“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off too?”
No, this isn’t a quote by a very wise ancient philosopher. It’s just something our moms used to ask us when we were kids. This question always seemed SO irrelevant and absurd, right?
But, it turns out, there’s actually a really powerful human psychology behind it – social proof.
As humans, we’re wired to imitate the actions of others. We have got this automatic tendency to do what other people are doing because we think, “Well if they’re doing it, it must be the right thing to do.”
Remember the time when you choose a busy restaurant over the empty one next door, despite the long waiting list? Or when you ordered a meal upon seeing it being delivered to a person at the next table?
Congratulations, you are a living, breathing example of social proof!
Not just that, have you ever wondered why there’s a laugh track in your favorite sitcom? Because TV executives know that if you hear laughter, you’re more likely to laugh. It’s just human nature 101.
This phenomenon of social proof affects everything – from the way we spend our time to the purchases we make, and that’s obviously why it is a BLESSING for businesses.
Social proof shifts a customers’ perception and pushes him down the funnel to convert. Best of all, it makes your customers feel that they’ve made the right decision.
That brings up the question: how do we use the power of social proof to grow our businesses? So, let’s find out a few ways you can leverage social proof to persuade people that your product is the BEST.
8 Ways You Can Leverage Social Proof to Boost Sales & Conversions (Without Spending a Fortune)
1. It’s All in the Response
Just in case if you haven’t heard – reviews are all the rage. They are the biggest source of social proof, and they have a clear impact on sales.
With about 95% of customers reading reviews before making a purchase, saying that customer reviews are important would be an understatement.
The thing is, when it comes to making choices, we humans aren’t always independent thinkers. We mean, just think about the last time you bought a new pair of shoes online.
You probably looked for reviews online first, right? That’s because we’re more likely to buy something if others around us – even total strangers – agree that it is the right choice.
Well, yes, asking for reviews can feel awkward or self-serving, but 60% of customers left a review when a business asked them for it. So, leave your comfort zone and start collecting reviews for your business.
Read more: Tripwires: Definition, How To Include Them & Examples!
2. The Wisdom of Experts
“This toothpaste has been recommended by several medical professionals.”
We’ve all heard this at the end of almost every toothpaste commercial. The reason? By adding a recommendation from an expert in the field, the brand increases the toothpaste’s credibility.
This kind of expert confirmation provides that last bit of persuasion that turns a lukewarm prospect into a big-ticket buyer.
To put it simply, when you align your product or service with prominent experts in your field, you show that your product is not only excellent, it’s also the product that industry experts recommend to use.
That’s because most of us have this tendency to listen more closely when experts are talking about a certain product. After all, they have years of experience, and we might not have it.
When we feel like we don’t have enough information to make a sensible choice, this is what helps us make our decision.
Read more: 7 Social Media Trends To Watch Out For in 2021
3. Case Studies are the Holy Grail
We hear a lot about the power of storytelling these days, and with good reason.
People love stories, people connect with stories, and there’s no better method to tell a story in business than using a data-rich case study of your customers.
Characters, conflicts, resolution – a case study has it all. Your customers are the main character of the story, and your product or service is what helps them save the day.
The best part? These stories always have a happy ending. 😇
To put it simply, case studies bring your product to life and drive home the benefits of using it. They make your business easier to relate to.
Oh, and this method is relatively low cost! All you need to do is bring your sales team together, talk to your customers, and create a story that hits the right chords.
4. Influencer Endorsements are Hot Right Now
There’s a reason why brands love influencer endorsements – it’s effective, and these stats just go on to prove that:
- Only 1% of millennials trust advertisements, but 33% of them trust blog reviews for their purchases.
- Influencer marketing yields a $6.50 return on investment for every dollar spent.
- Around 40% of people said that they bought a product online after seeing it used by an influencer on social media.
The reason is, Influencer marketing adds a human touch to marketing because instead of a brand boasting about itself through an advertisement, the source here is another person – a human being.
But remember, just like every other kind of marketing, influencer marketing is only effective if you take the time to do it right. Find people who have got a genuine audience who truly care about what they say.
5. Live Streams – The Next Big Thing
Live streams are drastically changing the way brands interact with their audiences, and we’ve got facts to back this up:
- 80% of audiences would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog.
- 91 million subscribers will utilize live streaming by 2024.
- 47% of viewers are live streaming more than a year ago.
- Over 360 million users watch Facebook Live regularly, and 200 million users watch Instagram Live.
So, why are live streams the talk of the town called social proof? Well, because live streaming videos feel unscripted, transparent, honest, and more reliable.
According to studies, people watch live streams for the same reason they watch television – they want to stay informed and connected.
In fact, it has also been shown that the majority of people who watch live content end up searching for the creator on search engines.
With all these crazy stats, if live-streaming isn’t a part of your brand’s marketing strategy, you are missing out.
6. Yes, Your Follower Count Does Matter
Let’s accept it.
When we’re checking out a social media profile of a brand or an individual, the first thing that catches our attention is their follower count.
We look at it and immediately decide whether the page is good or not.
This proves that whether you like it or not, numbers do matter, and having a big audience on social media gives an impression that your brand is loved.
Just how “it takes money to make money,” it also takes followers to get more followers.
Like we said multiple times, humans tend to “follow the crowd”. If a lot of people are doing something, we’re more likely to jump in.
But that doesn’t mean that you’ve to buy a bunch of fake followers and give the illusion of social proof. Always focus on building a genuine, engaged, and authentic following!
Read more: 12 Sales KPIs Your Sales Department Should Measure!
7. Let Your Customers Do the Marketing
You can talk about the benefits of your product all day long, but your potential customers would probably end up ignoring most of it.
On the other hand, if someone ELSE is talking about how cool your product is, people will believe it more quickly.
That’s because people trust other people more than they trust your brand. They will believe what their neighbor has to say about your product a whole lot more than what you say – it’s as simple as that.
This is exactly what User Generated Content is – digital word of mouth – or more accurately – word of mouse. Stackla found that UGC content impacts the purchasing decisions of 79% of people!
So use the billions of photos, videos, boomerangs, etc. that people post on social networks every day to amplify your message, get new customers on board, and puff up your profit margins.
The best part? UGC saves you resources and gets your audience to trust you more. That’s killing two birds with one stone!
Read more: 9 Customer Acquisition Strategies Your Boss Wishes You Knew!
8. Display your Terrific Numbers
As humans, we want to know that we’re not the only ones to use a certain product – because none of us wants to be a guinea pig. So, take a look at your best numbers and display them on your website!
How many customers you’ve served till now? How many people are on your website right now? How many purchases were made in the last 24 hours? – Just let these numbers do the talking for you!
McDonald’s is a classic example of this. Look at their signboards, and you’ll notice that they always boast that ‘X billion hamburgers have been served at McDonald’s.
What screams social proof louder than a BILLION? Would you buy a hamburger from a fast-food place that has served billions of customers? Obviously!
Check out these sales templates:
Our team at bit.ai has created a few awesome sales templates to make your sales process more efficient. Make sure to check them out before you go, your sales team might need them!
- Sales Process Template
- Sales Plan Template
- Sales Content Assets Template
- Sales Dashboard Template
- Sales Playbook Template
- Sales Tracker Template
- Case Study Template
- Invoice Template
- Contract Template
- RFP Template
You see a few people doing the same thing. You think it’s the appropriate thing to do. You do it too. That’s social proof in a nutshell. It’s just the way our brains are rigged. We are social beings, after all.
And because it’s such a big part of daily life, if your business isn’t using social proof, you need to jump on the bandwagon soon.
Because these days, just a few bits of snappy marketing content isn’t enough to get people to choose you and buy your product.
A lot of people make decisions about a product based on what other people are saying, and that’s what social proof translates to: “This product worked for these people who are in the same situation, so it will work for me.”
Social proof is the spoonful of sugar that will kill any second thoughts a potential customer might have about your product and make your product much more alluring.
By creatively and soundly using social proof, you can stack the deck in your favor and get more sales!
Wait, We’ve Got Something in Store for You!
Yes, what the world thinks of you is important, but there’s something equally important: what your clients think of you. It’s so hard to ensure that you’re communicating the value you provide to your clients, right?
So how do you communicate with your clients the right way? How do you show them YOUR social proof? We’re talking about the reviews you’ve received, the work you’ve done for other clients, your social media strategies, the results, your case studies, and more.
It’s actually quite easy – by embedding your ‘social proof’ into a Bit.ai document.
Yes, this document collaboration platform allows users to embed any sort of rich media in their documents like social media posts, PDFs, cloud files, spreadsheets, presentations, and many more. In short, you can embed almost anything and everything in your Bit doc, and Bit will turn it into visual content and add context to it.
The coolest thing is that whatever you embed, it will live and breathe inside the document. What we mean is that your client can see all your social proof “live” without having to leave your document.
For instance, if you embed some social media posts that you’ve created for your previous clients, the reader can see its up-to-date likes, shares, comments – right from the document.
Yes, we know, Bit.ai is SO freaking awesome, and it will certainly increase the chances of the client saying ‘yes’ to you! 😎
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