For consumers, the factors that lead to their decisions are varied, to say the least. But one thing that you are in control of, and carries with it a lot of power, is social proof.
In fact, if you take a look at some of the statistics in regards thriving in business, in conjunction with social proof, you will see that most consumers (70%, actually) read reviews before making a purchase. While 63% of consumers have said that they are more likely to purchase from a website if it has ratings and reviews.
What is Social Proof?
Social proof, or what is sometimes referred to as “informational social influence,” is a philosophical concept that says that people will conform to the actions of others with the understanding that the action in question is reflective of proper/correct behavior. Or to put it another way: if I observe other people doing something, and I value and trust those people, I should be doing it too.
The concept of social proof isn’t new (ever watch a television show that features a laugh track? McDonald’s sign reads: Billions and billions served), but for the sake of marketing on the Internet, it has come a long way over the past few years.
Basically, building a stronger business requires visibility and transparency, and social proof can be tantamount to your success if used correctly.
The 5 Types of Social Proof
So if are you ready to get your social proof game on and market your business, here are 5 types of social proof you’ll need to understand to get your started.
1. Expert: Getting the backing of an industry expert, blogger, or authority on the subject.
2. Celebrity: An endorsement from a notably famous person, add +10 if it’s unpaid.
3. User: Approval from current customers/users of the product/service, through testimonials, case studies, and reviews.
4. Hive-Mind: Approval from large groups of “other” people, even if they aren’t necessarily users.
5. Friends’ Wisdom: Approval from your friends and family.
If people have the ability to connect with what you are selling them (product, service, whatever), are educated, informed, and see that others that they respect place value in what you offer, you will see increased sales and happier customers.
That, is social proof.
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