The Science Behind Social Proof
The dominant social force that drives our thinking and our actions is the unconscious search and need for social proof. ― Dragos Bratasanu
Social proof is the key to magnetic marketing. The power of social proof is evident everywhere in the digital world – from websites like Amazon relying on user reviews to Instagram beginning sponsored posts. Brands completely designed on social proof provide inspiration as well. Facebook, for instance, rose from being a small and unknown website used only by Harvard students in February 2004 to over 2.3 billion users as of March this year. This very power can be replicated on your website to increase conversion rates, drive sales, and generate leads.
Social proof classically defined as a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior. How does that transfer to the marketing world?
Every smart marketer today knows that social proof has power in immensely influencing the number of people who patronize your products as a result of the number of people engaging with it. The idea is that since there are so many people that want your product or services, then your offerings must be really good. The social proof theory today keeps on being a standout amongst the best methods for inducing customers to purchase an item. Enhancing items with slogans, for example, “9 out of 10 specialists suggest… ” or “the most well known… ,” and utilising testimonials fundamentally increase the odds of the item being purchased. In today’s article, we’ll share six types of social proof you can employ, along with brands and organisations excelling at it.
Experts Weighing In
This is the point at which a specialist in your industry prescribes your items or services or is related one way or the other with your brand. In addition, you could welcome experts as visitors for your online events, for example, Facebook Live video or Twitter chats discussions. Such coordinated efforts can enable you to take advantage of the specialists’ sure impact and offer your social media audience a chance to hear and learn from specialists in the business.
Example: On their Twitter chat dubbed #bufferchat, Buffer hosts somebody learned about social media, marketing, or working environment culture. They ask the guest a range of questions from their community to get their insights on the theme chosen for that week.
When a big name embraces and endorses your products, there’s a proven record of sales growth. Celebrities are also known to act as brand ambassadors for companies. Instagram recently introduced Sponsored Posts as part of making endorsements easy for influencers on their platform. Social media ambassadors give a blend of expert, celebrity, and user social proof, contingent upon the ambassadors you select. They could be industry specialists, social media influencers, or enthusiastic clients. A research in Nigeria published in the Journal of Mass Communication and Journalism in 2013 shows that celebrity-endorsed advert has a significant influence on people’s purchase intention.
Example: Trophy Larger in Nigeria has a record for investing heavily in sponsorship and celebrity endorsements. Recognising the impact of brand ambassadors through celebrities, they took the strategy a notch higher and signed on three new ambassadors (Falz, Joseph Yobo and Femi Adebayo) for the 2019 marketing year.
User Reviews and Testimonials
All of us have at some point been engaged by brands to write reviews to share experiences with their products or services. If you receive positive ratings on review sites or, shout-outs of your products or services on social media, you can share these on your social media profile so as to show others what users feel about your product.
Example: Slack gets huge amounts of love for their product on Twitter. To share this love and hopefully attract more people to their product, Slack created a Twitter account, @SlackLoveTweets, which is dedicated to retweets shout-outs from their clients. You could simply utilise your primary account, as well, if it’s appropriate for your organisation.
In layman terms, this is simply the number of followers you have on social platforms and the engagement you drive on your content. This translates to trust, popularity, and brand awareness.
Example: Help Scout incorporates the number of clients that use its product in their Twitter bio. This shows that many people are interested in Help Scout’s product, hence, affirming its trustworthiness and eventually impacting on the choice of potential customers.
The Wisdom Of Friends
This is when individuals see their friends, family, and acquaintances favour or approve your product or service. This happens when you have relentlessly demonstrated excellence in the service you provide which would have turned them to not just loyal customers, but those wanting their friends to benefit from your service.
Example: If you are a company or organisation in the education, health, advertising sectors, or you’re a restaurant or recruitment and professional services company, referral to friends from customers who have used your service can be very vital in increasing profit.
Certification in itself is a stamp of approval by a definitive figure in your industry. This shows that you are an expert and reliable professional in your industry that can be trusted.
Example: Getting verified and having the blue checkmark on social media influences what people think about your credibility.
While achieving marketing targets can seem to be highly based on technical expertise in using online tools in our world today, the psychological impact of referrals, testimonials, certifications and brand ambassadors in converting a potential client to becoming a loyal customer cannot be underestimated. Staying on top of digital trends has the means to accelerate your business potential and achieve your marketing goals.
The Digital Odyssey team can help you create a personalised online marketing campaign that effectively navigates the complex waters of the Internet. Our marketing agency can help you with further ideas of how to design world-class websites, seamless user journeys and digital marketing campaigns.
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