What is one of the usual things you do before booking a restaurant, a holiday or buying a product online?

You probably read online reviews left by customers who have already been there or tried that service. Good: the set of all the opinions and comments published online is called social proof and is now vital for the online reputation management of a brand.

In the past we might have talked with a friend to get some advice, but today the world of the web has made the social proof part of what we see online every day. Word of mouth continues to exist, but in different forms, integrating online and offline, and it’s still the best way to make yourself known and attract customers. Thanks to social media, social proof has gained a lot of importance and including it in your company’s website or digital channels, can add credibility to your brand and increase conversions.

Many ways, one goal

While the review is perhaps the most relevant example, there are plenty of other ways to show your social proof. Here are some!

Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is not a new thing, it’s actually part of our life already from advertisements in magazines and TV programs. Associating a product with a face known to the public has long been a working strategy, but social media has taken influencer marketing to the next level. 

In addition to celebrities, brands can also work with micro-influencers followed by a niche audience because they share the same interests or operate locally. This way, your audience will definitely be more targeted and really interested in your product, thus increasing the possibility of converting advertising into purchase.

Campaigns with user-generated content

User-generated content campaigns are a great way to increase online social proof for several reasons, including:

  • Arouses emotions: people share content on social networks because they care about something or someone. For your campaign look for a common theme that arouses emotions, so as to involve the target audience.
  • Be specific: make sure your call to action is specific and goes to the point where participation is easier for followers.
  • Make content fun and dynamic: adding a good CTA increases your chances of success, find a key to encourage your customers to take action that can engage them, such as taking and posting a photo with the product.

Make best seller

Take a cue from e-commerce giants like Amazon and create a “best seller” category in your shop. Mark the most popular products and create a section with all the best-selling items, including even the most “often sold together” (thus applying other marketing techniques such as Up-Selling and Cross-Selling, which we talked about here).

The power of numbers 

To support your Social Proof in Business also takes advantage of the “law of numbers“. All you have to do is include in the advertisements truthful numbers about how many people have already purchased a product or service. In this way the potential lead, reading this data, will be tempted to do the action as others have done before him. Add phrases like “150 users have already purchased this product in the last month” or ” 500 people have already subscribed to the newsletter, leave the email to stay updated on the latest news”. 

Social Proof Tips

After every purchase that a customer concludes on your shop, always remember to ask them to leave a review on your Social Profiles, perhaps through a dedicated email. Google My Business is the most used and perfect tool for this operation!

Statistical studies show that:

  • about 65% of users before making a decision search online experiences of those who passed before them in the choice;
  • 95% of those who read negative reviews abandoning the idea of buying, or heading towards other solutions;
  • 80% of consumers take the decision to spend their money only if the company’s score is at least 4 stars. Otherwise, confidence drops dramatically.

You can understand, therefore, that testimonials are a source of free Social Proof that in some cases becomes crucial in determining the conclusion of a sale.

What if Social Proof is negative?

Relying on the subjective and personal opinion of customers who report their experience, it may happen that social proof can sometimes be negative. Unlike oral word of mouth, the review written on the web remains, they’re visible and anyone can read it. They can therefore be a great contribution, in the case of positive words, but if on the contrary they are written in a negative sense, do not panic. 

The first rule is not to delete them,  on the contrary, to understand what they are due, to interact by answering and trying to find a meeting point. It’s important to be open to external advice, sometimes acknowledging the error or accepting different points of view.  Responding publicly allows everyone to read the written words and get a better idea of your work.