Most businesses struggle with converting potential leads into paying customers. Social proof has the power to dramatically increase those conversions if used in the right way.
Social proof will be attractive at the end of the day because it empowers real buyers to tell your brand's story. When the story is about that you have satisfied your customers, it becomes pretty compelling.
In this article, we are going to look at social proof definition, how to use social proof in marketing effectively and the best social proof examples from well-known brands.
What is social proof? Social proof or informational social influence is the positive impact generated when people figure out that "everybody is doing that, why should not I?" It is a beautiful way of taking website users' interest, increase credibility, and boost your conversions.
According to Professor Robert Cialdini, people are more likely to act if they see others have already.
The concept is old, but as the accessibility of the internet has enhanced, social proofing has become today's shape.
Social proof is a highly influential factor in the decision-making process. Especially when people are uncertain about an outcome, they make decisions according to the experience and actions of others.
Ever since the primordial ooze, people always tend to ask for advice and confirmation before doing something for themselves. This is the reason why people still like asking their friends for recommendations or following the world's trends.
No matter how much value you include on your landing page, the prospects have absolutely no idea about what they will get. The essential point of social proof is to prove that other people have used your products, which actually solves a problem.
A study by Monash University shows that the most significant factor in increasing demand in 442 hotels was not necessarily the quality of service or design but the number of positive reviews on social media. It works for all of us, right? Don't you look at the hotel reviews before you pay $300 for a night to a hotel you have never been to?
Rent the Runway, a fashion business, has discovered that conversion rate increases by 200% paid search when an influential blogger or magazine refers to the brand.
Another study by Harvard Business School stated that regardless of niche and the type of business, a one-star increase in Yelp ratings leads to a 5% to 9% increase in sales.
A consumer study of Bright Local figured out that 88% of online shoppers read customer reviews before they make a purchase. 85% of them read up to 10 customer reviews before they convinced about the trustworthiness of the business.
Was that enough to clearly see the importance of social proof? Then, let's continue with what social proof means in marketing!
Let's look into the question, what is social proof in marketing? I believe that social proof is one of today’s best marketing methods to create confidence and build trust earlier of the conversion funnel.
Social proof enables businesses to incorporate their marketing messages into the customer's voice. You can place social proof at every stage of the purchasing process to encourage leads to buy from you with confidence.
To sum up, social proofing works perfectly.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to use social proof on a website is by using social proof popups. Check out our recipe: Social Proof Popup Examples for Powerful Persuasion in Marketing
Now, you will learn what you need to do and how you can start leveraging social proof to convert more!
Here are five very into your website;
Get testimonials! Hence, it is one of the most straightforward ways to show social proof on your website. Testimonials can be in the form of quotes, videos, or text.
Testimonials are powerful because they are objective opinions of your current customers. Therefore, make sure your testimonials are the people outside of your brand, such as influencers.
Another important thing is that testimonial content must address a specific problem that your brand is solving. Otherwise, weak testimonials will harm your brand in the long run.
We use testimonials here at Popupsmart as well. We are aware that our audience will want to know what is like to get a popup service from Popupsmart and make a decision accordingly.
Hit the nail with case studies! If your prospects do not know whether your products or services work for them, they would be more doubtful.
Case studies are perfect because you can showcase happy customers as well as demonstrate the quality and reliability of your brand.
You can add some numbers about how your clients were successful in their own brands by using your service. This approach will be simple but very effective.
While case studies and testimonials are surpassing, people will trust more in the opinions of people who are like them. This is why user-generated reviews are the most powerful social proof type.
Not all reviews have the same weight as Trustpilot CEO Peter Mühlmann said: "Using a closed platform is like asking your own mother if you’re handsome."
Social reviews from third-party platforms are more recognized and trusted. Therefore, you need to become visible in the platforms like Trustpilot and G2. Create an account, give your company details, and encourage your customers to write reviews on these platforms.
Purchasing is mostly an emotional decision rather than being a logical one. Soon, you will be enjoying the increase in your brand's engagement and conversion rates!
Popupsmart is also placed on these platforms. Write a review for us to earn a surprise prize.
See? User-generated reviews are useful.
A straightforward way to demonstrate social proof is to present the number of social media followers your company has. It is an excellent strategy to build trust because a brand cannot manipulate these numbers.
The number of social media followers reinforces to your audience how connectable your brand is, how many prospects actually follow, and trust your brand.
Think that what if a website visitor sees that one of her friends is also following your brand? She would become more likely to trust your brand and purchase something from your store.
Shock your visitors with the wisdom of the crowd! Have you ever tried to display a popup offering free e-book download in return for a visitor's contact information? Converts, right?
What if you also would have included a decent number of people downloaded this e-book? You would drive more attention!
Wisdom of the crowd is a great way to say, "What do you wait for? Everyone else has joined us." By letting your users know how many people are using your service, you will impress them and boost your subscribers efficiently.
Another way to leverage social proof is to display your most demanded products on a popup or on your landing page. It also enhances the products' popularity, amount of sales, and decreases bounce rate.
It is essential to focus on how you can actually implement social proof in your marketing strategies.
Now, we will get into the best strategies and guidelines to end up with maximized sales with the help of social proof concept.
Social proof presence makes a business more trustworthy, especially with declining trust in traditional marketing. However, people may become tend to think company members write reviews on a closed platform website.
People rely on reviews from third-party websites such as Trustpilot. Here, Canvas Factory shares some of their reviews and ratings on their page footer to show their credibility. And, believe me, it really works!
Presenting the real-time statistics about how many people are currently visiting your website, how many people have presently purchased an item, how many products have left is a fabulous form of social proof. Hence, it creates fear of missing out (FOMO) within website visitors.
People tend to shop when they know that some people are making purchases from the same store at the same time.
40% of respondents in a study by an analytics firm, have stated that they purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.
The impact of celebrity social proof is massive in today's world. Celebrities or industry leaders are lovely resources if you wish to establish authority and prove your brand's value.
This tactic may be applied via endorsement payments or naturally. This is the reason why big brands keep their digital campaign budgets massive.
Social media takeovers are significant to reach your potential customers who are not necessarily familiar with your company. An influencer or an expert take over your social media accounts for a certain amount of time and shares related posts with your brand.
It does not only leverage the relationship with that person's audience, but he accesses to your audience differently, too.
Has your company been featured in a media outlet? Then, definitely excerpt media mentions and show them on your website to establish authority.
It does not matter whether your brand was mentioned in a magazine, TV program, or podcast interviews. It does not attract the attention of your potential customers, but they will be more likely to visit your website to learn more about you.
Including your famous client logos in your pages is an extremely persuasive social proof strategy. Think about it! You are showing that very successful and giant companies prefer you. What happens? Positive adoption: smaller ones would adapt to your brand faster.
You can also show these logos on your popup campaigns and in your email marketing campaigns as well. Believe me; it will make a difference!
Adding logos of third party integration logos is an excellent way to borrow social credibility. Consider how your potential customers would think? "If this brand is powerful enough to cooperate with these brands, I can try it out!" Right?
At Popupsmart, we display all of the integration partners to build a trustworthy relationship with our prospects:
Having your "best seller" products with a relevant banner increases conversions on those specific products.
Products that are labeled as best seller ease the purchase decision among people who are never engaged with your brand. This is why one of the giant brands, Amazon, uses "#1 Best Seller" banner on its client stores.
When a visitor is viewing one of your products, you can show similar products that your customers usually buy along with the product.
This tactic is not just great for cross-selling but also a form of social proof because you are claiming that other people also purchase the product.
Displaying popular products on a sidebar is a widely used method for people who are not engaged with your brand before or not sure what to buy from your store.
You can also show your popular posts in your blog to prove that these contents are very demanded because they include beneficial information.
At Popupsmart, we place our most-read posts in the sidebar to obtain more traffic to those pages:
Featuring your happy customers as social proof works. Show off how your customers are satisfied with your products by adding their pictures to your website.
By showcasing your customers, people have a chance to see your brand in real. It is also a good way to create word-of-mouth because your customers will tend to share your website with their friends.
Even if your budget is low, you can still get more conversions with social proof.
Here, I have mentioned of 10 social proof tools that will help you in developing a marketing strategy. Let's begin;
Trustpulse is a tool to create fear-of-missing out among yours. Their small popups show the site activity instantly to grab attention.
Price: $39 for 2,500 sessions, $99 for 10,000 sessions, and $199 for $25,000 sessions.
Proof is a tool to add social proof notification to your website.
You can set up the tool and display what your other customers do to your website visitors such as opt-ins, views, purchases, and so on.
Price: Starting from $399.
WP Formify is a great Wordpress plugin to create a sense of urgency as well as to show social proof making your visitors act immediately.
Price: Starting from $99.
Fomo is also a marketing tool to include fear of missing out (FOMO) and social proof at the same time. It is customizable and powerful to convert visitors into paying customers.
Pricing: Starting from $19 per month.
Upfunnel is a smart social proof notification tool and very user-centric. You can target the right person at the right time by Upfunnel's AI technology.
Pricing: $49 for 10,000 unique visitors, $99 for 50,000 unique visitors, $149 for 100,000 unique visitors.
Now, you know a lot about social proof theory, its impact, social proof psychology in marketing, and how to apply it to your marketing strategies.
You may ask "what is an example of social proof?" Let's look at some social proof examples in action to understand how a social proof concept is compelling;
Hubspot tries to increase its subscribers by using the wisdom of crowd effect. Lots of people are following articles about digital marketing developments, don't fall behind!
eBay incorporates social proof on their product pages by including information about the number of views, rating of the seller, how many of that item has sold, and so on.
Nature Made uses an expert USP certification in their Facebook ads to incorporate social proof on their vitamins.
On Workday's blog page, they feature a Harvard Business School article about Workday's company culture, in order to develop a smart strategy.
On the Buzz section of the website, Fitbit publishes what health and tech experts say about the quality of their products. This may be the reason why Fitbit is often called the top fitness tracker.
This example is particularly a strong celebrity endorsement because Manuka was an unknown brand until Kourtney Kardashian used it on her reality show. Natural and perfect example of social proof!
Buzzsumo presents customer testimonials and case studies so visitors can learn more about the full story of their brand. This transparent method is quite compelling and attractive to potential customers.
Clash of Clans, a popular mobile game enlists Liam Neeson in their commercials to make a connection between his strong-man personality and the game. Adorable approach to celebrity social proof!
Starbucks does not need advertising because celebrities are often spotted with a Starbucks cup in their hands. It is a good example of natural social proof!
Every video on Netflix has real user reviews and ratings. As the number of positive comments increases, people are becoming more tend to give away their 2 hours for that film.
Google Play Store is using a different rating system. They list the total number of people with a particular star rating. Very demand increasing idea!
The most demanded books in the world carry a label of "The New York Times Best Seller" Why? Of course, due to the social proof method!
McDonald's tells people how many customers they have served so far. It is perhaps the simplest and most attractive form of social proof!
If our hamburger would have tasted bad, why do we have that much demand?
Always challenge your website as you are a website visitor before applying a social proof strategy to the site. What would you want to see? Then, add those elements to your page. I am sure one of them would be social proof.
It is as simple when it comes to decide on what type of social proof you need. After this point, all you should do is to apply A/B testing for figuring out what works best for your business.
Which social proof strategies will you use?
What was your favorite social proof example?
Share your thoughts and suggestions with us via comments!