Social Proof in Digital Success: What is Social Proof and How to Leverage it for Your Success

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As someone who is in marketing, you always need to be certain that you’re keeping up with information and staying ahead of trends and information. There are a lot of ways to get attention on your product or service, and you want to be sure that you do it well.

So, because of that, you may be exploring some of the psychology behind marketing. It’s not always easy to tap into the mind of those who may be looking to purchase your products. But, there are psychological theories and information that can make the process a little simpler for you when all is said and done.

One of those theories is social proof. What is it, and how can you use in order to start working toward success as a business or social media professional? Let’s explore the topic so that you can consider exactly how you want to include it in your marketing.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is, in short, a psychological phenomenon where individuals share their experiences with a product or service with the intent of influencing others to take the same actions that they did. The idea of social proof was named in the 1980’s by Robert Cialdini and may also be called “informational social influence”.

Basically, social proof is one of those things that is all around us, every single day, even if we aren’t looking for it directly. When you look online, the internet is filled with reviews and opinions. Social media influencers and celebrities share their opinions about their favorite products, and you see product placement everywhere.

As a result of seeing high ratings, influencer opinions, positive “shares” (e.g., retweets), etc. our brains say “this comes from a reliable source, so maybe I should take a look at whatever they’re talking about.” This is why social proof is worth discussing and exploring.

Is Social Proof Effective?

It can be. We are constantly surrounded by marketing and information about products and services of all types. Because of that, we can be overwhelmed by all of the information that is out there. The challenge of marketing is trying to cut through the noise and catch people’s attention.

That’s where social proof can make a huge difference. If your potential customers or clients see that there are people who are happy with your product or service, then they are more likely to click links or take a look at what you have.

How Can Businesses Use Social Proof Effectively?

So, personal accounts and social proof results in more eyes on your products. You have probably experienced this in some form or fashion as you shop for different items or services that you need on a day to day basis.

But, how do you leverage social proof so that you can see a difference in your marketing? How can you be certain that you are effective in social proof use? Here’s a quick look at some tips that can make the process easier for you.

  • Use Influencer Feedback When Applicable

Do you have any connections with celebrities, social media influencers, or local persons who everyone seems to know? Use their feedback in your advertising or when you share your product on social media sites.

  • Post Videos and Pictures of Your Product or Service

Visual proof is always a great way to use social proof effectively. If you have videos and pictures of your product or service in action, then share them regularly – people will be more likely to take a closer look.

  • Create Surveys and Post Results

Surveys – especially if they aren’t intrusive – are a great way to develop social proof. Put out customer surveys regularly and share the results. Those numbers can help get people excited about what you’re doing

  • Have Customer Testimonials on Your Website and Social Media

Once again, customer testimonials can go a long way when you’re trying to catch people’s attention about what you have to offer. People thrive on personal experiences, and they trust the general public to be honest about what it is that you’re doing. So, having those front and center on a website can be super helpful.

  • Engage with Feedback

People who deal with marketing often forget to engage with feedback. The more that you engage with feedback from others, the more you can establish your brand and the more trustworthy you are. Yes – this even means that you should be engaging with negative feedback, because it will help you to garner more respect as a business owner.

  • Show Examples of Who Uses Your Product or Service

Do you have industry leaders that recommend your products or services? Are there industry leaders that recommend products and service like yours? Share their insight as part of your business marketing and more people will check it out.

  • Offer Customers Incentives for Writing Reviews

You want to make sure that you have enough social proof to share, so give your customers and clients a bit of encouragement so that they’re more likely to share that info with you.

  • Develop a Referral Program

Referral programs can go a long way when you want to engage with social proof in any form or fashion. People are going to check out products and services that their friends and family recommend to them. And, people are more likely to recommend products if they have an incentive to do so.

Whether it’s discounts or free products, people are a lot more engaged when they get something out of it.

Developing a Social Proof Plan

As you can see, social proof can positively affect your business and how people view it. It takes time to really explore how you can use it to your advantage and what you need in order to make it work out in a positive fashion. But, if you’re willing to take some time and work out what matters most for you, you’re sure to find a way forward that allows you to find success with it.