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Social proof can be a very powerful influencer and something that is sometimes overlooked but shouldn’t be if you are doing business online. As a top web development company we are solid believers in the clout of this psychological phenomenon and today we want to share with you some concepts to help turn social proof into sales!

What is Social Proof?

In a nutshell social proof is the reliance people have on the feedback and actions of others to help them determine what is the right or wrong course of action in a given scenario. This psychological phenomenon has been around as long as marketing but never has its value been higher thanks to social media.

With the rise of social media, social proof has become even more powerful, especially with millennials who were raised in a world where “likes” and “shares” are considered a reliable rating system.

Social proof as it relates to marketing and online business has to do with showcasing the positive feedback that your products or services have received from customers and using that feedback to influence future sales.

Why does social proof matter?

Recent studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of people shopping online check out product reviews before they make a purchase. Those product reviews are rated as being 10-times more trustworthy than the product descriptions and ad copy.

This should not be too surprising as more and more people are suffering from information overload. There is literally too much information being thrown at us to digest and come to a quick conclusion about the merits of one product over another.

Add to that how hectic many consumers’ lives are and the desire to pursue more enjoyable aspects of life rather than reading product specs and it stands to reason that using other people’s experience and a combined rating for a product is a nice way to save time and energy.

Turning Social Proof into Sales

There are a variety of ways to leverage social proof for more conversions. Often it starts by allowing and encouraging product or service reviews. Once you are doing that then you have existing social proof to put into action.

Here are some concepts that can be effective, depending on the type of business:

  • Expert Endorsement – When a noted expert in a field endorses your product, it can carry a great deal of weight within that field’s community. For example, if Bill Gates says you have just created the most ground-breaking computer in thirty years, people will pay attention.
  • Top Sellers – This concept works well for eCommerce where you create a top or best sellers section driven by consumer ratings. This indicates that these products are highly desirable.
  • In-use Proof –The idea is to show what the product can do in-use. Let’s say you sell high quality knitting yarn. You could have user submit pictures of finished products to post on your webpage or social media sites.
  • Celebrity Endorsements – This is a fairly well-known concept where a celebrity or person of note endorses your product which can instantly make it a hit with some of their fans. As a form of social proof, this only works when it is a free endorsement versus paid advertisement.
  • Roll-over Proof – For this idea you have text display when people roll-over items they are looking at. The key is that the roll-over text which appears is a customer review.
  • FOMO Proof – Fear of missing out is real! Slogans like ‘Over 1 million sold’ let people know that everyone likes this product so you better try it and not miss out.
  • UGC Campaigns – UGC is user-generated content. A UGC campaign is where you leverage your customer community via challenges or contests to show off how they like to use your products or creative ways to use them. Numerous campaigns have done very well with this method of social proof.

The bottom line is that you should be turning social proof into sales because it is not only an effective method of marketing, but also a great way to foster stronger connections with customers. By giving them a voice they essential become your brand advocates helping you sell more products which can be a great way to increase business and brand visibility.

This article was originally published in 16 June 2017. It was most recently updated in January 7, 2019 by Isaiah

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