The term ‘social proof’ is defined as a psychological phenomenon which causes customers and uncommitted users to mirror the actions which others have taken in any given set of circumstances, simply because they feel the need to conform. There is a basic human need people have when they’re not sure how to react to a specific situation, that causes them to copy the actions of others, because they assume others know more about the situation than they do.
It’s easy to see how this basic need people have can be used to advantage in social media marketing. For instance, some kind of glowing testimonial from an influencer or an expert who can be trusted, and which is displayed on a specific landing page for a certain product, is one good example of social proof. Another one would be encountering a well-known logo from a commercial giant, while you are exploring and searching for some kind of product or service.
It’s also a form of social proof when you find yourself preferring a product or service that associates or relatives have recommended to you, and which you are thus influenced to purchase yourself. Social proof can be extremely valuable to marketers, because it can influence users to respond positively toward your brand or toward specific products. It can also tend to help validate the claims made about any specific product, and it can even serve to justify your pricing scheme to a vast audience. There are a tremendous number of ways that social proof can be used in your media marketing advantageously, and some of the most effective efforts are described below.
Promote industry associations
First-time customers can be persuaded to expect a very positive experience from your company brand when you have already received the stamp of approval from such influential authorities as Instagram, Facebook, or Google. The credibility of your brand is instantly elevated by such a testimonial. You should also take every opportunity to refer to collaborations, clients, and any awards that you’ve won in your social media posts. If possible, include photos or videos of all of these events, so potential customers will start thinking more highly of your brand.
Another solid way to boost your credibility is by obtaining media mentions from respected and popular publishers. These mentions can have a powerful influence on potential customers who are considering your brand. If you can have your brand featured in a prominent publication, that can be solid gold in social media marketing, and it provides a clear demonstration to search engines that you’ve been approved by a worthwhile publisher, and that you’ve earned high-quality links in the process.
Make use of industry experts and influencers
Most people find it very easy to trust the opinions of others who have the same general interests as they do. That’s the reason that industry experts and other influencers are often the most effective representatives for products and services. These kinds of well-recognized individuals and celebrities bring their own appeal and add it to the inherent appeal of the product or service, thereby significantly increasing overall appeal to the user.
Many people subconsciously wish to be these famous individuals, and they wish to look, act, and feel just like them, so it’s only natural that they are inclined to purchase products recommended by influencers. As a social media marketer, the important fact to you should be that you can take advantage of the built-in audience gained for you by tapping into the legion of followers which is already attached to your celebrity.
You don’t even have to recruit top-level celebrities or stars in order to achieve your objectives. Just by finding a few individuals who are considered to be authoritative in their field, or fairly well-known social media influencers, you can achieve an awful lot by having those people mention your brand and your products on their own sites and on their own podcasts. Obviously, the more followers that a celebrity has, the more effective will be your engagement with a larger audience, and that all works just great for your brand recognition.
Feature testimonials and customer reviews
It’s important that you obtain as many approvals and testimonials as you can from current and former customers in whatever format they’re willing to oblige you in. These can be testimonials, reviews, or ratings, all of which can have a powerful impact on potential customers before they even have any involvement with your brand. Any positive opinions which are expressed about your brand can go a long way toward influencing new customers to give your products a try.
This will also give you the opportunity to accurately convey to your current audience that there are large number of people out there who are already realizing the benefits of using your products or services. This is another thing that can work strongly in your favor, because it can instill in your listening audience the fear of missing out (FOMO), which can be a powerful motivator all by itself.
If your brand is one which sells technical products, you should do whatever you can to secure customer reviews, because a crowded market can sometimes be penetrated much more effectively when strong customer reviews exist to support your product line. In order to obtain such customer reviews, you can reach out to customers who frequently purchase from you, you can offer incentives or discounts, you can provide prompts right within surveys you’ve issued, or you can personally ask customers to review your products.
Keep this in mind
Whenever you get new reviews or testimonials, it’s considered fresh content by search engines, and assuming that these are generally positive in nature, your website could be ranked significantly higher as a result of them. Anywhere that your customers prefer to post a review or a testimonial about your brand or your products, will be a good thing for your company, so you should encourage them to review as often as possible.
A number of new users will undoubtedly discover your brand and your product, and your chances of reaching your target audience will become much greater. Keep in mind all the advantages that social proof can bring to your brand, and make use of as many strategies which incorporate social proof as possible.