Leverage social proof to win over customers.

How Businesses Can Leverage Social Proof to Enhance their Digital Marketing Strategy

Posted on May 20th, 2017 by Elizabeth

Companies that leverage social proof build trust with potential customers.

Today’s society is living in an exciting time. We are able to access a world of information through the internet, mobile applications and video content. Knowing that the average consumer is exposed to thousands of messages per day, many businesses and marketers are constantly brainstorming strategies that will ensure that their product stands out. One approach that must be considered is social proof.

People rely on the feedback and actions of other people so they know how to act and behave in other situations. Have you ever found yourself looking around at other people when you didn’t know where to go or what to do? Congratulations – you were looking for social proof. Social platforms make it even easier for people to look for social proof because it’s more accessible. This means it’s becoming more important than ever for businesses to capitalize on positive reviews and feedback. Everyone is looking for reviews and judging your business on it.

Social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have made it easier for social proof to be implemented in marketing campaigns. Studies show that 70% of consumers say that they look at online product reviews before making a purchase, and positive reviews make them trust businesses more.

Social proof is 100% necessary. Here are the five main types of social proof along with ideas on how to implement them into your company’s marketing strategy:

1. Expert Social Proof: The brand employs the expertise of an individual like a popular social media influencer or local business leader.

An emerging cosmetics company partners with YouTube personality Michelle Phan to do an eyebrow tutorial featuring their signature brow shaping pencil. Once the video goes live, the cosmetic company enjoys increased sales of the brow shaping pencil due to the exposure on a popular YouTube channel.

2. Celebrity Social Proof: Brands incorporating celebrity talent into their campaigns is a tried and true strategy. Thanks to social media, their reach is magnified. Marketwatch concluded that even a simple announcement from a brand signing a celebrity or professional athlete can increase sales by 4% (on average).

In 2004 Chanel partnered with Nicole Kidman to produce a short film titled “No.5 The Film”. This deal increased business by 16%, without any changes in fragrance or packaging.

3. User Social Proof: Examples include product case studies and online reviews. When writing case studies, be sure to detail the challenge presented by the client and how your product or service solved it. Include photos or videos of happy customers!

4. Wisdom of the Crowd: Approval from large groups of other people. It shows that many consumers have already taken the action that the user is considering.

On the website Bucketlist Bombshells, they promote their Facebook group by stating, “Join our private Facebook community of 3000+ aspiring (and seasoned) millennial women who want to work online, travel the world and live creatively.”

5. Wisdom of Friends: This can include social media widgets with follower counts or company referral programs.

When a new user creates an account with popular rideshare service Uber, they are given a referral code that can be shared with their personal networks. When that code is entered during a new user signup, the original user is rewarded with a free ride.

Implementing social proof can give your brand a leg up on the competition, as you’re demonstrating that you are at the pulse of what consumers in your industry are looking for. If you’ve already tried some of these strategies and have experienced success, let us know in the comments!