There is a leak in your home. You go to Google and find two plumbers in your vicinity. While the first one has a five-star rating and a lot of positive insights from previous users, the latter one has only three stars and no customer reviews. You choose the first business without giving it a second thought.
In psychology, that phenomenon is called social proof. Seeing that a large group of people behaves in a certain way, individuals perceive their actions as the correct behaviors. Given that, it’s not surprising social proof plays a vital role in marketing. It gains customers’ trust and persuades them to purchase from you.
So, how to use social proof in your marketing strategy?
Publish User-Generated Content
In the era of social networks, user-generated content plays a fundamental role in your marketing strategy. According to some recent statistics, it motivates 80% of customers to make buying decisions faster.
For starters, create brand hashtags for marketing campaigns. Encourage customers to use them when publishing photos of your store or products. To stay on top of brand mentions, use a social media monitoring tool that immediately notifies you when users mention your brand in their posts.
You can host a social media contest and offer valuable rewards to the most creative participants. For example, you could ask them to share an original photo of your product on Instagram, add your hashtag, and tag your brand. You can republish their post on your brand’s official Instagram account and even share it on your website.
Highlight Customer Count
If your business has an established customer base, use those numbers as social proof. By emphasizing how many satisfied customers, subscribers, or service users you have, you build trust with your target audience. That is the idea behind the herd mentality. People want to be members of large groups. As such, they tend to copy what their peers do.
Now, you can use your company’s numbers and statistics in multiple ways.
For example, Neil Patel adds customer count on his website. He invites prospective clients to join “over 5,000 companies” that use his services.
Alternatively, you can use a social proof tool to display customer or subscriber count on your website in real-time. For example, Reportz uses a catchy popup at the bottom of their website to show who created an account on their website and how many people signed up for a free trial.
Finally, you can emphasize your most reputable clients or customers. Let’s get back to the example of Neil Patel. To build trust with audiences, he also displays logos of his most prominent clients, such as Microsoft, Twitter, Spotify, Nike, and Adobe.
Emphasize Awards on your Website
Customers want to purchase from companies they trust. However, saying that you are a top-rated brand in your industry is not enough. Having proof to back you up is far more convincing. For example, if prestigious industry players gave you a stamp of approval, why not list it on your website?
You could also provide a list of websites where your brand name appeared. For example, Brian Dean emphasizes that he has been featured on Forbes, Huffington Post, entrepreneur, and Inc. By mentioning such industry giants on your website, you will make a great first impression on users that are just discovering you.
Show Customers’ Insights
Studies show that 88% of online users trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That is why many big brands use customer ratings and reviews to boost conversions. For instance, Amazon shows customer reviews and ratings for every product on its website.
To get the most out of this tactic, you should first enable customer reviews and ratings on your website and social networks. You should also register your business on all industry-specific platforms and business directories, as well as claim your Google My Business listings. That way, you will encourage customers to review and rate your website across different channels.
Additionally, you could ask your repeat and loyal customers to tell what they think about your brand by writing a testimonial. When publishing customer testimonials, always include a customer’s name and photo to humanize them. Many brands, including HubSpot, even use video testimonials to engage their audiences.
Write Case Studies and Success Stories
While customer reviews and testimonials offer only snapshots of users’ experiences with your brand, case studies are more detailed and insightful. They describe a problem a client faced before they hired you. Use a case study to show the objectives you set, the tactics you used, and the KPIs you measured to help a client achieve a particular goal. It includes relevant statistics, charts, and testimonials to support your statements.
For example, Single Grain is a digital marketing agency that has a comprehensive “Case Studies” section on their website. They produce case studies for each client and explain what exactly they did to help them grow.
Start Using Social Proof to Boost Conversions
When implemented strategically, social proof can do wonders for your brand image. It helps you build trust with your target audience and increase your brand’s credibility. Most importantly, it turns your fans into leads and conversions faster.