Social proof is such an interesting concept that experts across the world have dedicated hundreds, if not thousands of words, in books and articles to talk about it. One such person is Robert Cialdini who explained social proof in his book and stated how people generally see a particular set of actions in a specific light, depending on how many people perform said set of actions.
In this article, we’ll explain what social proof is and how you can use it to gain more conversations.
What is Social Proof?
Wikipedia describes social proof as “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.” Basically, it means if people see other people doing something like buying your book or product, they’ll be more inclined to buy it as well.
All of this is not some cooked up idea to sound knowledgeable. Renowned psychologist, Edward Thorndike, gave a scientific perspective which backs up the concept of social proof. According to him and his halo effect, we often judge based on our impression of someone.
What this means is that if you get a celebrity or an expert to endorse your product and tell others that it is great, people would likely deem your product great simply because someone they admire or respect said it is.
Having stated this, by now it shouldn’t be hard for you to see that the possibilities that social proof offers are nearly infinite, depending on how you use it.
How do you Use Social Proof to Bring in More Conversions?
There are multiple ways you could go about it. We have outlined a number of these for you and provided examples where necessary. Read on… you’re about to improve your sales game!
Get a Celebrity to Talk about your Product
Remember what we said earlier about how people will react to a celebrity endorsing your product? Well, why not take advantage of that? If you have connections or know someone who does, you could persuade them into speaking with their popular friend to help endorse your product or service.
It’s even better if the celebrity is widely known in the industry you operate in. For example, if you sell fashionable clothing, getting a celebrity model to give you a promotion would do wonders for your business.
However, it is important to note that these celebrities often come at quite a cost. Some of them charge several hundreds of thousands for as little as a 30-second appearance in an endorsement video. So, instead of approaching them like you’re trying to hire them, meet them like you’re offering a collaboration of sorts. That way, they’ll be more likely to expect other things from you besides a lionshare of the financial profits from your business.
Share your Digital or Sales Milestones
When you hit a certain number of sales or registrations, you should not keep quiet about it.
For example, there was a brief period when Nigerians were quite worried about their security on the instant messaging platform, WhatsApp. As such, many migrated to its competitor, Telegram. In less than a month, the platform amassed several thousand new users and they didn’t keep quiet about it.
They shared their milestone on their channels and proceeded to personalize it by sending correspondence across to their users, informing them of the development. In turn, their users who got the message shared the milestone through screenshots and whatnot without even being prompted. This amounted to free word of mouth marketing for Telegram which would’ve inevitably boosted their sales and increased brand reach.
You should do the same too. When you hit ten thousand followers, let people know. When you make your hundredth sale, let people know. When you render your 50th service, let people know. You can post this across social media or send a newsletter. That way, people will see that other people are working with you and they’ll be more inclined to do the same.
Use UGC Whenever you Can
UGC is an acronym that stands for user-generated content. It could be a simple video of a lady flaunting a wig that she got from you. It could be a picture of a guy holding your bottled water while he smiles at the camera.
Once you can get their permission to use these organically created pieces of content, you can repost them. Others who haven’t patronised you yet will see that their colleagues are not towing their line of apathy. As such, they’ll likely change their minds and buy from you.
To encourage people to create UGC, you could organize a social media contest or something similar. However, it’s often best when it is organic. So, the best line of action would be to simply encourage customers to tag you when they do take these pictures and videos.
Display Testimonials on your Website
This part almost goes without saying. Have you been able to make a student satisfied by your digital marketing course? Tell him to explain his satisfaction in his own words. Then, with his permission, put those words on your website and social media pages. Doing so will help you convert people better than when you’re blowing your own trumpet.
An alternative to testimonials is a good user rating. If, on Jumia, for example, your product gets 5/5 stars out of 100 reviews, that’s a testament to the excellence of your product. Include it on your website, preferably on the header.
These are a few ways you could employ social proof for more conversions. While social proof itself might rely on scientific explanations, the process of using it is much more creative. Therefore, with regards to how you can employ social proof to increase your sales, the only limit is your imagination.