How Social Proof Can Drive Sales for Your Business
Humans essentially look for social acceptance and have fear of missing out. Therefore, we look for social proof to fit in and follow the bandwagon.
This tactic works in marketing as it helps drive sales and gain new customers. This is evident by the fact that around 61 percent of customers first read online reviews before making their purchase.
In this article, we discuss how social proof helps to drive sales and how you can use it.
What is Social Proof?
Informational Social Proof reflects people copying the behavior and actions of others before taking a decision to emulate the behavior.
If you ever bought a product or service on someone’s recommendation that that is an example of social proof.
We listen to other people and follow their actions, taking their advice and recommendation.
Hence, it makes the products look more credible to buy.
If people are met with a situation where they do not know how to act then they will take clues and recommendations of people who have encountered that situation before.
Hence, you act in a way that others around that situation are acting.
This phenomenon works in marketing while making purchasing decisions.
If people encounter a product they do not know enough about, then they will search for recommendations, reviews and other media products like tutorials to make their buying decision.
You will see social proof everywhere especially for small online businesses.
Around 40 percent of people find online brands by getting recommendations from their social group.
It works on the basis of 4 principles that drive people to look for recommendations and social proof.
If there is an expert in an uncertain situation then others can follow their lead.
For instance, students look up to to the teacher.
People who like makeup can look for reviews of makeup artists to buy a new foundation.
Hence, those who are experts and are known to be more knowledgeable guide others’ behavior.
People follow suit, therefore if the majority number starts doing it, then the rest do too.
People look at where the majority is headed and if everyone is doing it then you feel left out.
Thus following a herd mentality.
Besides looking at the number, people also pay attention to how others react to a situation when they are still undecided.
Similarly, you are likely to side and follow those people who share similar views to yours.
Therefore, similarity and uncertainty also play a part in you following the herd.
Using these 4 principles, marketers can drive sales for their products and services.
Having experts and celebrities promote their brand, using user-generated content in the form of tutorials and advertising and certifications, using all these methods will increase your conversions.
Let’s find out more in detail below!
Using Social Proof for Sales
The types of social proof include:
- Users and Customer Reviews
- Wisdom of friends and crowd
Sharing Customer Reviews and Testimonials
If you have an online business, then either customers leave a review on a section like that in Facebook, or you can ask for them when they are making a purchase.
Reviews help to fill in the gap for users who are still contemplating buying from your business.
Reviews not only boost your confidence, help you to build better products but also attract potential customers.
Obviously using bad reviews will not help drive sales.
However, you can use it as constructive criticism to improve your work.
What can help is sharing good reviews.
Reviews are basically feedback from customers.
They help other users find out if your business is legitimate, reliable and the quality is up to the mark.
Sharing happy customer reviews will help new users identify:
- If you ship timely
- Whether the quality of your products is up to the mark
- That even if you are a new business you have made sales
- How your product photos are similar to that of customers
Similarly, good reviews for services detailing if customers were satisfied to persuade another user to avail it.
If your e-commerce website lacks a review section then you can install apps and plugins that can help people directly leave a review.
Posting this positive feedback helps you gain new customers especially if you are a new business.
One way of getting reviews is to send your products to social media influencers.
They can make tutorials with your products and describe the features and strengths in detail.
But what really helps your brand is the fact that they are an expert.
Experts such as social media influencers have the capability to influence the audience to make the buying decision.
They can increase your reach, bring new followers and customers by generating social proof.
First, find the influencers that go with your brand’s products and values.
After you have the right influencers, you can either hire them to make tutorials or give reviews.
They can also host live videos on your social media pages.
Furthermore, you can also arrange an event with the influencers so that people look at the expert and find your brand credible.
They can become brand ambassadors for your products giving it a human image and value.
Hence, this can attract their followers to visit your page too and check your products or services.
All in all, these experts will act as social proof to drive more sales for your business.
Showing Your Existing Customers and Awards
If you are working with some reputable customers then it is a good idea to show it to your audience.
If these big companies work with you then that increases your reliability.
So let your potential customers see if you have worked with or are currently working with any companies that will increase your credibility.
Furthermore, they can check the work you have done for those companies to see if they should avail your products or services.
Also, do not hesitate to show your awards and accolades.
The badges representing if you have won an award should go right at the top of your webpage and your socials.
This will make consumers believe that you definitely have credibility and business legitimacy.
So, flaunt your award and accolades as they will not only bring you praise but also customers.
If you want to drive more sales, showcase your partnerships, work and achievements.
This brings us to…
Showing Numbers and Mentions
If your business has grown recently and reached a milestone then there’s no harm in sharing it.
It is a great achievement for you but in hindsight, it is also important for letting users know that these many people trust your brand.
Having thousands or millions of followers encourage people to follow in suit.
Thus, the wisdom of the crowd and of peers helps you to gain more customers by looking at the sheer number of people who follow you or buy from you.
So do not hesitate to share whenever you have reached a higher number of customers, downloads, followers and users.
In fact, you can also share your anniversaries so that people know for how long you have been operating.
Make it an occasion to thank the people, your followers and customers who helped you reach this milestone.
The more relatable and considerate people find a brand, the more likely they are to recommend it to their peers.
Also, giving a small gift like a discount or giveaway for the occasion can also drive more sales.
Similar to sharing numbers, you should be sharing mentions.
If you receive one from an influencer, another brand, or the media then you should share it to let your users know.
You can simply share it by writing, “honored to be mentioned in..”
This gives your audience an idea of how other credible platforms consider your work.
These platforms also act as experts that are giving away social proof.
Getting Certification and Verification
In the social media world, in order to prove that you are authentic, a blue tick beside your brand’s name is enough.
However, not many know that you can get verified.
The blue tick instantly builds credibility.
Furthermore, it suggests that you are popular, influential or an authoritative figure to have it.
Usually, only popular brands get it but it is worth a try as once you have it, it is a great social proof.
It not only builds authority and credibility but in fact, you can gain access to other features limited to verified pages.
Another way to get credibility is to quickly reply to your followers.
Reply to them whenever they comment or message and that too quickly.
As long as you maintain a friendly relationship with your users, they are most likely to purchase your products.
Social Proof works incredibly to increase your sales, followers and viewers.
As long as you are able to provide proof that your business is authentic and reliable then you will see people purchasing your products.
You can use ratings and reviews on blog posts, industry expert social proof, social share from any social network, user reviews and celebrity endorses as a form of social proof.
Both Celebrity social proof and user social proof have case studies showing an increase in conversion rates.
This is a great tactic for attracting new customers that were previously unaware of your brand.