What is social proof?

As human beings, we often want to be reassured that the decision we are making is the right one. This can be used as a powerful marketing tool; and that is exactly what the concept of social proof is based on.

Basically your goal with social proof is to show potential customers that other people are buying your products or services and so should they. Done right, it can be a great conversions and sales booster. It builds trust and helps reassure the consumer they are making a good purchase.

Social proof can happen organically, simply because consumers feel like sharing their opinion about the product or service. But there are also several techniques that a brand can adopt to enhance this tool’s benefits. Keep on reading. 😉

How can I build my brand’s social proof?

  • Include share counters in your products’ pages. Unless most counters show zeros… then it’s probably not a good idea to keep them visible. One way to overcome this is by showing these counters only when they have more than x shares. Several plugins have this option: Social Walfare and Monarch are two examples.

  • Use some kind of review system in your website. I mean, who hasn’t checked customer reviews before buying something? Here are 5 plugins WordPress plugins that allow you to do this.

  • Publish consumer testimonials. A page dedicated to them, posts on social media, testimonials spread around the website (in pages where it makes sense, of course): there are plenty of options. The fact that these are words written by people like you and me, and not by brands, makes them that much more reliable.

  • Use umbers and statistics. “Over 17 000 consumers”, “18 850 downloads!”, “Viewed by over 7 800 people”, “Over 14 500 subscribers!”. Convincing, right? After all, nothing is more objective than a number.

  • Use the endorsement of a celebrity and opinion leader. The opinion of an expert in your industry or of someone relevant to your target will be seen as legitimate. But remember, you have to know how to choose this “representative”. Or you might end up in the same situation as Popchips and their ad featuring Ashton Kutcher.

  • Add trust seals to your website. Blue Fountain Media did it and they saw their conversions increase by 42%. Pretty good, right?

Remember, people want to be part of something bigger. So, if you’re not already doing it, include some form of social proof in your online strategy and… enjoy the results!