What is Social Proof and How to Incorporate it on Your Website

A hand carrying a magnet collects social media icons from a laptop. Text reads "Social Proof and why it matters."

What is Social Proof and How to Incorporate it on Your Website

 

Every marketer wants to get ahead of the competition, but the real challenge is doing it. Many start with good intentions, but they don’t know where to begin and how to successfully implement their good ideas. Even the most well-run companies can struggle to market their brand if they don’t understand proven concepts. 

 

One time-tested concept is the idea of social proof.  

 

Social Proof is the psychological concept that people assume and reflect the actions of others to produce the correct behavior for a given situation.  

 

For example, if you are in an unfamiliar shopping center ready to check out and you notice people forming a line, you are likely to join the line, assuming it leads to check out (even if it leads elsewhere). 

 

In this post, we will go over the different types of social proof as well as how to use social proof on your website and social media.  

 

The Different Types of Social Proof 

 

There are a few different types of social proof that you can make use of. Each produces a slightly different effect on your audience so be sure to consider which is best for your business. 

 

  1. Expert. Expert social proof is if an expert in your industry uses your product or service, others likely will too as they view the expert as knowledgeable.  

  1. Celebrity. When a celebrity (not necessarily associated with your industry) endorses your product, the general public will have a higher opinion. The celebrity doesn’t have to be a movie star. They can be your local weatherman. So long as it’s someone your target audience knows.  

  1. User. Current users of your product or service recommend your service based on their experience. Other people will trust them as they have firsthand experience. 

  1. Wisdom of the crowd. People will favor your product or service if a large group of people is sold on your business.  

  1. Wisdom of friends. People trust their friends’ opinions. If they see their friend approves of your company, they will be more willing to try it out. 

  1. Certification. The stamp of approval given by an authoritative figure such as an official board or award committee carries heavy weight towards getting people to try out your company.  

 

How to Use Social Proof 

 

Social proof is a very powerful concept and as such there are many ways to use it. Here, we will give you several tips that are effective in utilizing social proof to drive sales.  

 

  • Invite experts to your social pages. Identify an expert in your field then invite them to make a video or post talking about the ins and outs of your product.  

  • Reply and show graciousness for shout outs and mentions on social media or print media. Not only will this call attention to the fact that you have received a recommendation from a user, but it will also make you appear friendly to prospective customers.  

  • Share your milestone goals. Showing your user base and potential customers that you are a company that can set and meet goals will establish the idea that you are a company that follows through on your goals and many people trust.   

  • Explore having a brand ambassador. A brand ambassador can be very helpful as they are a mix of expert, celebrity, and user. They are usually someone with some sway in your industry who has a significant portion of their followers as your target audience.  

  • Curate user-generated content. This is a great way of making content without actually having to do much in the way of writing and designing yourself. Look to see what users have already said about your product and create a post or blog post based on those testimonials.  

  • Display testimonials on your website. Show potential customers what other users have said about your product on your home page. Use only the most glowing, positive reviews.  

  • Mention the size of your customer base on your website. Feature this information prominently. The larger the customer base, the more “wisdom of the crowd” you will wield.  

  • Invest in Facebook ads. Facebook ads are great because they pursue the friends of those who have already liked your page. They target an audience who is acquainted with someone who has used your service and therefore they are likely to have heard good things.  

  • Scatter social proof throughout your copy. The more social proof you include throughout your regularly scheduled content, the more exposure it will get.  

  • Encourage customers to leave positive reviews. After you have finished your work for a customer or client, send them an email thanking them and asking that they fill out a survey about their experience. Not only will this help you improve your business, but you will also be able to use their feedback as social proof to drive more sales. 

  • Get verified on social media. That little blue checkmark. You may not think it means much, but it sends a subtle signal to readers that your account is one to be trusted. 

  • Be responsive. This is perhaps the most important tip. Be responsive on social media and through email and you will get more responses, in turn, giving you bonus social proof. Everyone wants to feel like a company is listening to what they have to say. 

 

The Power of Social Proof 

 

Social proof is a powerful tool if used correctly. It’s simple: if you can get people talking about the benefits of your company then people will be attracted to your business. Some people, like experts and celebrities, have a wide net of influence, and some people, like the average person on the street, have modest influence. Both are important and both drive sales to your business. 

 

Learn to use social proof well and you will reap long-term benefits. This includes consistent and helpful content coming from your site. Prove yourself reliable and responsive and the social proof will follow. Just make sure you are displaying your social proof when you get it.  

 

If managing your content has become too much for you to manage, reach out to Legend Web Works. Our marketing department has the skills to produce your blog and social media content so your business can collect social proof while you sit back and reap the benefits of your hard work.