Social proof marketing is a powerful tool to establish credibility, attract more customers, and increase revenue. As a marketing tool, social proof isn’t anything new. Companies have been using celebrities to endorse products for years. But thanks to social media platforms, even small businesses tap into the power of customer reviews, testimonials, user-generated content, and case studies.
What is social proof marketing? How can getting more company mentions lead to better success? How can you market your brand with social proof?
In this article, you will find the answers to why your business needs social proof as part of its marketing strategy.
What is Social Proof Marketing?
Social proof is the phenomenon whereby people copy the actions of the majority of those around them. When they are unsure of what to do or what decision to make, people—your potential customers—will look for social clues. They will then base their decisions on what everyone else seems to be doing.
Even though we talk about social proof marketing strategies, there is nothing complicated about the phenomenon. All it takes is for a well-known celebrity—influencer—to say how great a particular product is. Or, you might read several reviews where customers praise a product. Other types of social proof can include any of the following:
- User testimonials.
- Positive media reports.
- Social media shares.
- Business credentials—i.e., how many customers they have.
- A large number of customer reviews.
The Power of Social Proof Marketing Strategies
Terms associated with social proof marketing help to show how beneficial it is for your business. For example, “Wisdom of the Crowds” and “Wisdom of your Friends” are two terms used to describe the effect of social proof. In other words—everybody else is doing it (or choosing it), so why shouldn’t I?
Let’s illustrate the power of social proof in influencing decision making. Say you’re walking down the street looking for somewhere to eat. You pass by three or four restaurants. Two of them are full of people, and there’s a vibrant atmosphere and two places are empty. Which one will you choose?
Chances are, you’ll head to one of the busier restaurants. You may not even pay too much attention to the price. Because, after all, if those two empty places were any good, they would be bursting at the seams with clients.
In the end, you made a decision based on what other people were doing—and you made this without doing a lot of research. After all, how do you know for sure that the empty restaurants don’t serve better food? You don’t—you only assumed.
Studies show that social proof has an even more significant impact online. For example, figures released in 2019 show how critical reviews and testimonials are for your business. Here are a few stats that may surprise you:
- Eighty-two percent of consumers check out online reviews before engaging with a local business.
- On average, consumers read ten reviews before they trust the business.
- Positive reviews result in over 91 percent of customers deciding to use a business.
- Consumers pay the most attention to reviews that are less than two weeks old.
So, social proof is a potent tool to set your business apart from your competitors. When you can “prove” how popular your product or service is, you can give people the confidence to choose your company.
3 Ways to Use Social Proof to Boost Your Business Success
You now know that social proof works and is a useful marketing tool. How can you leverage proof from social media sources to attract more customers to your business? Here are three simple tactics to create social proof.
1. Positive reviews are social proof
A highly effective way of showing social proof is to encourage customers to leave reviews. The simple fact is that the majority of people read reviews before making a purchase. When it comes to using reviews as a social proof marketing strategy, there are three crucial factors to consider:
- The number of reviews—You need a large number of reviews to establish your credentials. The more the better. You only have to remember the restaurant example as proof that numbers matter.
- The quality of reviews—All positive reviews ensure that they offset the impact of any negative reviews. After all, one of the first things a consumer looks at is your overall star rating.
- The relevancy of reviews—There is no good having a few one-year-old reviews that make up your five-star rating. Customers only pay attention to reviews left in the previous few weeks.
To make reviews work for your marketing strategy, you need to have them published on several channels. Most companies have Google reviews posted on their website. You must optimize your Google My Business profile where your company will show up in local search results. Also, claim your business on review sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, Trustpilot, and Facebook.
2. Social proof through customer testimonials
Testimonials are a great way to showcase the best that your business has to offer. While you may think that testimonials and reviews are similar, they work in different ways to show social proof. The difference between reviews and testimonials is that you collect and manage testimonials.
Here are a few ways that testimonials can help establish your credibility:
- Show positive results—Very often, businesses use testimonials to show before and after shots. You also include video testimonials from satisfied customers.
- Established relationships—Testimonials also send social signals that your business has existing relationships with customers.
- Boost referrals—Customers who have their testimonials published are more likely to refer you to their friends. This is a powerful type of word-of-mouth marketing for small, local businesses.
3. Use social media
Social media is one part of the social proof marketing toolbox that can boost your success. While the number of social media followers isn’t the “be-all and end-all” of marketing, it does send out essential signals. Social proof is all about following the crowd. A large following in social media will instill confidence and more people will follow your brand.
Social Proof Marketing—How to Get Reviews?
Getting reviews from customers can be challenging. How can you get more reviews? One thing small businesses can’t afford to do is leave getting reviews up to chance.
Most customers forget to leave reviews, even if they’ve had a great experience. So, your business could be missing out on the chance of getting hundreds of positive reviews from satisfied customers. If you don’t get these, you may end up with a weak review profile that consists of a low-star rating, a few old reviews, and more negative reviews than positive ones.
Would you like to know how to get more real reviews without any hard work? The Starloop review management solution has been designed for businesses just like yours. This solution has resulted in our members getting hundreds of reviews and see revenue increase at the same time.
How does the Starloop review system benefit your business?
- Our automated software sends up to three friendly, low-pressure invites to customers inviting them to review your business.
- For every review you receive, we plant a tree—a great incentive for your customers to leave feedback.
- As the number of reviews increases, so does your social proof and brand reputation.
- The increase in credibility and trust results in more paying customers for your business.
The Starloop system ticks all the boxes when it comes to what is needed to establish social proof through reviews. You get an increased steady stream of new reviews from satisfied customers. The result is a favorable review profile on Google and may even boost your rankings in local search results.
Please contact a member of our team to see how you can start getting more reviews today.