Social proof is a powerful thing. Think about the last time you were considering trying a new restaurant. Chances are, you didn’t pick one randomly. Instead, you probably looked at online reviews or asked your friends for recommendations. We all want to ensure we’re making good decisions, and one of the easiest ways to do that is by checking reviews and opinions from other people in our community.
These are the fundamentals of social proof, which businesses have utilized for decades. After all, what better way to demonstrate the quality of your product or service than to show the good experiences that others have had? Social proof comes in many forms, from online reviews and testimonials to celebrity endorsements. Let’s explore social proof, what it is and why it’s an integral marketing tool for your business.
What Is Social Proof?
Customers’ experiences and reviews are one of the best sales tools a business has. Humans are psychologically more likely to do something if others do it. This principle is why celebrity endorsements are influential, word-of-mouth is so powerful, and social proof is effective.
Social proof is more important than ever in today’s digital world. According to research, about 92% of consumers worldwide trust word-of-mouth recommendations above other forms of advertising. This makes sense when you think about it; we’re hardwired to trust people we know and like, which extends to their recommendations. Furthermore, about 9 out of 10 people trust what past customers say about a business over what a company says about itself. So, before investing lots of time and capital crafting a perfect brand image, observe how your customers represent you online.
Why Is Social Proof Important?
As you can see, social proof shouldn’t be forgotten. Let’s cover some of the reasons social proof is necessary, and how it helps your brand.
1. Establishes Credibility
If you want to be seen as an authority in your industry, one of the best things you can do is collect social proof. When customers see that other people trust and respect your brand, they’ll be more likely to do the same. This is why online reviews are so critical. They show potential customers that you’re an ethical business that can be trusted.
2. Showcases Your Results
Your potential customers want to know that you can help them achieve their desired results, or that your product works as advertised. Displaying satisfied customers’ testimonials demonstrates that your product or service works and that you are a good choice.
3. Builds Trust & Rapport
When customers see that other people have had positive experiences with your brand, they’ll be more likely to trust you themselves. Social proof creates a rapport between your brand and potential customers. They’ll feel more comfortable knowing that past customers speak highly of your company.
4. Highlights Expertise
You’re seen as a top choice in your field if you have quality social proof. This is because people will only recommend your brand if they believe in what you do and think you are the top choice. Therefore, social proof is a great way to show potential customers your expertise and experience.
5. Increases Conversions
Social proof is a powerful marketing tool because it can directly increase conversions and sales. When potential customers see that other people have already tried and liked your product or service, they’ll be more likely to convert into actual customers.
Leveraging Social Proof for Your Brand
Now that you know social proof’s importance, it’s time to start leveraging it to grow your brand. Let’s cover some of the best ways to implement social proof immediately.
Testimonials are a key way to feature satisfied customers, adding social proof to your website. These can be video testimonials, written reviews, or even simple quotes that can be added to your site. If you’re using customer testimonials, ensure they’re well-written and from verifiable sources.
Social Media Mentions
In today’s social media-driven world, what people say about you online is more important than ever. Make sure you’re monitoring what’s being said about your brand on social media and identify any opportunities to showcase positive reviews and mentions. You can do this by setting up Google Alerts for your brand name or using a social media monitoring tool.
Awards & Recognition
If your industry or peers have recognized you, showcase this on your website. This could be in the form of awards you’ve won, articles featured in, or even press releases on acquisition or funding rounds completed. All these can be excellent ways to boost your business’s outward perception, so add them to your website in a central location.
If you have a product or service available on other marketplaces or review sites, actively collect and showcase these user reviews. This could include stars on your website, quotes from reviews, or even badges from popular review sites. User reviews can be some of the most powerful social proof as they show that real people have enjoyed your product or service.
Seals of Trust
Consider adding trust seals from well-known organizations if you want extra social proof to your website. This could be the Better Business Bureau, TRUSTe, or even SiteLock if you have an eCommerce store. Adding trust seals to your website can increase conversions as it helps build trust with visitors that may be on the fence.
If famous or well-known individuals endorse your product or service, showcase this prominently on your website. This could be in the form of a testimonial, quote, or even just a mention on your homepage. While celebrity endorsements can be expensive, they can also be very effective at driving brand awareness.
If you have big-name customers or partners you work with, showcase their logos prominently on your website. This could be a “trusted by” section or icons showcased on your about us page. Having well-known customers can be a great way to add social proof to your website by showing visitors that you’re a high-profile and credible business.
Utilizing Social Proof for Your Brand
As you can see, social proof is a powerful tool that can be used to grow your brand. Now it’s time to implement it yourself! By leveraging some of the techniques mentioned above, you can use social proof to increase conversions and drive more business. Start leveraging social proof for your brand and watch it flourish.