What is Social Proofing?

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others simply because they believe that if other people are doing it, it must be the right thing to do.

Here are 5 different types of social proof you can use to increase business:
  1. Customer Testimonials - if you've got a great product that your customers love using, include their testimonials in your email marketing campaigns, and on your website. It's a great way of letting potential customers see a "real" example of how your products or services perform.
  2. Fear of Missing out - though this is commonly joked about, it's actually a recognised psychological phenomenon where people are driven to take action by the fear that they may be missing out on opportunities others are receiving. It's a powerful driver of human behaviour, so it's worth leveraging in your email campaigns to help increase your click-through rates.
  3. Industry Awards - Another way to use social proof is to showcase awards your company has received. Industry awards, particularly well-known ones, typically hold a lot of credibility among members of a particular industry. It's called the "Halo Effect", which is when your product is honoured amongst its peers, gaining credibility and respect in it's industry.
  4. Product Reviews - Adding in-depth product reviews from real customers who have used and tested your product thoroughly in a business environment can send a strong message to your customers about "just how this product performs". It increases the credibility of your product.
  5. Press Mentions - If you're lucky enough to have had your product reviewed, or even mentioned, by popular news sites or industry publications, then include that in your email marketing and on your website. In a similar way as industry Awards, these publications hold a lot of credibility and authority with your potential customers.
Social proof isn't just a marketing tactic, it's a fundamental driver of human behaviour which genuinely influences how people decide to act. Used wisely it can increase the credibility of your product or service and generate more sales for your business.

Excerpts from ClickZ Article September 2, 2015