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What is the social proof effect? How does it help your business? These would be the questions for which you would be seeking answers and we are ready to provide. The social proof effect in e-commerce is when your reach or the number of followers influences any future buyer behavior. This can be used in various ways to improve your engagement with the target audience.
What Is Social Proof?
The social proof effect is a concept used in marketing that describes the tendency of people to follow and take cues from certain others and their actions. When we see others taking a certain route, buying a particular product, or making some other decision it can have an influence on our own decisions. It has been widely studied by social psychologists and has been consistently documented as a powerful phenomenon across multiple domains and cultures.
What Are the Types of Social Proof?
Social proofs are classified into different types based on the circumstances in which they are used. We understand that social proof is an effective method of persuasion when we know the types. The main types are listed below.
This is where a celebrity endorses a product, service, or other types of recommendation for financial gain.
This can be done by showing the endorsement of people who have used your product.
Collective Social Proof
It is where a large group of people is shown to support something.
This is where celebrities or other well-known individuals speak out against something that has become popular, e.g., celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s campaign against junk food.
Celebrities Taking Action
This is where celebrities take some kind of direct action to show their support for something, e.g., the Ice Bucket Challenge.
This is when celebrities report something they have seen without giving a recommendation one way or another, e.g., reporting on wars in the third world.
People look at online reviews on sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, or similar websites. Others may turn to online review forums on popular e-commerce sites to ascertain the best place to buy a certain product from.
Ask For Them
Provide reviews together with testimonials that show social proof. Provide positive feedback to small businesses on the same platform as larger companies. This will encourage smaller companies to do well and they are likely to return the favor by offering positive reviews for your business too. It can be about any business or brand you work with, whether it’s a plumber, restaurant, business service, or product.
Add an Incentive
This works well if you are looking to get your business consistent good reviews online. By offering an incentive, people will be more inclined to leave a good review. It is not only common sense but it has also been proven to work.
Give your customers a heads-up about asking for reviews. Reminders are important. It can be done in one email where you ask for them to review the business, or it can be part of your customer relationship management software.
Address Negative Feedback
Addressing negative feedback through social proof does not mean that you should put down the customer, but it helps deflect any negative attention your business may get. Point out that there are other people who have had a great experience with your brand.
Influencers are people who have a big following on different social media platforms. They can be celebrities, companies, or someone with so many followers that they are considered an influencer. Influencers are great for brand awareness and promotion of brands/products.
Third Party Videos
Third-party video testimonials are great for social proof. This is especially true if you have a lot of unfavorable reviews online because it will help to counter them with varied opinions.
This includes endorsements from happy customers and can be done in a variety of forms. It can be in writing, video, or even phone call. It is important that they are genuine.
Social Media Engagement
Reviews are becoming increasingly important for consumers when it comes to buying decisions. A recent survey found that three in four consumers now trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. This is especially true if the consumer has little brand knowledge or experience with a brand. Social proof effects can be used across all business functions to improve marketing, communication, and customer service.
This is when people talk about your business/brand, e.g., using the hashtag #BrandName on Social Media platforms. This is great for brand awareness and building trust in your brand. It’s also a great way to show social proof and it’s completely free.
This is when user-generated content is created and shared online. It includes social proof and can be used as part of a business’s marketing activities, such as the Ice Bucket Challenge
Referral marketing is a marketing strategy that is used to gain new customers by encouraging existing customers to refer prospects. In order for it to work, you must have a satisfied customer base and loyal customers who advocate your brand.
Media mentions are when your brand is featured in the media, whether it’s online or offline. This includes all types of media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. It is important that you have a high-quality image so you will have good social proof to show people.
This is when you use social proof to create a sense of urgency around your brand. An example is if you offer limited products or services and people want to get their hands on them before anyone else. This creates a lot of hype and excitement about the product/service, which will help generate conversion rates.
Why Does Social Proof Work So Well for Ecommerce Marketing?
Social proof works so well for e-commerce marketing because it is about building trust and showing credibility. Customers need to know that your business is legitimate before they will allow you to take their money. Social proof can be generated by having different types of third-party endorsements across social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
It also helps deflect any negative attention your business may get. If you are able to show that other people have had a great experience with your brand, you will be able to offset any criticism or complaints.
18 Ways to Boost Your Results with Social Proof
Now we have an understanding of what social proof is, here are 18 ways to improve your results.
Use feedback to get better results by using social proof.
#2 Peer Effect
People are more likely to follow the lead of people who look like them.
#3 Existing Customers
Ask your existing customers how your product helped them get their desired outcome.
Be transparent about why others might be reluctant about what you’re offering. By demonstrating that you understand the hesitation of others, you get your customers to see that you’re not just trying to sell them something.
#5 Positive Responses
You can use social proof by showing how other users responded to a situation in a positive light.
Substitute yourself with someone more reputable when making an appeal via email or on a landing page. If it’s hard to substitute you with someone else, then give them a testimonial that offers social proof.
Use specific numbers in your copy when it comes to how many people have responded in a certain way and what the results were.
#8 Find Leaders
People follow leaders. Identify leaders in your market and build relationships with them so that they can promote your message.
You can get social proof by showing different people saying the same thing (quote bombing, testimonials).
#10 Make Them Feel Special
Appeal to self-image and make your customers feel special; give them reasons why they would be an ideal customer for your product.
#11 Guide Your Customers
Provide the steps to take and how they will help your customers achieve their goals. This gives customers the confidence to take action.
#12 Embrace the Uniqueness
Just because someone takes action doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. You have to acknowledge that people are unique individuals.
#13 Be Prepared
#14 Be Accurate
Be more accurate when using social proof. Don’t exaggerate your data.
Keep people updated on how your customers are doing with your product by using live testimonials or videos.
#16 Gain Trust
You can use social proof to help you gain trust by showing that some people have already trusted you by making a purchase.
#17 Show Your Results
If it’s not possible to provide exact numbers, show how you got your results.
If possible, tie in social proof to overcome objections. For example, if the objection is that the price of your product is higher than something else on the market, then provide evidence that shows other customers are happy with what they pay for your product.
There are many types of social proof that a business can benefit from. This article discussed them as well as ways to boost your results with social proof. We hope that this has given you knowledge on how to improve your marketing strategy with social proof.