If we type Social Proof into Google search, we’ll find plenty of articles: “What It Is”, “18 Ways to Use It in Your Marketing” or even “Social Proof Is The New Marketing”. Well, last headline sounds really brave, but no, it’s not “new marketing”.
Ok, what is Social Proof?
Firstly, this conception was introduced to the world by psychologist and writer Robert Cialdini in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” (which, by the way, we would recommend reading to everyone. We’re not even talking about those who work in marketing and sales. It’s a necessity for them!).
To put it simply, this is the idea that consumers modify their behavior according to what other people are doing. Let’s say, it is a signal to a person to choose a certain behavior, way of thinking, product because others have already chosen it.
Experiments performed by psychologists show that under various circumstances, people systematically avoid being separated from the group by accepting its opinion.
How does the influence of group work?
Just why do we humans do this? Why as independent individuals do we refuse to make our own decisions and succumb to other people choices for us?
We appreciate individuality, personal freedom, but when we find ourselves at a crossroads, we look where others have gone, not just turn where we want to go.
Well, the answer is simple: we instinctively believe that others know better than us. Because “others” are already a group, and there are more people, experiences. That said, more = better.
In terms of the peculiarities of human behavior, we always rely on human evolution. A group of people has always been a stronger unit than an individual, so being with a community/tribe had an evolutionary advantage.
A person’s ability to interact with other individuals is one of the main things that has helped humanity develop and prosper. Just because it was more chances to survive! After all, each of us has the same goal.
Therefore, the desire to be part of a group has been passed down from generation to generation and this is still with us. The influence of group remains crucial in making decisions and choosing direction of our behavior, even if we don’t consciously think about it.
The importance of Social Proof of business in shaping consumer decisions
If you are developing your own product or you’re working with marketing, sales – you probably know this is great potential, which, if properly exploited, can increase sales and grow a business.
Be able to raise the group and you will get more and more new shopers. And of course, it will work even better than the agency that creates advertising campaigns for you.
Let’s take a look at the statistics:
- 53 percent. consumers mentioned that product reviews are one of the most important parts of quality online shopping (US);
- 78 percent. consumers trust the feedback left by other internet users in the same way they trust personal recommendations (US);
- 95% of consumers read reviews left by other shoppers before making a purchase decision.
Ok, how exactly to take advantage of Social Proof?
Well, you need to show your potential customer that many other consumers have already chosen your product and they are satisfied with it. People want to buy from brands they can trust.
Here are some methods to leverage the influence of group.
This is the most commonly used method. In order for your existing users’ feedback to be useful in bringing you the new users, there are important two factors.
Have as many reviews as possible (positive, of course); The savvy consumer will realize that a few reviews do not objectively reflect the situation! Or…It can be left by your friends or yourself.
Ask for feedback. Usually, only a few consumers leave feedback organically, and the most often – when they are dissatisfied (so they leave negative). After each successful purchase, find a way to ask your users to leave a positive feedback!
The number of followers on your company/product page is really important. Shoppers check the FB or Instagram pages of an unknown business. They’re insterested how many followers the page has, whether those followers respond to company content, discuss, and so on.
This clearly shows if the business has consumers that are interested in their products. So, be active and encourage your users to get involved!
Forums and Facebook groups
Does anyone there talk about your product? This factor is the most important of all we have mentioned here. It is not controlled by the company, so in the eyes of the user, this way is the most reliable.
Social Proof apps
There are plenty of sales notification tools on the market. One of them – blackfomo. It is one of the most powerful Social Proof tools for business websites. With it, you can automate Social Proof by showing real-time customer activity notifications on your website in the form of an eye-catching, unobtrusive popup.
You can show how many people bought your product, how many users subscribed to your page.
Endorsements from celebrities & influencers
Consumers trust earned media and public opinion more than brands themselves. So it makes sense that they’d trust the word of people with influence as well.
It’s important to keep in mind to find the right match. That means knowing your audience.
If possible, take excerpts from media mentions and paste them on your website to establish authority.
Offer special benefits to your existing customers so that they can recommend you to their friends.
Unethical social proof – business solutions in the eyes of consumers
So, what suspicious features should you pay attention to?
This method is so easy to figure out by looking at user engagement in the content that the company is published (quality of comments). If it is low, it is likely that the audience is formed by fake methods.
Reviews are a huge topic…To put it simply, they can be fake, and they happen! As we mentioned earlier, nothing is more important than its quantity. Remember, several thousand positive reviews communicate better than just a few.
See you soon,
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