Our world is surely dominated by a lot of information. Content is no longer enough to bring the customers closer to your brand. Instead, a great way to nurture your business on the market is social proof.
What is social proof? There are many definitions to help users gain a deeper understanding of it. The article below will guide you through the list of basic information about social proof that you should at least learn to know. Surely, it will be a good weapon for your business in the eCommerce battle.
What is Social Proof?
There is a quote “Follow the crowd”, basically, social proof is a concept built based on this phenomenon. To be more specific, social proof means people follow the masses in terms of their actions, their ideas, etc. This is widely used in business as a marketing strategy as well.
One clear example is that the more crowded restaurant is likely to be chosen by more people at the first sight than the ones without any customers inside. One psychological explanation is that you will be attracted more by the place with more people because you may think the food quality or services in the crowded one is better.
In fact, social proof is not that new to many people. Since the existence of the Internet, and with the advent of eCommerce, social proof is more widely seen than ever. You can easily find many studies on this topic, a really typical one took place back in the 1950s, called the Solomon Asch conformity experiment.
Types of social proof
As social proof plays a vital role in the eCommerce business, learning to know what is social proof and the types of it is of great importance to any merchants.
According to a study by Neilsen, over 60% of consumers believe in customers' reviews, thus hundreds of companies have built their effective business strategies based on this research.
On the other hand, negative reviews did have an adverse impact on the business as well. More specifically, more than 70% of potential customers lost because of those negative reviews.
Each type of business type will be suitable with different ways of social proof, some B2C brands mention a clear number of units sold or subscribers, etc. which leads to the rise in sales and revenue.
The same with B2B brands which mainly offer services rather than tangible products, testimonials, and case studies will work better in this case. Moreover, it would be better if your company used more flexible and new updated versions to show customers your information.
In general, try to make your social proof visual to customers, it is likely that customers will consider you a more trusted brand.
How important is social proof
Online shopping is by far more difficult for shoppers than shopping in a real store. Surely, you cannot directly touch and feel the products. This will affect more considerably on the fashion industry when shoppers find it hard to try on the clothes to make sure whether it fits their body or not. Thus, social proof is like evidence based on the previous experiences of various users to assure you of being cheated.
For example, before buying a shirt, you probably scroll down to take a look at the reviews to know what others think of the product that you intend to buy.
Many trustworthy studies have shown that the reviews contributed to the changes in consumers' behaviors, especially on virtual platforms. Sometimes, social proof can change the customers’ view about the products and services, thus, no doubt this is a good way to convince your customers.
What is effective social proof?
What is social proof? and how to evaluate an effective social proof. Obviously, social proof can be found commonly on websites and social media, however, how to make it real and effective is such a big question for many merchants.
In fact, in a marketing campaign, you can find various ways to utilize your social proof, and there are numerous tips to make sure that the reviews and comments are real and trustworthy. Whenever sharing anything with customers and viewers, you should turn it into a tool with the main role to bring benefits back, at least the belief and trust from the customers. This can be calculated by the number of views and customer conversion from the website visitors.
Other effective results that you may realize are the trust and higher awareness from customers. This leads to a higher rank on the search engine and a higher chance to find new potential customers.
The content is an important factor. In fact, it has long been a widely chosen and invested tool to build up brand awareness. Some typical examples of social proof content are story sharing or experiences on the website. Those contents will play a role in leading the customer's mind.
In a nutshell, to gain trust from the customers, keep in mind that you should understand clearly the question “What is social proof?” and use those tips above to make it more real and authentic. Therefore, establishing consistency and trust among shoppers and sellers is greatly important. There are some types of proof that you can refer to, such as:
- Proof from your previous customers: This means you can use your previous consumers’ comments or their testimonials to support your products. Choose those who highly evaluated your brand and understand your brand. You can attach some rating scores as well, such as stars or overall marks, so that customers will base on those specific numbers to make a decision.
- Proof from numbers: Number is often related to quantitative data, and it is highly correct according to many studies. The numbers can somehow affect the psychological behaviors of consumers. The larger numbers will leave more positive feedback and a better impression on the brands.
- Proof from experts: Experts are those who have a better knowledge foundation and wide working experience on the products or services. Thus, this is a real factor to drive more trust from customers, especially the new ones. Tooth brushing paste is a clear example, famous dentists will be chosen and they play the main role as represents for the brands. Depending on their high social status and education, people believe in what the dentists say and quickly decide to purchase the products.
What is harmful social proof?
Besides the question “What is social proof”, you should learn to know some harmful proof and avoid them for further risks. In reality, relying too much on social proof is not a good thing, sometimes it will negatively impact your brand images and sales numbers as well.
Utilizing social proof is a vital task, so you should know clearly about your target customers. This phenomenon was built based on the fact that we, as human beings, will feel more connected with those who share the same circumstances. However, they are also the real ones experiencing the problem, so if the reviews are broasted and unreal, they can immediately realize. This will sooner or later lead to the loss of current customers and the reduction in your brand trust.
Therefore, this means the testimonials that you show on the website or even the case studies should be real. They are all representative of your brand trust, so stay alert and be careful.
How to use social proof for Marketing
Social proof is an effective tool for digital marketing, however, there are plenty of ways to make the marketing strategy successful with social proof. We will guide you through several common tactics as below
Building positive reviews
You are all familiar with many types of social proof. Obviously, we totally accept the major role of it in buying decisions of customers. More than 80% of customers believe in online reviews and take them as precious advice for themselves. In reality, customers are smarter than we think. They normally do not stop at the first comment, on average, they tend to check 2-3 more reviews from different websites about the product, then compare and figure out the trusted level of the brand before buying anything.
Positive reviews will enrich the psychological behavior and confirm their trust in your brand. Keep in mind that positive reviews should be authentic and trusted, or else they can work against you, which will do more harm than good to your brand. As a result, the more positive and authentic reviews you have, the more effective your brand is.
What is social proof for a B2B company? You can immediately find many testimonials on eCommerce websites, this is a collection of information from your real customers, including some feedback, sharings, etc. on the product that they already experienced.
Why are testimonials widely used? Obviously, they prove real value in the service and products that you are intending to sell. They show their direct response to the problem and aim to solve the customers’ problems. In fact, the testimonials show more and quicker engagement for the marketing campaigns.
Celebrities and Influencers are those who are public people. They are well-known and respected, thus making a large and positive impact on the brands that they are representative of. As social media becomes more popular, it makes sense when every single action and word from a celebrity will surely affect the customers’ minds.
However, there are plenty of influencers outside, how to choose a suitable representative is an important question. Let us tell you a tip, in fact, understanding your customers is the priority. Let’s take an example of senior citizens who are going to retire soon, picking some senior singers or actresses is a good option.
Social media following
Surely, we all have a natural herd mentality, that’s why we pay more attention to the crowd and it is highly likely that we will follow the crowd. A really important takeaway to social proof is that you and us feel safer when doing something with the crowd. Therefore, building a large following on your social media accounts will make viewers highly evaluate your brand.
Awards and recognition are surely good examples of social proof. Obviously, the awards validate your brands and retain your current customers as well as attract new ones.
The awards also show your real value and effort, thus creating a good impression on consumers’ minds.
Typical examples of social proof on the website
This is a social app that helps to create a tool to measure the influence of people’s relatives. Your Klout score will play a role as a feedback loop, which means when it decreases, you will recognize that it is when you should spend more time on social media. etc. It is a social proof space for all people who use social media frequently.
The more subscribers they have, the more opportunities that they will have to build their value and earn money. This means they make very good use of the numbers of subscribers that they currently have. The new subscribers will look at your sites and base on the number of subscribers to decide to join your own community.
This phenomenon is often seen on blogs or vlogs, which use both content and the number of subscribers to build the brand.
What is social proof? We all go through basic information about this new term. Surely, you already have an overview of this digital marketing tool. Basically, social proof can be easily found anywhere, especially when you are doing online business, you will see it. The value and benefits that social proof brings us are obviously seen, so at least you should try this way to build your online business. For eCommerce business, a more economical and better way to develop your eCommerce is to refer to more Magento 2 extensions. Visit our store for more information about the Magento 2 extensions. If you have any requests for us, drop us your message here.