, you believe the correct behavior is to test the product. You now find the Revlon lipsticks to be more alluring because of the trust and trustworthiness that have been established by the numerous favorable reviews and testimonials. All this is simply informational social influence.
This is the perfect example of how social proof works.
Social Proof Marketing: Why Do You Need It?
Let’s face it, when potential customers see others using and endorsing a product, it can create a sense of trust and validation that can lead to increased sales and conversions. If so many people use your product, then why wouldn’t others jump on the bandwagon?
Positive social proof is a psychological phenomenon that has become an essential part of any marketing strategy. As consumers are constantly bombarded with advertisements every day – whether they are TV commercials, Facebook ads, or emails, integrating social proof in your marketing efforts can be a breath of fresh air.
These are some of the reasons why you should include social proof in your marketing strategy:
- Generate more brand trust
- Increase conversion rates
- Reach out to prospective customers through word of mouth
- Boost search engine optimization (SEO)
- Humanize your brand
1. Generate More Brand Trust
Social proof can be used as a tool to build trust and credibility for a brand by showcasing the experiences and opinions of satisfied customers.
Customer testimonials, for example, can assist in building trust by demonstrating that other people have had favorable experiences with your brand. This might answer potential clients’ questions or fears about the brand or its products/services.
When you see that others have had favorable experiences, it might give you a sense of social validation, making people more eager to try the brand themselves.
2. Increase Conversion Rates
After trust has been established based on an abundant supply of social proof, it’s time for brands to convert those leads into buyers.
If you take a look at Amazon’s interface, it is likely hard to find where they place their product images and review scores. But it is there; strategically– right under the add-to-cart button on the product pages, showing average customer reviews and star ratings. This helps consumers get informed about the quality of a product directly from other customers and make the right purchase decision.
3. Reach Out to Prospective Customers through Word of Mouth
Word of mouth marketing is a potent tactic that can be quite beneficial for your business. It is based on actual people’s suggestions and experiences, which can be quite persuasive when it comes to making selections about what to buy.
By utilizing word-of-mouth marketing, you will connect with potential clients and provide them a genuine and relevant introduction to your goods or services.
It’s crucial to remember that word-of-mouth marketing may be a gradual process; it won’t always be successful right away, but it can be a very effective long-term tactic.
Customers should be encouraged to submit reviews and tell their family and friends about their positive experiences. You can use word-of-mouth marketing to increase traffic and conversions to your online business by developing a solid reputation.
4. Boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts can profit substantially from social proof marketing by boosting the number of inbound links to your website. Increased online sharing and referrals of your goods and services will inevitably bring more backlinks to your website.
Search engines use these inbound links as a vote of confidence, indicating that your website is reliable. This can raise the visibility and positioning of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs), which will eventually increase organic traffic to it.
5. Humanize Your Brand
Humanizing your brand means making it more relatable and approachable to your target audience. And, thankfully, social proof is a type of marketing that lets your customers talk for you.
You can humanize your brand and make it more approachable to your potential customers by showcasing actual experiences and client feedback. As they can see that actual individuals have had excellent experiences with your goods or services, this may assist to forge better ties with future clients.
How Do I Measure the Effectiveness of My Social Proof Marketing Efforts?
You may assess the success of your social proof marketing activities in a variety of ways. Here’s how to do it:
- Analyze consumer feedback: Gather comments from clients who have been swayed by social evidence, such as endorsements or reviews, and utilize these comments to refine your strategies.
- Monitor brand mentions: Utilize a social listening tool to watch brand mentions and determine whether positive sentiment and reach have increased as a result of the use of social proof marketing strategies.
- Measure engagement: Use social media analytics tools like SocialBee to track engagement levels on posts that include social proof. Pay close attention to social media metrics, such as likes, shares, and comments.
You can use the SocialBee engagement analytics to figure out when and how your followers interact with your content.
Keep Track of Your Social Media Analytics with SocialBee!
7 Best Ways to Incorporate Social Proof Into Your Social Media Marketing
There are many types of social proof; each is effective in its own way. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s important to know what your target audience likes before you begin creating content related to the specific tactics.
These are some tips and tricks on how to leverage social proof:
- Showcase customer reviews
- Make use of user-generated content
- Leverage influencer marketing
- Incorporate case studies
- Promote your awards and accomplishments
- Showcase customers’ milestones
- Collaborate with industry experts and professionals
1. Showcase Customer Reviews
A potential customer will find reviews helpful because they are personal recommendations written by people like them, who have no incentive to misrepresent their experiences with a product or service.
Therefore, if you receive positive feedback, you should totally incorporate it in your next Facebook or Instagram post.
Here are some actionable tips on how to turn customer reviews into social media content:
- Share customer testimonials: Share positive customer reviews and testimonials on your social media sites to demonstrate your customers’ delight and foster confidence among prospective clients.
- Use quotes and customer’s imagery: To make reviews more shareable and engaging on social media, highlight certain phrases from reviews and combine them with appealing images generated by your customers.
This is a great example of showcasing customer feedback on a social media platform:
2. Make Use of User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content is a form of social proof that refers to anything created by users/customers of a brand on social media platforms or anywhere else on the internet (e.g. blog reviews, videos shared on YouTube, Google reviews, etc.).
By using relevant user-generated content featuring your brand’s products, you can show your target audience why other customers love your products and services.
Many eCommerce businesses use hashtags related to their business, products, or deals, so they can track social media posts from users talking about them with the help of social media monitoring tools.
If you want to showcase social proof, let’s take a look at the following example: GoPro encourages its user base to upload photos/videos of existing customers using their action cameras on various social networks with the #GoPro branded hashtag; then the company picks the best ones to share on their Instagram every week as featured UGC content.
3. Leverage Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing strategy where brands partner with influencers to promote their products/services on their website, blog, and social media platforms. It can be in the form of social media videos, images, or even written endorsements.
The goal is simple: reach a larger target audience who will purchase the same product. Influencer marketing can add credibility to your brand by leveraging the trust that influential figures have already built with their audience. This can make it more likely that their followers will be interested in and receptive to your product if it has received an influencer or celebrity endoresement.
A quick word about selecting the right type of influencers – make sure they carry similar values as yours and are genuinely interested in your brand before you make the deal. That’s what makes all the difference.
Not rigorously selecting your social media influencers can end up in backlashes.
4. Incorporate Case Studies
Social proof is not always about customer reviews, testimonials, user-generated content, or influencer marketing. It can also take the form of case studies that feature customer success stories.
Even though they are lengthier and require some time to develop; a strong case study creates a connection with the reader by showing them what’s possible if they decide to go with you instead of competing companies in their industry that provide similar products/services.
Case studies are more helpful than other types of social proof like reviews or testimonials because it gives brands the opportunity to share a lot more details about their products, use cases, success stories, and future plans if necessary– thus building extra trust with future customers that are trying to decide which product/service is better for them.
The elements of a case study typically include:
- Problem or challenge: This part of the case study is dedicated to describing the challenges the customer faced before using a certian product or service.
- Solution: This explains the solution that was employed to deal with the issue or challenge.
- Results: The exact outcomes that were obtained by utilizing the good or service are fully described in this section. Metrics like higher income, increased productivity, or decreased expenses might be a potential result.
- Conclusion: This part emphasizes the advantages of the good or service and summarizes the main lessons learned from the case study.
- Testimonials or quotes from clients or customers: This section includes feedback or testimonials from clients or customers to provide additional credibility and social proof.
- Supporting data, statistics, or images: Images or other visual aids that might help to demonstrate the findings are also included in this part, along with extra data or statistics to back up the case study’s assertions.
5. Promote Your Awards and Accomplishments
No matter what industry you’re in, there’s always an award show taking place at some point in time.
Your business can nominate for awards and recognition, including “best product design” or “most ethical company”, near the annual submission deadline. Juries then evaluate and select the top brands based on criteria such as technical expertise, customer support, company culture, performance metrics, brand recognition, etc.
Take a look at how Mailbird showcased their G2 badge:
It’s hard to beat social proof when authorities recognize your brand in its industry as one of the top performers.
6. Showcase Customers’ Milestones
Consumers love to see that other customers are using and loving your products/services just as much as you do. This goes a long way in building loyalty, which leads to even more sales down the road. One of the best ways to demonstrate this is by showcasing milestones that your business has achieved.
Milestones can be anything from reaching one million customers or having sold an incredible amount of units because it demonstrates that a large group of people use and enjoy your products and that your business is growing due to quality and customer satisfaction.
For example, if your business has reached one million customers, it indicates that many people have decided to purchase from your and have had a pleasant experience. For potential clients who might be on the fence about buying, this might be a strong selling factor.
7. Collaborate with Industry Experts and Professionals
When it comes to social proof, businesses also need to highlight any partnerships that they have with other organizations or individuals with more knowledge, which can be a big influence on prospects. The key here is to show that your brand can be seen as an authoritative resource by working with other experts.
Take a look at Serpstat, which regularly does an industry expert collaboration every week through its weekly webinar.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What Is Social Proof Marketing?
Social proof marketing is a strategy used by brands to improve how prospective consumers view their goods and services, set themselves apart from rivals, and establish credibility in their field.
The effectiveness of a company’s product or service will be demonstrated by the positive experiences consumers have had with it through customer reviews, ratings, recommendations, endorsements, and other kinds of social proof.
2. How Does Social Proof Marketing Work?
Social proof marketing works by presenting the actions and opinions of other people, whether they are customers, influencers, or potential customers. Including this method in your marketing plan can help you build credibility and trust, and it can also work as social evidence that will persuade them to buy your goods or services.
3. What Are Some Examples of Social Proof Marketing?
These are some examples of how to use social proof marketing:
- Reviews and testimonials: This popular type of social proof can be utilized to highlight the positive experiences of previous clients. This will be accomplished by adding a section to your website dedicated to positive comments from current customers or by incorporating client feedback from independent websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor.
- Leveraging influencers: Influencer marketing is a type of social proof marketing that entails teaming up with people who have huge social media followings to promote your goods or services. This can be accomplished by delivering products for free to influencers you want to review and endorse your brand, or by collaborating with them to generate sponsored content.
- Promoting total sales: Displaying sales figures can be effective social proof since it demonstrates how popular the product is and will persuade potential buyers to acquire it.
- User-generated content: Encourage consumers to produce and share content about your items, whether it takes the form of a written review, a video, or a photo. Due to the fact that it demonstrates that actual people are using and appreciating your items, this type of social proof can be quite effective.
- Awards and qualifications: Display badges, awards, and certifications on your website to highlight your company’s accomplishments. This will aid in gaining the credibility and confidence of potential clients.
- Trust badges: To demonstrate that your company has been reviewed and authorized by a respected organization, display trust badges from well-known third-party suppliers on your website.
4. What Is the Best Type of Social Proof?
Customer testimonials or reviews are frequently seen to be the best form of social proof in online marketing. This is so that the customer’s experience with the product or service can be expressed clearly and personally.
A positive review can be used to highlight the advantages and worth of a product or service from the perspective of a genuine consumer, which can be more effective and persuasive than a company’s own marketing materials and more trustworthy than celebrity social proof.
Additionally, you may find customer testimonials on review sites like Google, Yelp, and Amazon, which are reliable external sources that can aid in establishing confidence with new clients.
It’s Time to Use Social Proof Marketing For Your Own Business!
It’s human nature: If you see other people using or enjoying something, chances are you’ll also give it a try. This is how effective social proof is for your business and your overall digital marketing strategy.
Utilizing the power of social proof in your digital marketing strategy can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your content and engagement. Make sure to share your social proof regularly on social media. Use a scheduling tool like SocialBee to plan your social proof content ahead of time with utmost ease.
Ready to create you next social proof social media post? Start your 14-day free trial now!
Schedule Your Social Proof Posts on Social Media with SocialBee!
About the author: Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).