Imagine this scenario: You're in the mood to treat yourself to a delicious pizza. You come across two pizzerias in your area. One has a line of people eagerly waiting to get their hands on a slice. The other one seems empty and devoid of any hungry customers. Which one would you choose?
Most likely, you'd be drawn to the pizzeria with the bustling line because it gives you the confidence that their pizza must be truly mouthwatering.
This, my friends, is the magic of social proof.
😎 What is social proof and how does it matter?
Social proof, coined by author Robert Cialdini in his book "Influence," is the phenomenon where people imitate the actions of others to guide their own behaviour. In other words, we're more likely to trust a product or service if we see others enjoying it. It's like being part of a cool club where everyone is raving about something and you don't want to miss out!
Now, let's dive into why social proof is a game-changer for your marketing strategy.
Brace yourself for some jaw-dropping stats:
- 83% of consumers recommend brands they follow on social media to their friends and family. That's like free advertising on steroids! 📢
- 95% of shoppers read online reviews before clicking that "Buy Now" button. They want to know if others have had a positive experience before making a decision.
- And get this—82% of Americans seek referrals and recommendations from their loved ones before splurging on something new. It's like a good old-fashioned word-of-mouth campaign on steroids! 💬
💡 Types of Social Proof
So, how do you harness the power of social proof to supercharge your business? Various types of social proof can work wonders for your brand like Case Studies, Testimonials, Reviews, Social Media, Trust Icons, Data/Numbers, and Storytelling Social Proof.
So, if you're just starting out and haven't yet amassed social proof, don't fret. Rome wasn't built in a day, after all.
Be patient, and remember these strategies:
- Tap into Influencer Insights: Offer your product or service for free to influencers for valuable feedback and a boost in social proof.
- Real People, Real Credibility: Add a human touch to testimonials to captivate visitors and increase credibility. Humans are drawn to human faces!
- The Power of Raw Statistics: Numbers speak louder than polished opinions. Showcase impressive stats like "523,971 businesses from 181 countries have generated $3.9 billion in sales with <company>."
- Bring Social Proof to Life: Highlight specific results like "In 2021, we've helped 256 podcasters rack up 7,681,632 downloads."
- The Magic of Parentheses: Sprinkle some personality with catchy phrases like "The (Almost) 5-star Insurance Company" with a 4.9-star rating.
- Impactful Reviews: Craft testimonials that stand out like "Wearing these shorts feels like being hugged by an angel. Cute too." - Varisha A.
- No-Fluff, Relatable Proof: Share real numbers that resonate, such as a "113% increase in ___ that reduces anxiety."
- Make it Scannable: Use bold headings, bullet points, and catchy phrases like "The #1 marketing newsletter! - Voted by marketers at Ahrefs to catch attention.
- Showcasing Result-Driven Case Studies: Highlight how you helped <company> generate 792% more revenue in just 2 months!
- The "As Seen In" Game: Gain credibility by mentioning popular media brands you've been featured in, such as Forbes.
- Highlight Specific Benefits: Instead of generic testimonials, focus on tangible benefits like "This product helped me save time and money."
- Incorporate Tweets and Google Reviews: Include positive social media mentions to reinforce trust among visitors.
- Cultivate Bloggers and Reporters: Reach out to bloggers and reporters for reviews that will grow your social-proof garden.
Did you know?
For products that are fancy and high-tech, like smartphones, advanced computer systems, healthcare technologies or AI-powered tools, it's a good idea to highlight that your company is big and strong.
For simpler, less tech-heavy products, like furniture, property dealing, homemade health remedies, or writing services, it's better to emphasize your company's small size, or even the fact that it's just you running the show.
Either way, customers will think your products are great quality and they'll be more eager to buy them.
Source: Kaitlin Woolley, Daniella Kupor, Peggy J. Liu. Does Company Size Shape Product Quality Inferences? Larger Companies Make Better High-Tech Products, but Smaller Companies Make Better Low-Tech Products. Journal of Marketing Research (August 2022).