Social proof is a digital marketing strategy that online entrepreneurs can use to stay competitive in the fierce online environment. Social proof, also known as social influence, is when people are convinced to buy your product because of what others have said and done on their own behalf.
This article will help you understand how you can use social proof in marketing to get customers to choose your products over competitors’. When people shop, they’re using social proof to look for reviews or recommendations from others before buying a product.
What are the types of social proof in digital marketing?
There are several different types of social proof in digital marketing:
- User generated content (UGC) is a type of social proof that can be found on sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor for example. These are reviews from other customers who have used the product or service in question, which then provides an unbiased third party opinion to potential buyers about the quality of the same company’s products or services.
- Word of mouth is another type of social proof that can be found in digital marketing. This form of publicity is largely generated by friends, family members, and coworkers recommending a product to each other because they became satisfied customers themselves. In this way, word of mouth creates positive buzz about the company’s products which helps it to grow.
- The third type of social proof is a reference from someone who’s already been labelled an expert in the field, whether it be through their job title or simply because they’ve had success with similar products before. When people are looking for recommendations and reviews on different companies’ products online, this form of social proof can sometimes carry more weight than other forms.
- The fourth type of social proof is testimonial from a company’s satisfied customer who has had positive experiences with the product or service that they’re keen to share. This form can be particularly helpful when people are still on the fence about getting an item because it allows them to make their decision in full knowledge of what they can expect.
- The fifth type of social proof is testimonial from a company’s product or service that has had positive experiences with the customer who simply wants to share their experience and provide feedback. This form is helpful in showing prospective customers what others have experienced when using the item, which may make them more likely to buy it themselves.
What is the difference between social proof and advertising?
It can be difficult to distinguish between social proof and advertising. Social proof is a type of marketing that focuses on other people’s experience with an item, but this isn’t always done in service of trying to sell someone something. Instead, it may just provide information for those who are looking into potential purchases or need more insight into what it’s like to use the item.
In contrast, advertising is always in service of selling a product and will usually have some form of persuasive content, such as an endorsement by someone famous or a testimonial from someone who has used it before.
Advertising may still provide information about other people’s experiences with a product, but this isn’t always in service of providing information about the product.
What are the benefits of using social proof in marketing?
One of the benefits of using social proof in marketing is that potential buyers are more likely to trust a business. When people browse online, they’re looking for other evidence besides what’s on your website and therefore use reviews from others as their second source of information. This makes it important to monitor customer feedback or review sites like Yelp so you can identify what customers like and dislike about your product.
The second benefit of using social proof in marketing is that it can help you track conversions better, which will tell you exactly how well a campaign worked or if there are any improvements to be made. If the goal for a certain campaign was to get 100 people on an email list, then conducting a follow-up campaign to get on the email list would be a great idea.
The final benefit of using social proof in marketing is that it can also help you evaluate your product or service’s popularity with competitors’ customers and offer them an incentive to switch over, such as offering discounts for new customers only.
How businesses can use social proof in their marketing
Social proof is a powerful online marketing tool. The more positive, reliable reviews from customers you have on your website or social media platforms the better chance of winning over potential customers. In order to get these customer testimonials and reviews it’s important that businesses provide great service along with an engaging product so people will want to share their experience in a positive manner.
The following are examples of how businesses can use social proof in their marketing:
- Promote a service’s popularity with competitors’ customers and offer them an incentive to switch over, such as offering discounts for new customers only. -Create competitions or sweepstakes where the prize is that you’ll feature your winning entry on your social media account.
- Offer incentives to customers who post a review of the business on their website or blog.
- Use customer testimonials in your marketing materials and advertisements for both print and digital products, such as email newsletters or Facebook ads. When getting these testimonials from clients make sure you use quotes that are sincere and reflect well on the business.
- Create an online review site for your company. A website like Yelp, TripAdvisor or Google+ Local allows people to post reviews of businesses and then gives other customers a chance to see those reviews before deciding if they want to purchase items from that company’s products. Keep in mind these types of sites are open not only to customers but also to competitors, which can create a challenge for businesses.
- Give your employees the opportunity to review and rate products that are on sale at work. This will encourage them to try out new items so they have an understanding of what is available in their office as well as provide potential clients with helpful information about the quality of these types of items.
- You can also encourage your customers to provide reviews of products that they have purchased from you by simply asking them via email if, when the time comes for a review, they would be willing to write it on their own site and then linking back to your product page.
- If you offer discounts or coupons through social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, make sure that you are also actively posting about your new products in order to keep customers interested and engaged with your company.
- Offering giveaways through social media is another way to encourage customer reviews–either ask for a review in exchange for the prize or offer an incentive such as a coupon code if they provide one.
- If you’re going to offer a giveaway, make sure that the prize is valuable enough in comparison to the value of your product.
- If you are an established company with products already on sale, consider offering discounts for customers who post reviews. This will encourage people to not only buy your products but tell others about them as well.
Why is social proof important?
Social proof is important because it tells people that other customers have had similar experiences with your product and found them valuable. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are a perfect place to find reviews or endorsements for products.
The idea of social proof is not new:
- Reviews on Yelp have an impact on the decisions of people looking for restaurants.
- B&Bs and hotels use online reviews to build their business in a competitive market.
- Amazon has seen success with its “customers who bought this item also bought” feature.
Does social proof work?
Social proof is one of the many digital marketing strategies that online entrepreneurs can use to stay competitive. But customers need to be on the lookout for fake testimonials used as social proof.
Many online training scams use fake testimonials to give themselves fake endorsements. If you want a better idea of which training programs are legitimate and which are scams, check out the reviews on I Buy I Review.
I buy and review courses so you don’t have to. Sometimes, I even find courses that are legitimate and worthwhile; and that’s how I accidentally came across one that led me to building a 6-figure business in a little under 5 years. Now, I still review courses because it’s my favorite hobby. 🙂 Learn more about me here.