Did you know that 88% of consumers trust user reviews just as much as personal recommendations? Or that 87% of buying decisions begin with research conducted online long before the purchase is ever made?
These statistics demonstrate the importance of social proof. If you’re not buying in on the social proof method, you’re probably missing out on a fair amount of customers who could otherwise be boosting your bottom line, and who wants that? With this in mind, let’s dive a little deeper into the idea of social proof and the intricacies involving this element of marketing.
What Is Social Proof?
Essentially, social proof helps businesses because their audiences trust the people who are endorsing certain brands. Consumers see what other people are doing, where they’re going, and what they’re buying and getting on the bandwagon with those brands because they think they’re reputable.
In other words, your audience trusts the people who are going to your business or buying your products and services. Because they see others are doing it, they assume you’re great for them, too.
Why Social Proof Works
There are so many restaurants, retailers, and service providers that it can be challenging for consumers to weed through them to find those that align with their needs. Social proof helps them narrow down their options.
In fact, it’s so prevalent that if a company doesn’t have social proof to some extent, it may not be able to compete against others. Your social proof can be delivered in the form of celebrities, friends, and even strangers. The point is to simply have testimonials through which people can learn more about your brand and get to know your business.
How Social Proof Can Help Your Business
Social proof will help give your brand credibility when other people show that they’ve made purchases from you. Once others demonstrate that they’ve made a purchase, liked what they bought, and would do it again, they’re promoting your brand in ways that paid advertising simply can’t touch. Customer reviews (particularly those that are positive) can go a long way when you’re trying to gain new customers for your company. Additionally, the use of influencers, who are willing and able to talk about your products and services, can be a game-changer in your marketing strategies.
Long story short, it’s essential to leverage reviews and influencers as much as you can to make the most of your marketing efforts. You can use social proof everywhere, including email marketing, organic and paid social, landing pages, and more.
Six Types of Social Proof
When it comes to social proof, there are six different types. You should start by supporting what you have and working to acquire more:
- Customers. These are people you’ve already worked with who can provide testimonials, reviews, or data that can be shared in case studies.
- Experts. Utilize esteemed and credible experts in your industry to gain social proof from people who exhibit the same behaviors you want your visitors to showcase when they visit your site.
- Celebrities. Celebrities have made influencing a job in and of itself. You might need to send a few free products out, but the endorsements you receive in return can reap great rewards.
- Crowds. Large numbers of people who endorse your brand can provide excellent social proof to the masses.
- Friends. Embrace the algorithms and let people know how many of their friends already love your brand.
- Certifications. Credible, third-party entities that certify you as knowledgeable and trustworthy can go a long way in the social proof game. Think about when meat is certified as USDA organic; shoppers instantly feel that the product is more trustworthy and comes from a reliable source than other options. The same is true for your online footprint, no matter what industry you’re in.
Continue Learning About Social Proof From ZGM
Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM) offers a full suite of marketing services to help your business be the best it can be. Want to learn more about social proof and how it can help your company? Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Social Proof Series. For more information on what we do, contact us today!