Especially when purchasing a new product or service people try to find out some experienced opinions as social proofs from those who have used the product or service before. When you failed to provide the proof in your advertising, most of the people lean towards your competitor's products because no one wants to be a lone wolf. Social proof plays an essential role in maintaining an increasing conversion rate.
What is social proof?
Social proof is a kind of evidence of experience about using a product or service that is shared by the users of the product. Social proof is a psychology based marketing element that justifies the product for the users whether it is required for them. Social proof can be positive and can be negative too. It depends on your product quality and the experience of the users with it.
Does social proof really work?
Not only social proof works but people search social proof to know how can be the experience with the product and service.
I personally tasted one of my landing pages to find out does social proof really work. My 1st variation had no social proof and 2nd variation had some positive social proofs and the 3rd variation contained 2 negative proofs with some positive proofs.
The second variation had the top conversion rate by 47% and the first one had the conversion rate by 23% and the third one had the conversion rate only 4%. This means negative social proof is worse than no social proof.
So, positive social proof really works.
Psychological fact of social proof
Research says that, generally people buy something according to their emotions and they create logic to justify their emotions. Social proof activates several emotional points that make them more likely to buy something.
One of the most important emotional points is trust that is activated by social proof. I can give an example of myself that may be similar to you.
I needed a PC chair to work on my pc. I was searching on an ecommerce site to find out the perfect chair for me. One chair attracted my eyes but it had no reviews. If I had bought it, I would have been the first person to buy it.
But I bought another chair with more money only because the chair had a lot of good reviews. Good reviews create the trust for the product in my mind. It is a formula that is applicable to motivate most people to buy something.
How important social proof in sales
14% of customers over the age of 18 think that when they buy a product, they are more likely to buy the product that endorses their favorite celebrity.
35% of customers think a positive review motivates them to buy a product even if it is relatively expensive.
93% of people do research about the product before they buy it and 97% of these 93% think that social proof leads their buying decision.
Experts says about social proof
Marketing experts have long understood the importance of social proof and have been talking about its importance for a long time. One of my favorite marketing mentors is Jonah Berger. He is the marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also an international bestselling author. He talks about the importance of social proof. I am giving his exact words here.
“It has been said that when people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate one another. We look to others for information about what is right or good to do in a given situation, and this social proof shapes everything from the products we buy to the candidates we vote for. The phrase ‘Monkey see, monkey do’ captures more than just our tendency to follow others. If people can’t see what others are doing, they can’t imitate them. So to get our products and ideas to become popular we need to make them more publicly observable”
Different ways to use the power of social proof
Providing social proof is the most effective marketing tactics that creates the trust in user’s mind and serves the deep information about the user experience of that product. There are several types of social proof can be that create different types of psychological expression.
1. Customer reviews
Customer reviews are the most common social proof used by the ecommerce. Along with it is the most demanding social proof. Customer reviews are the quickest way by which visitors get the metaphorical face of the product.
56% of customers say they are motivated to buy the product only if it has 4 stars ratings or more.
The customer enters an ecommerce site hoping to see the customer reviews along with the product. When they see a good review, they feel a kind of satisfaction towards that product. Better and more customer reviews indicate that it is a quality product and many people are using it with ease. The second thing “many people are using it” awakens the desire to imitate people.
People are now accustomed to enough online shopping and even used to see fake reviews. From buyer's point of view, most buyers do not consider the review original unless the product has at least 40 reviews.
On the other hand, 75% of customers find any review older than 3 months unacceptable. So entrepreneurs and marketers should be very careful about their customer’s review.
With increasing in conversion rate another important benefit of reviews is that, research has shown, if a product or business gets 10 or more reviews, the search traffic of that business increases by about 20%. So marketers / entrepreneurs don’t underestimate the power of review.
2. Social media commenting
In the current era, social media is said to be the most popular channel of marketing. 70% of business-to-consumer marketers have gotten their customers through Facebook and 33% of users like to contact with the brands through social media instead of making a phone call.
So it is sure that social media commenting can play a big role in getting to know about a product. Users are constantly sharing their experiences of using products. Take the screen shot some of the comments, show it in your landing page.
See my own example. I just used the screenshot of my social comments. The landing page has the conversion rate by 47%.
In social media comment, there is a believing point. Social media comments cannot be fake. It must be done by a real man.
It is not impossible for social media comments to be fake, but when there are a large number of comments, they are more likely not to be fake.
3. Share case study / success story
Case study can be the most inspirational social proof. Every case study has a story behind it. That is the main power of sharing case study because everyone loves stories.
As I said before, social proof activates several emotional points and a research of optinmonster about emotional marketing say that an emotional piece or content can increase your conversion rate up to 70%.
A case study or success story brings a person to such a real event that arouses his desire to imitate. After all, we are all more or less imitators. See the example of buzzsumo that can be the best example of sharing case study.
Case study has one more fact that is very important to note. When a success story is shared to visitors, they visualize the story. In this way the story stays in the visitor’s head for a long time that gives you an extra benefit.
Using case study in your landing page as social proof definitely increases your conversion rate but the extra benefit is you will get returning conversion because of the inspirational story. Many visitors will immediately decide to use your product but they will not be able to afford it immediately but they will be back to use your product or service shortly.
4. Showing testimonials
Testimonials are the simple and short form of sharing such a product experience that recommends a product. Testimonials only contain the best aspect of a product in a short form that directly provokes users to get something special. According to a research of big commerce 72% of peoples say that testimonials increase their trust in a business.
See the example of a short but inspiring testimonial that I have achieved and use in my home page.
A problem solving power can be one of the best aspects of a product. You can ask your users to find out if any of their problems have been solved by this product. If your product makes peoples life easier by solving problems then people will find your product as a solution. Solutions are the high demand of the human mind.
5. Use third party rating site
You are showing social proof from collecting social proof through your own website. It is definitely so effective but when you show social proof through a third party site then the third party site automatically becomes the witness of the rating.
One research of trust radius says that 49% of consumers don’t interact with own representative of the vendors. You can see in the picture. Zoom is a well-known online meeting arrangement site. They successfully use third party ratings.
You can imagine it yourself, whether you are more assured by a third person’s user review or by the owner’s / marketer’s piece of that product.
People give reviews on a third party site only when the product resonates with them and it is felled by both reviewers and buyers. That’s why people take third party ratings from a slightly different angle that makes your product outstanding.
There are various sites available that you can use them to get reviewed. Such as trust pilot, yelp. A review site called affpaying that is widely used to finding legit affiliate cpa networks. Even I also used the site when I was new in this industry and my first used cpa network was recommended by affpaying.
6. Celebrity expert endorse
Expert endorses are a kind of social proof that rapidly makes your brand famous to those who are fans of that expert. But sometimes marketers / entrepreneurs choose the wrong expert to endorse their products that creates a bad impact on the product / brand.
When your product is related bodybuilding then you have to find out a person who is both celebrity and expert in bodybuilding. Ronnie Coleman could be perfect celebrity expert for a bodybuilding brand.
On the other side if your product is related with digital marketing then Ronnie Coleman would be the worst celebrity / expert for the product. Neil Patel is a marketing big fish of the planet. If he endorses your product then his fans will make it their own very shortly. You can see in the example of the picture how Kristi used expert endorse.
An example from my life, I was a fan of Salman Khan. I saw an ad of dew. In this ad Salman Khan was endorsing the cold drink “Dew”. After seeing this ad, Dew became my favorite drink and I think that is only for endorsing it by Salman Khan.
7. Number oriented social proof
Numbers are not words so they look different in the stack of the words. For their different looking they easily grab the attention of the visitors. Showing numbers creates the emotion of fear of missing out something.
If you show how many products are left to buy, it will directly arouse the fear of missing out the product. This effect not only increases the conversion rate but it increases the speed of getting conversion.
Another use of numbers as social proof is showing how many peoples are currently using this product or service. One example can be like “2339 peoples are successfully applying the strategy for more than 4 months”.
I have seen an ecommerce site uses number oriented social proof properly. Booking.com is a well-known online hotel booking agent. They show how many people have booked rooms in the last few hours.
Presenting social evidence based on numbers creates an environment of such an authenticity that causes visitors to feel they are lagging behind and they are killing their time. This is a matter of fear which is activated by number oriented social proof.
8. Use featured logo
It is also a widely used social proof. This is a type of social proof by which you tell your visitors about the brands who have used your service or featured your brand or articles on their website. See in the picture how ad espresso is using the logo of those who have used their service.
Many marketers do a mistake in this case. Suppose a website has featured your blog post but you haven't noticed that the article is featured on that website from which point of view. Even if your product or brand is negatively featured, is it okay to you to use that website's logo on your website?
So first read what says the website / brand about your brand and only then put their logos on your website.
9. Current status of the users
You can be the most successful in the world of digital marketing only if you help your audience stay up to date. Old wine in new bottles works occasionally but new wine in new bottles always and most works. This is why you should share your user's current activity with visitors.
How your users are currently benefiting from your product or how they are making their life easier through your service, when your visitors find out about this, they have a feeling of imperfection and they think that they can get the fulfillment right now if they want in the same way that your users have got the perfection by using your product.
You can present this social proof in a slightly different way if you want, as “x number of users are getting this benefit from this service but recently z number of users have taken the service to do y”.
Offer free trial to get social proof for a new product
Most new brands are not supposed to have any social proof. That is very normal. But it is difficult to sell the product without review. That's why you can offer your product for free only for good reviews. It will give you a good start. The rests depend on your product quality.
If your product has enough quality then you are going to get real positive social proof and the notable benefit is once people use your quality product it involves with their life as a result who use your product free for the first time he comes back to use your product.
What if Your Business Had an Audience of Dedicated Fans Who Can't Wait to Buy Everything You Create?
Yes, it is possible! Serial entrepreneur Shane Melaugh finally reveals the complete system for how to do it:
Dose social proof work for affiliate marketers
Affiliate marketers who work with products that they do not own or produce. If you are an affiliate marketer in this case you have to find out the products or services that have the required social proofs. While promoting the product, present the social proofs of the product in a well decorated way.
Every product is not advertised worthy. As a marketer you have to have the capacity to understand a product or service. If you find a product without any social proof, without a well-decorated website, I think you should leave the product.
Create your own product
If you want more freedom in marketing then the best solution is creating your own product. When you have your own product you can collect every types of social proof you want for the product. You have the control in your hand.
You may be feeling nervous about creating a product. But I am not telling you to create product like big brands. I'm talking about creating a digital product that could be a video or an ebook or any other digital assets.
This type of product should not be too difficult to create. Showcase your skills through a strategic video, this is a complete product. If you want you can publish it in the form of an ebook instead of a video.
If you can’t write an ebook then come up with a plan and outsource it. There are plenty of platforms available from where you can hire a writer to write you book. You can hire writer from fiverr or hirewriters. Both are enough good for hiring writers.
If you want a free solution then download a free PLR content in your niche edit it with your own flavor. There are plenty of PLR content providers. You can choose any provider, I can suggest IDPLR.com or PLRassassin.com. I have used their PLR contents and I was satisfied.
What is the best way to collect social proofs?
Social proofs can be collected through many ways. You can use Facebook to collect social proofs. There are several third party sites available I have said above. If you want you can use email to ask your users about the experience of using your products.
But the best professional way to collect social proof is to collect it directly through your website. Create a template of form according to which type of social proof you want to collect and ask your users to share their experience in the form.
In this way you can collect exactly the type of social proof you want to collect. Not only that, when you send the user to the form, users see your product or service form a speaker’s angle that connects the users more emotionally to the product.
But collecting data through website is the matter of programming. Those of you who know programming have no worries but those who don't know need a solution that allows you to collect social proof without coding.
Yes…. Use Thrive Ovation to make easy your digital marketing. In Thrive Ovation you have complete freedom to collect any type of unlimited social proof. You can directly show the proof on your landing page as soon as they share with you.
You have more than 25 social proof showing templates. You can edit them as you want. So if you want to collect social proof easily in the best way then Thrive Ovation from Thrive Themes is for you.
The video will show you the easiest way to collect social proofs using Thrive Ovation:
Both for a new brand and old brand, customers experience is the vital point to get ultimate conversion rate. You can collect several fake social proofs but once your users discover your product is bogus then not only will they avoid your product but they will avoid every one of your products that are under the brand. Whatever, the main thing is you have to create a quality product first and only then you can think about social proofs so that the social proofs are real and you can have the long lasting customer base.