What is Social Proof and how can you use it to boost your business?

What is social proof?

When we talk about social proof in e-commerce, we are talking about testimonials of a good product or service provided to previous customers. These are positive reviews on your page as a referral for others. Because of this, people are more likely to purchase it. The reason behind it that you’re more likely to buy a product if you hear it from friends and family. 

Social proof is also prominent on social networks. Here, the number of followers, likes, views, messages, comments and more that a user has positively affects how other users perceive them. A user on IG with 3 million followers is perceived as more trustworthy than a similar user with a 200, resulting in faster growth of followers, higher engagement and CTR.

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Social proof is key on social networks

Types of Social Proof

In general, you can find six types of social proof.

  1. Expert: when an expert in your industry recommends your products or services or is associated with your brand. Examples: an IG shoutout by an expert on your field. 
  2. Celebrity: when a celebrity endorses your products. Examples: an Instagram or Facebook post or review about your product by a celebrity or influencer. 
  3. Certification: when you are given approval by an authoritative figure. Examples: Twitter or Facebook verified status. 
  4. User: when your current users recommend your products and services based on their experiences with your brand. Examples: reviews, comments & praises on social media, or positive ratings on review sites. 
  5. Your friends’ wisdom: similar to the previous one, this type is when people see their friends approve of your product. Examples: seeing your friends use a product or follow the account on social media >> raising interest in the product and the company! 
  6. The crowd’s wisdom: this type of social proof occurs when a large group of people is seen to be endorsing your brand. Examples: having many of customers or of followers on your social media profiles.
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Use social proof to boost your business

Why is it important?

Social proof can be incredibly useful both in an online as offline setting. But many agree that it’s even more critical for online digital marketing efforts.

When you’re shopping in a physical store, you can directly compare products and see which is better. You can compare quality, designs, etc. But when you’re shopping online, things are a bit more complicated. 

You almost need to see and research on outside opinions to make that final decision since you don’t have the product in your hands to try it.

So before you buy that beautiful scarf online, you look at reviews to see what other people think of it, the quality, materials, and service from the company. Other customers’ experiences can really determine and alter your opinion since they’re more knowledgeable about the product.

One study even discovered that 50% of shoppers use their smartphones while shopping in physical stores to research products before buying them, just to look at the reviews.

Book with marketing and social proof tips
Social Proof is critical for online marketing

How can you use social proof to boost your business?

Invite experts

Having industry experts engage with your social media profiles can be an exciting way to tap into their influence and the positive association their followers have with anything they do. Ask them to provide opinions about your products. For example, if you’re a pastry company, try getting a positive testimonial from a chef 👨‍🍳 . Try to find a win-win situation where the industry experts also benefit by getting to reach your audience.

Show appreciation for mentions

There are times where you might receive a nice mention from someone on social media, the press, a big brand, or an influencer in your industry. This is an excellent form of expert social proof, congratulations! Try and show your appreciation for such mentions and avoid coming across as being boastful. 

Milestones

Sharing milestones is another quick way to create social proof is to show gratitude for your user or followers. Reaching X amount of users, customers, sales, or downloads is a fun occasion to celebrate and a great time to thank the people who have helped you achieve that. Focus on bragging a bit about your achievements and focus on what establishes your credibility.

Include your social profiles on your page

Include your likes, number of followers and make it easy for the user to see your social networks feeds. It is vital to provide your followers an easy way to follow you on social media (make it easy for them to jump from one platform to others and keep your profiles connected). You can install our widgets to help you with that  😉 

Display testimonials on your website

Displaying customers’ reviews and testimonials is useful for other new customers to know what previous users think of the product. Try to display Social Proof of your product in action as well. This includes customer reviews, before and after pictures. Why has your product worked? Remember that one thing to tell people that something works, and it’s another to show them. Not just this, but encourage your customers as well to give reviews (This’ll help reinforce the idea that your product works) 

Use celebrity/influencers endorsement

Look for regular people with large followings, especially on social media (platforms like Instagram and Youtube or popular influencers on TikTok). You can use them, as well as your ambassador, to provide a mix of user social proof and celebrity. 

How have you been using social proof?

Social proof can come in many shapes and sizes. We hope this article has helped and now you can boost that social content and use it in your favor! We’d love to hear how you have been using social proof, social media-related or not, in your marketing. How has it been working for you?

Here you can also learn how widgets and social proof have helped small businesses.

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About Belen Koffman