Marketing is all about people. More specifically, it’s about what people want and how you can convince them to purchase what they want, specifically from you.
So as a marketing expert, you need to understand people.
From knowing how people think and act to what makes them attracted or repulsed by something, you’ll understand what your potential customers are like. Only then will you be able to successfully market and sell your products or services to any potential customer.
But in order to know how people function, you will need the help of either experience or psychology. Ideally, you should have both on your side.
If you don’t have a lot of experience, then you must familiarize yourself with the concepts of marketing psychology and subsequently, social proof, because this is what’s going to take your marketing campaigns to the next level.
What Is Marketing Psychology?
Definition: Marketing psychology is the usage of certain psychological concepts, principles, and strategies in marketing and sales.
You don’t have to be a certified psychologist to use psychology in marketing. All you need is to get informed regarding a few psychological principles that might help you understand your customers better and improve marketing skills.
In fact, it’s likely that most marketers have used psychology at least once in their campaigns without even knowing it.
Either by running an emotional campaign or by introducing uncertainty and doubt into their marketing content, seasoned marketers have known what strings to pull to make customers attracted to their products or services.
A few distinctive examples of marketing psychology are:
- Information-Gap Marketing
- Loss Aversion Marketing
- Social Proof
Today, we are going to tackle the social proof marketing strategy and show you how you can use it to your advantage. Let’s start with the basics:
What Is Social Proof?
Social proof is a marketing strategy that uses normative social influence to influence other people with the scope of leading them to conformity.
In other words, people will copy what they see in order to conform to a situation or a standard or to be accepted by the group.
Let’s say it’s your first time at the theater. You don’t know when you should clap for a scene or when you should leave for a bathroom break, so you just follow the crowd in the hopes that you will not stand out.
You clap when everybody starts clapping and you get up to leave when everybody else gets up. By observing the crowd and emulating what other people are doing, you are ensuring that you don’t set yourself apart.
Now, how does this work in marketing?
Well, it’s simple. When buying, people will always look at reviews, testimonials, and recommendations to ensure that they are doing the right thing. This is why companies are so keen on people leaving behind reviews and testimonials. Let’s take an example:
You want to buy a pair of headphones. You don’t know anything about headphones, but you know you want them to be wireless and to have good sound quality.
The first thing you’re going to do is go to Amazon, or any big eCommerce platform, and look up some wireless headphones. You will probably see hundreds of headphones, but you narrow down your selection to three options:
- one pair that has a score of 4.2 out of 5, but has 500+ reviews
- one pair that has a score of 4.8 out of 5, but has under 50 review
- one pair that has a score of 5 out of 5, but has 1 review
Now, you will be most tempted by the pair of headphones that has over 500 reviews, purely because it has so many people talking about it. It is up to you to read those reviews and the product description and see if the headphones are truly worth the purchase.
Why Is Social Proof so Powerful?
Let’s just think about it. Personally, how many products or services do you purchase without checking at least one review?
Probably not that many. And it’s only natural for people to check out a product before purchasing it.
Studies show that 82% of American consumers ask for recommendations from family and friends before buying something online.
So social proof is vital for the success of a business.
Types of Social Proof
Social proof can be found essentially everywhere. The most common types of social proof that you should be mindful of are:
- Product/Service reviews — these reviews can be left on the product page of your website, on an eCommerce partnering website, or on Google Business Profile. They are generally left by the people who have purchased your products or services.
- Testimonials — these generally appear on your website and they come from prized customers that have tested your product and service and have insightful feedback to give.
- Case studies — these are provided by businesses to show previous projects that have been successfully completed.
- Social media posts — these are posts on diverse social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) that will offer short or extensive reviews about a product or a service. Generally, the review will include pictures and have a specific hashtag (#productreview) or use your company’s hashtag (a good example is #SocialBee)
- Influencers or professional reviewers — these are people that make reviews of products or services for a living. They will test a product and share their opinion either through a social media post (for example a live or a reel on Instagram), a YouTube video, or a TikTok.
- Referrals — these can come from friends, family, or coworkers. These recommendations come by word of mouth, which is still an important way of spreading the news about your business.
These are just a few types of social proof. In truth, anything that talks in a critical manner and recommends a product can be used as social proof. A few unconventional options would be Quora questions, Reddit threads, or Tumblr posts.
5 Ways to Use Social Proof in Your Marketing
Having reviews of your business, products, or services, is in itself a great thing to have. But if you know how to use that social proof in your marketing campaigns, then you will have a better chance at convincing your customers to buy what you’re selling.
Here are five smart ways to use social proof in your following marketing campaigns:
1. Post Testimonials on Social Media
Testimonials and reviews don’t have to stay on your website or on Google Business Profile. You can definitely take them and post them either on your feed or share them in your stories.
You can do this manually, but you can also use a social media automation tool like SocialBee. Not only will it be easier and less time-consuming, but you will also be able to post your testimonials on different social media outlets at the same time.
But that doesn’t even scratch the surface when it comes to the multitude of features that SocialBee has. You will be able to customize the copies and the images to fit each platform in part, get some insightful analytics, create hashtag collections, and so much more.
A great idea would be to create a marketing campaign where you come up with a special hashtag and use it when posting reviews about your products or services.
|Pro Tip: If you choose SocialBee as your go-to social media management tool, you’ll be able to share content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Business Profile, TikTok, and YouTube from one place, saving at least 8 hours per week.|
2. Work with Influencers and Brand Ambassadors
By using influencers and brand ambassadors, you will be able to gain a lot of clout online. You can just reach out to these influencers and either offer them free products or services for their public review or even offer them a sponsorship.
This is a perfect opportunity if you don’t have a big following online. By working with influencers and brand ambassadors, you will have access to their following. This increases your chances of getting both followers and customers.
The only thing you should be careful of is the influencers you partner with. These influencers and brand ambassadors will be directly associated with your brand, so you need to do extensive research before you reach out to them.
Make sure that they are credible and that they are aligned with your brand’s values.
3. Ask Experts to Review and Post About Your Product
If you know some experts in your field, then you can ask them to test our product and give you a review.
You can even invite them on your social media platforms and get them to talk about your brand or you can have specialized discussions based on your field.
There are also specialized review blogs that have the sole role of posting reviews or compare certain products or services. You can also try to get some of those bloggers to write about your product and then share the blog post.
4. Reward and Respond to Reviews, Testimonials, and Mentions
If you can, make sure you answer the reviews left behind by your customers. No matter if it’s a positive or a negative review, you should always stay courteous and respectful.
This will show your audience that:
- You care about their opinions
- You’re thankful to have their opinions
- You want to improve your services and products
- You have excellent customer service skills
But we know that people are not always very keen on spending time to write out reviews, so you can always try to incentivize them by offering them free shipping at the next purchase, a 10% discount, or a quick shout-out in one of your own posts.
5. Mention The Size of Your Following and Customer Base
Whenever you’re creating promotional copies, either for social media or for your website, you should use the power of numbers to your advantage.
For example, you can mention:
- How many countries have access to your products through shipping (we ship in over 15 countries)
- How many satisfied customers you have (we have over 1000 happy customers)
- How many social media followers you have (we reached 10k followers on Instagram)
You can casually mention these things in your promotional messages or you can inform your audience of these small or big milestones that you have reached. That way, your audience will feel included and it will realize that you are a growing and trustworthy company.
Social proof is one of the best psychological strategies that you can use in your marketing campaign. You can gain the trust of potential customers and positively influence them to purchase your products.
The most important step in this whole process is to get the reviews and testimonials. From there on, you can experiment and see how you can integrate social proofing more and more into your campaigns.