Social proof, by way of an adage, is evidence that birds of a feather flock together. Basically, what it means – for your business, in particular – is that people will tend to follow the herd. This is especially true when it isn’t clear to the individual how to behave or act in a particular situation; they will assume that others know more than they do, and indulge in an argument from popularity.
The Many Faces of Social Proof
Continuing from the above, it is instructive to show a few of the practical forms of social proof. For the online space, for example, positive user experiences go a long way in converting interested (potential) consumers. Ratcheting this up is the celebrity endorsement. The phenomenon of the Instagram promoter is a form of social proof known as “crowd wisdom”; and certification from various well-known professional authorities in relevant industries is the icing on the cake.
Using Social Proof to Your Benefit
The thousand-dollar question is how do you take advantage of social proof for your business? Simple – by using extensions of the examples above. Online reviews are a great way to employ the crowd wisdom feature: if you have a product or are an affiliate of Amazon, then you can incentivize consumers to leave an Amazon review within a certain period of time after purchase. Every reliable study done on the matter shows that consumers check both the price and the Amazon review of a product before buying it.
Customer case studies are a more robust avenue of social proof; especially if you can get customers to post their personal journeys as pertains to your product or service. Following in a similar vein, the trusted seals – certifications, membership panels, etc – can grant a great deal of social proof to your platform.
Customer counts and customer showcase often go hand-in-hand; just think of McDonald’s “many billions served” banners, and in-store murals featuring a customer’s testimonial or how the company has changed their life. If you want to really step these up, consider a customer video showcase – remember; a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a thousand pictures.