How to Use Social Proof in Marketing
Brands spend huge amounts of money and effort on creating expert content. However, nothing works better than social opinion, and this trend is accelerating each year. People are eager to learn the experience of other customers, and good reviews greatly affect purchasing decisions.
What is Social Proof
Social proof is based on the idea that people are more likely to behave the same as their role models. It is a terrific practice which can be great in the achievement of the marketing goals. Influencers, super stars, siblings, friends, neighbors, experts, and even current customers of the unfamiliar brand have a huge impact on our everyday decisions. Their approval means so much that we accept reference to their opinion.
When you are searching for a new app and choose yours after reading testimonials, this is social proof. When you hear about your husband’s experience of using an amazing keyboard, this is social proof. When you find out that your favorite singer uses only one particular cosmetics brand, this is social proof, as well.
Concept of User Generated Content, or UGC, comes along with social proof. UGC is a more general idea which implies all the content created by current customers and related to the brand. For example, we all remember when CocaCola produced cans with names on labels. A tidal wave of photos with these bottles broke over Instagram and Facebook, advertising the sweet drink all around the world. This is an example of User Generated Content.
But social proof works better than anything else. When influencers or celebrities speak well of the product they use themselves, their followers undoubtedly believe their idol and also want to use it.
Psychology of the Social Proof
Why is social confirmation so important and how does it work? The answer is in human’s nature. If most people have some activity together, our brain assumes this is the right way of behavior. We also think that most people can’t be mistaken, that’s why we suppose a good bar is the place where there are a lot of visitors, and that’s why we read testimonials before purchasing any new products. We rely on social proof unconsciously because in an unknown situation our brain supposes the behavior of others being a guidance for our actions.
This is especially notable in the situations with too many unknowns: when we’re in the new surroundings or have to do something new. When we were children, we looked at our parents and behaved the way they did. Now, we suppose most everybody can’t be wrong, and eagerly rely on the previous experience of the majority of people.
Fortunately, in the era of the Internet, getting acquainted with the social proof of others became no sweat. We can go to any SaaS platform and read testimonials on any kind of product, service, app, or business. Later on, we’ll discuss how to turn positive brand reviews into a driving force of your sales.
Best Tools to Boost Public Proof
Depending on the kind of your business, you have several options of improving customer confirmation and marketing strategy. There are loads of SaaS instruments which can be used in helping you to ease the minds of prospects. Depending on the industry you’re in and with regard to your customers, you can choose the best ones for your business.
Reviews are truly amazing for increasing people’s trust in your brand. The best, trusted, and accurate solution for both online and offline businesses is Google Places. If you have a Google Business account, then you can undoubtedly query reviews to the website and enjoy the growth in conversions.
Having a popular Amazon shop? This widget can help you fetch Amazon testimonials to the web pages. It offers an opportunity to add your rating and happy comments in minutes and without coding.
A website with awesome handmade goods isn’t complete without Etsy recommendations. If you have an Etsy shop and you’re looking for an instrument to fetch reviews from Etsy automatically, this tool is right for you.
This original social proof app shows that people are actually shopping on your website. Your users will get a notification when others will buy from you and it’ll increase trust in your shop.
Proof is an instrument of mostly the same concept as Fomo, but it’s been around for a longer time. It offers numerous settings, and you can showcase conversions from the previous day, week or even past 3 month, which will increase social evidence.
You can also add social feeds with hashtag campaigns or people’s testimonials to the website. Find essential widgets which offer this opportunity, and you won’t spend any time on coding.
Digital Social Proof Marketing
People eagerly share their opinions with others, and modern digital instruments allow them to do it in a matter of seconds. What is more, after someone’s leaving testimonials on a review platform, they become available for millions of internet users, which spreads the word about the company in no time.
If you want to catch the attention of your website visitors, you should use a smarter approach. Because long and boring articles with complicated infographics advertise worse than positive reviews. Over the years, social proof marketing has surpassed other trends and crept into advertising strategies of major brands.
Websites allow the use of different kinds of social proof in digital marketing and ecommerce. Produced and shared by trusted brand customers, they are reliable in the eyes of the new clients.
Here are the main advantages of utilizing social proof in your digital marketing strategy:
- You let your customers speak for you.
- Positive reviews provide the brand with valid advertising.
- Social proof affirms trustworthiness of the company.
- It humanizes the brand, makes it more customer-oriented.
- Good social feedback highlights the brand among the others.
- In the long term it will increase leads and sales.
You should know how to turn social proof into a profitable vehicle. Brands tell about their goods and services, whereas social confirmation sells. There are numerous SaaS platforms and apps where you can find reviews on your brand. The next step is to make them work for your website, and here are some ideas on how you can do it.
Social Proof in Ecommerce
Using psychological power in your ecommerce strategy will increase your revenue in the most efficient way. Social proof has particular importance in online marketing. In most cases it’s not a big deal to get new visitors from absolutely different sources. You can lead them from search results, other websites, PPC advertising, social media, your offline shop, through recommendations.
The most successful marketers understand it’s not enough to lead a fairly mixed audience to the web resource: you should sell to them as effectively as possible. Your new website visitors are not acquainted with the brand, and are hesitant about the quality and prices.
You can write tons of expert articles, create bright, funny, attractive, and expensive ads. However, brand content will never sell as profitably and powerfully as users’ stories and social proof.
The way people find information and make purchasing decisions has changed dramatically over the years. First of all, Internet users – diverse individuals from the farest corners of the world contentedly form communities around their favorite brands. They are closer to each other than ever before. These people can ask about the experience of using a particular kind of a product and get thorough feedback from the mouth of current customers.
Reading positive reviews eliminates the indecisiveness between learning about the product and clicking the ‘buy’ button. Social proof works best in e-marketing.
People follow the actions of others. When the person doesn’t know how to behave in an unfamiliar situation, he would do as others have already done. In case of online trading, the more users have already bought some particular product and left good testimonials, the more likely others will buy from this vendor.
What is more, there are several types of social proof, and all of them are of different efficiency.
Examples of Social Proof
First of all, one should know there are different types of advertising. We’ll regard social proof as a type of advertising within the context of ecommerce marketing. It works much better than any kind of paid advertising and twice as efficiently as branded content.
Below are different examples of ads and their trust index.
- Evidently, reviews and mentions of the product given by friends, relatives or any other close people, are the most effective type of social proof. 92% of people considerably trust such testimonials. And this is not surprising. Friends and family are the most reliable and familiar people in our surroundings, that’s why their social proof means so much to us.
- Most people – more than 70% – will eagerly trust good reviews of users they don’t even know. It can be explained by the psychology of confidence in the opinion of the majority of people. We unconsciously think that a lot of users can’t be mistaken or lie.
- High-quality checked materials are as trusted as well-organized and creative branded materials. 58% of people will buy the product mentioned in the best light in a newspaper as eagerly as after reading about it on a branded website.
- Ads on TV, as well as ads in magazines, before movies, and on social media seem to be reliable to 37-40% of people. This is mainly due to the fact that we’ve got used to this kind of advertising, this type of content doesn’t seem to be reliable.
- Online banners, search engine ads, and text ads are the least trustworthy types of ads. Only 30% of users believe such content and are eager to buy after seeing it.
On websites, you can use different types of social proof. Here are some of the examples which you can use to get inspired.
#1 Custom Testimonials and Reviews
They can be video reviews, might contain images and emotional texts. One of the most effective strategies is to use stars to measure success of a particular product. It will help website visitors to understand the most popular and all time favorite item at the first glance.
Custom reviews might be placed on a different website, so people who want to ascertain the quality of a product need to go to another web resource.
The best idea is to place good testimonials on your products from trusted websites right on your web pages. People will understand you are a trustworthy vendor without asking anyone or searching for any kind of info – it will be directly in front of their eyes. You have two main options regarding displaying reviews. First, you can add testimonials with the help of the source API. It’s difficult, sometimes it isn’t free, and it requires A LOT OF programming skills.
Of course, there’s an easier way of adding reviews to the website – with the help of a ready-made widget. The biggest advantage of this method is that you can filter good reviews and present only the best ones on a website. Also, you’ll create your own feed of testimonials within minutes with zero coding: by only mixing and matching sections and content elements in a visual editor.
#2 Client Use Cases and Success Stories
One more great idea for your website is publishing a custom success story. You can have a beautiful separate section on your web source or place it on your social media. Anyway, your users will see that real people are your customers, and your services (or products) make their lives the whole lot easier.
What is more, they’ll relate themselves to these users and will become sure your product will help them become more successful.
#3 User Generated Content (UGC)
It’s the king of advertising. When influencers, bloggers, or ordinary people use your products in their posts and videos, you are lucky enough to have efficient and free advertising. It works much better than any other kind of advertising, meanwhile, it only requires you as a producer to have a top-notch quality product.
Using Social Proof on a Website
Having a website gives tons of advantages in comparison with offline business. There, you can use different types of social proof in various forms.
- First of all, you should know there are different SaaS platforms, websites and apps which give people an opportunity to leave their feedback on any kind of company. To achieve success in ecommerce marketing, the best idea is to present your amazing ratings right on a website, for people not to have to visit any other resources.
- You can add social media posts with your product mentions. First of all, it will show the popularity of the goods and services you provide. Being well-known among the masses is the best variant of social proof which should be demonstrated on a website.
- Secondly, it’s a good idea to place popups with latest purchases to the web pages. They will grow a sense of urgency and the fear of losing the chance to buy the last items. Such SaaS tools as recent sales popups combined with countdown timers can grow conversions by 50% and even more!
- Thirdly, you can present real use cases on your website. People will read real stories written by your current consumers, see how real people use your products, and their belief in your brand will increase tremendously. They will relate themselves to your real clients and social proof will work at its best after that.
Even though we want to believe that our decisions are unique and individual, the truth is that they are almost always determined by society. Brands actively involve social proof in their ecommerce strategy and easily turn hesitant customers into loyal purchasers.
Buyers read at least one review before purchasing. They suppose reviews and testimonials to be the most trustworthy source of information.
Strategies of Enhancing Social Proof in SaaS
Social proof works amazing in any ecommerce branches. Speaking about SaaS, it may seem quite difficult to do it in this industry, which is not so. Here are some inspirational ideas and possibilities for you.
Share Reviews on a Website
Find your brand’s reviews on all the most popular platforms: G2, Trustpilot, Google, Amazon, Yelp, Tripadvisor – in general, any of the websites where people leave their feedback. This easy action will not only provide social proof, but also will show that you appreciate customers’ opinions very much.
Seeing other people buying from you will incline website visitors to buy from you, as well as will increase the feeling of confidence in your products and services.
Share Opinions on Social Media
People spend most of their time on social media. To gain their attention, you should post something interesting in your social accounts. News, sales, ads – all the brand content takes a back seat. User generated content and social proof are the two things which really matter. Publish amazing reviews on social media platforms popular among your audience and get even more trustworthiness.
Spread the Word with the Help of Videos
Video content is gaining more and more popularity each year thanks to its comprehensible format. It’s great to place video testimonials on a homepage or in social media profiles. They are quite authentic and promote both companies.
Accentuate Customer Success Stories
It’s always a great idea to publish your customer’s story about their usage of your product. It means that a real person or company is devoted to your brand. Your future hesitant consumers will relate themselves to this person and will understand you can be trusted. It’ll be even better if you place success stories. They’ll illustrate sensational achievements which your customer accomplished with the help of your products.
Social proof works better than any other SaaS tools and brand content. You can find users’ testimonials on different websites and platforms depending on a business specialty. You can shorten the time between website visitors getting acquainted with your brand and buying from you. You might be able to do it with the help of social tools which fetch testimonials from different sources to the website. In this article we’ve described all the methods you can use to get maximum out of your social proof. What do you think about social proof and its usage in IT?