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Social Proof

Social Proof: What is it, Why it's important, and its Use Cases

Cold traffic can be brutal to convert customers; they might leave without making purchases. However, when new visitors go through your website, visit landing pages, and explore those products, they hope to see proof to gain trust in your business and bring real value to them.

Reviews, testimonials, case studies, comments, expert reviews, and trial demos make your potential customers take direct action. That's because Social Proof influences customers' decisions in the seller's favor.

63% of customers are likelier to purchase from a site that shows social proof.

There are many reasons to use social proof notifications on your website, and one of them is building trust by showcasing that product is validated by existing customers. Another reason is creating FOMO among the visitors and boosting brand awareness to increase the effectiveness of your sales.

Let's learn more about the same-

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is a phenomenon where people follow the action of other people while making purchases.

For example, you are walking down the street to buy ice cream, and you see two stores with a line of customers and no customers. What would you prefer? The store with the number of customers, right?

That’s the social proof phenomenon. You trust the opinion of other customers and trust them.

It is an effective method that influences the customer's decision and will likely impact them positively.

It helps customers know other customers' opinions on the eCommerce product they want to purchase. In addition, the opinion of social media influencers, industry experts, or celebrities help gain new customers. The most common social proof includes customer reviews, opinions, and content around the product.

Social proof displays buyers' behavior when they encounter that product. So, aside from reading the user's review, a person will quickly go through the reviews to learn about the customer's experience to make decisions.

Adding a customer's word can improve sales, making customers more likely to think the product is excellent and making them proceed toward the checkout without any second thoughts. Social Proof is about the increased conversion rate of your products/services.

Principle of Social Proof

Social Proof is a psychological and social phenomenon where people cannot make decisions and instead assume that people around them know more about the product and behave like others. Put: People want to know what other people are doing, watching, buying, wearing, and experiencing- these ultimately influence customers' decisions.

Aristotle said, "Humans are social by nature." It is genuine that people look toward others to determine the correct way in which others behave. They constantly compare and get influenced by another majority. For example, a T-shirt with a "best-seller" tag? People will buy it.

Here are 4-Principle of Social proof that affect the way we act.

  • Uncertainty: We look out for other people's opinions when we don't know much about what we want to buy. People might consider looking for user reviews, videos, and many more.
  • Similarity: People listen to what other people are saying. They can be from the same age group, social group, or location. People find connections with like-minded people and want to know what they are doing or buying.
  • Expertise: Influencers and experts' suggestions greatly influence people's decisions. Most customers trust experts' opinions as they provide valuable insights and what actions are taken them.
  • Number: People see when they see many likes, comments, shares, and reviews the product has on social platforms. The live visitor on a particular product, the number of people who bought the product, the number of signups for the newsletter, and many more.

Let's get into some statistics to solve your confusion about why to care about "Social Proof?"

Why should you focus on Social Proof?

Social Proof showcases the results of how your products are helping customers and clients. When displaying it to your customer, people are inclined to pay more attention and be excited about seeing the results.

While customer feedback plays a crucial role in improving products and services, it also helps to boost customers' trust and confidence as they visit the website. Let's get into some statistics-

  • 55% of customers consider reviews to help make their purchase.
  • 93% of consumer buyers read online reviews first before purchasing anything.
  • 79% of online shoppers say user-generated content influences their purchase decisions.
  • 12% of consumers read more than ten reviews before purchasing.
  • Testimonials can increase the conversion rate by 34%.
  • Customers would spend 31% more on a business with positive reviews.
  • Real-time notifications showing live visitor count can create three times more engagement than other tactics.

A different form of social proof can create urgency and FOMO among the customers, boosting conversions of your e-commerce products.

Let's move on to the different types of social proof to increase sales.

Types of Social Proof

Below are seven categories of best social proof that can be incorporated into your e-commerce website. Now let's dive in.

User-Generated Content

One of the most common ways to create social proof is through user-generated content on different platforms. People want to see what other people are making choices and saying about the brands.

Often, you can highlight user social proof on the landing page, homepage, product page, or using a notification. It's a vote of confidence and trust in the product's value. In addition, customer reviews are essential to proof marketing and can boost conversion by 270%.

It helps customers to trust not only the product but also your710.0066667 brand. Remember, capture reviews from other sources like Trustpilot, Google My Business, Yelp, and many more; that you can add on social media or website pages.

Happy Customer Reviews

People will know your customer is happy using the product or service when you share the reviews on your social pages and other platforms. Collecting customer reviews through text or videos and sharing them on social media is the perfect way to build trust among visitors.

Create a branded hashtag that your customers can use to share their reviews and encourage them to get featured on their page or provide a free trial for the software. The strategy can work on every platform but is most effective on Instagram. You can also add reviews on your website's different pages, showcase user proof in your product review sections, and use against the opposing social proof defense.

Sharing a positive review from your happy customer can influence visitors to check out the product page and convert them into potential customers. For example, brands are using social platforms to reach larger audiences and share customers' happy reviews to build trust among them.

Wisdom of Crowds

This means combining answers from a diverse crowd to showcase better and positive reviews about your product or services. As humans, we tend to do the same thing that many others do; if thousands of people buy that product, people will buy the same.

It works on the phenomenon of "FOMO." It creates social influence.

It involves a large group of people recommending the same product or service. It is a compelling social proof that influences visitors to buy a product. For example, if you're looking for a coffee shop and you pass through one crowded and the other empty, you'll probably assume the one with a crowd is better.

You can display the retweets of your post, social media shares about your product, or upvotes of your Quora post, which can be the best example of social proof strategies.

Use Numbers as Social Proof

Let your numbers speak about your product.

Show how many people have bought the product, how many people bought it recently, or how many are purchasing that ebook.

Tell your visitors about the numbers.

You can also display real-time stats of how many people are currently viewing the same page or product, how many customers are now purchasing the product, or the number of live website visitors; that can be a great use of social proof to create fear of missing among the visitors. You can show several purchases, signups, registrations, and any number that can be a social proof example for your brand.

In addition, you can add popup notifications showing recent sales, the number of review notifications, the number of visitors, and many more using social proof plugins or software tools.

Leverage Influencer Marketing

Influencers are people with massive authority in your niche. This is because many people know them, like them, follow them, and trust their opinions without thinking much.

Imagine your brand gets an endorsement from one such big influencer from your niche; it can boost your conversions and expand your reach to new audiences. In addition, influencer marketing makes social proof works more effective because it's more personal.

You can provide a free product or free trial to influencers and let them talk about the development, its features, its use, and how it helps solve customers' pain points.

Adding social proof from influences can be an excellent marketing tactic and a big win for your brand.

Show Case Studies

Case studies are ideal for your social proof marketing. These offer a real-life example of your customers who have used and loved your product. Case studies are a brilliant way to connect with people and showcase how the product would help them solve their pain points.

You can ask your customers to share their stories about the product by encouraging them with discount coupons or freebies that can be added to your website, social proof to your landing pages, or shared across social media to increase traffic to your website.

For example, you can describe problems your customer was facing and how the product helped to overcome them, including direct quotes from the customer.

Display Trust Badges

Trust badges can be vital to increasing your conversions and boosting sales of your eCommerce products; these are badges that you place on your website and instill trust among visitors by showcasing that the product or website is legitimate.

Trust seal companies put badges on your websites like guarantee safe & secure checkout badges, free shipping & free return badge, payment trust badge, third-party endorsements, and many more that can impact how much reassurance it gives to your customers.

How can a small badge influence customer behavior? You might think so, but trust badges increase the levels of perceived security. In addition, trust badges inspire visitors to make a leap and purchase products or signup for a membership.

Let's explore some great examples of social proof marketing used by different brands.

Famous Examples of Social Proof Marketing

1. Reviews as Social Proof- Amazon

The review shown on a product by Amazon as social proof

Amazon utilizes customer reviews in embedded form for its product by adding personal reviews, star ratings, and product photos taken by customers, making it authentic and trustworthy for other visitors.

53% of customers start searching for product search on Amazon, and the site makes it easier to tell if the product is trustworthy or not just by showcasing customer reviews. That's because many examples are sprinkled throughout the site and the product pages.

Amazon puts all the social proof front and center throughout every product page; it helps build customer trust by showing star ratings and positive reviews. In addition, visitors can see real-time images of the products and relevant customer names who uploaded the review. That's the power of social proof!

2. Instagram Social Proof - Daniel Wellington

Wisdom of Crowd on Instagram by Netflix

If you are looking for one of the social media platforms to display social proof from your customers, Instagram is the best and most popular social platform!

It is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, with the most engaged user base. For example, 83% of people use Instagram for new product discovery; now that's something unique, right?

There are many ways to showcase social proof on Instagram, including the Wisdom of crowds, customer reviews, sharing stories, products endorsed by a celebrity, and many more. In addition, you can get a verified badge, showcase the number of Instagram followers, repost mentions, give shoutouts, and brand bio.

Instagram followers with social proof help build trust, gain loyalty, beat your competitors, and show your product's value through posts, stories, and videos. For example, Daniel Wellington, a Swedish watch company, offers micro-influencers on Instagram to promote their watches. In addition, they would provide a unique discount code to every micro-influencer to add positive social proof to their account.

3. Social Proof Advertising by Coffee Joulies

Coffee Joulies creating social proof by showcasing displaying publications

Social proof builds trust between the visitor and the brand through reviews. But it doesn't mean it only needs to be from your customers or influencers.

It can be from your third parties, media, or recognition from publications that have either mentioned or talked about your brand, product, or services. So naturally, the more notable the magazine is, the more trustworthy and legitimate your brand will seem.

For example, Coffee Joulies displays popups to their visitors about the prominent publications that have featured their products, which is a clever tactic to demonstrate the legitimacy of their brand. As they are well-known publications, it builds social proof of their brand and lands more sales for them.

4. Social Proof Recommendations by Netflix

Netflix shows popular and trending shows on their platform

We already talked about the Wisdom of crowds that create "FOMO" among visitors. It's an idea that large groups are "smarter than individuals" when making decisions or giving suggestions to choose the best.

For example, It's Saturday night, and you want to watch some fantastic TV shows, Series, or Movies. It;'s downtime to open Netflix and grab some snacks to enjoy the moment. Since you don't know what to watch or what's trending, check out the "Popular on Netflix" tab.

And that's how Netflix includes social proof in its platform. Instead of searching around all the shows, their users can watch what other users are watching. Isn't that a great way to retain viewers?

That's how popular brands use social proof in their marketing and utilize different social platforms to build trust among their customers like showcasing real-time signups. Now, let's examine some case studies utilizing social proof according to industry.

Use Cases of Social Proof in Different Industry

Social Proof in SaaS Industry

The SaaS industry has become more competitive than before, with the ability to stand out from the competition and grab customers to grow the business.

But how to overcome and build trust among the visitors? By using social proof in your SaaS marketing on your website!

The correct notification display of reviews and testimonials can do wonders for SaaS brands. It improves brand visibility and trust and aids in your growth marketing. They want to hear from other customers about the product or services. Here are a few ways to use social proof for SaaS brands-

  • Display personalized positive reviews from Capterra and other platforms on landing pages and sales copies.
  • Using the right social platforms and metrics.
  • Showing popular subscriptions or most subscribed plans
  • Share personalized product-led stories by customers.
  • Showing the number of sales of a particular plan.

Social Proof for eCommerce stores

As an e-commerce brand, you might struggle to improve your sales, trustworthiness, and consumer confidence. But, no matter how great your marketing campaigns are at advertising your products, the simple truth is that "social proof" plays a key role.

Here are seven tactics for e-commerce brands to display social proof-

  • Transaction popups provide a quick burst of social proof by displaying real-time reviews, recent sales, and several active visitors.
  • Show user-generated content on popups, landing pages, websites, product pages, and online marketing advertisements.
  • Employ videos of your customers where they share a personal experience using your product.
  • Including social share buttons on your website that improve conversion rate
  • Using social product badges, celebrity endorsements, and credentials.

Social Proof in the eLearning & Online Coaching Industry

E-learning is booming, the demand for quality content creators is increasing, and students have many options to choose from. But how would students validate the quality of your course?

That's using social proof on your eLearning website. Let's dive into some ways to use social proof in the E-learning industry-

  • Show a live number of students in the course, the number of students enrolled for the course, and more.
  • The show recently purchased courses or top-sold courses.
  • Show students reviews around the course with stars,
  • Showcase awards and certification of different classes,
  • Invite influencers or experts to talk about your studies or collaborate for social media events
  • Use social proof like testimonials by students on your ad copy.

FOMO is one of the effective social proofs that helps in website conversions and adds a much-needed advantage over the competition.

Social Proof in Travel & Hospitality Industry

When talking about travel & hospitality, people love to read reviews and endorsements and seek reassurance from other customers. 95% of travelers read reviews before completing a booking. Here are a few ways to add social proof to your hospitality industry-

  • Using customer reviews in your email marketing, newsletters, and websites,
  • Turn your guests into marketers using User-generated content, including reviews, candid traveler photographs, and social media posts.
  • Showcase the number of guests who visited or traveled with your brand, the number of social followers, and more.
  • Showcase mentioned in the local press, in media, and in articles, take quotes from them and post them on your social platform.
  • When you receive positive feedback, respond on social media and improve the volume of endorsements.
  • Inspire customers by showing them the most popular destinations, packages, and hotels other travelers recommend.
  • Share stories when a celebrity flies to your destination.
  • Add a sense of urgency by showcasing a few rooms left, or display notifications popups about the urgency.

Social proof in the hospitality industry is a smart way to build credibility, offer reassurance, and influence bookings by customers.

Social Proof in Real-Estate

Although word-of-mouth advertising helps generate real estate industry leads, social proof can help turn leads into clients. Here are some ways to implement social proof in the real estate industry:

  • Display reviews and collect them from Google, Trustpilot, and Facebook.
  • Show the total number of happy customers, reviews, and ratings on different platforms.
  • Include photos and videos of customers and their families on landing pages, newsletters, buying guides, and more.
  • The showcase featured section, along with what other customers are saying about you.
  • Feature customer experience on Facebook feed, Instagram reel, and stories.

Collect reviews, testimonials, and ratings from different platforms to build customer trust.

Social Proof for Bloggers

Social proof can give your blog a different momentum, bring many readers, and connect with new people. For example, if someone sees 129k people have subscribed to your blog newsletter, isn't that building trust and authority among your readers?

Let's walk through some ways to implement social proof for bloggers-

  • Encourage comments to showcase that your community engages with your blog,
  • Tell stories about your clients or readers whom you've benefited from your blogs,
  • Include the client's testimonial or review along with their name, position, and brand name.
  • Incorporate media recommendations, mentions, and tags from different bloggers in their newsletters.
  • Show the number of subscribers to newsletters, the number of readers, the number of members in your community, and more.
  • Highlight reviews in content marketing to build trust.

Social proof can play a pivotal role in growing your community and authority in your niche with the growing competition among bloggers.

Social Proof for Affiliate Marketers

Affiliate marketing has grown tremendously in a few decades with the increase in online shopping. Social proof is important to sign new affiliates, increase sales, and generate website traffic. Put a social feed on your affiliate program landing page and Instagram account.

  • Feature customers testimonials in one spot on your website,
  • Highlight the brand's endorsement to boost credibility,
  • Highlight the number of products sold, visitors count, and more.
  • Show visitor count notifications, live visitors on product pages, visitors on checkout pages, and more.
  • Create urgency using time-bound offers, discount coupons, few-left, and more.
  • Share unboxing videos from customers, photos, stories, and more on your social platforms and website.
  • Highlight recommendations from friends, family, influencers, and experts.

You can boost sales, build trust among potential leads, and highlight the brand's endorsements and value with the proper social proof on your affiliate website.

Social Proof for Sales Funnel

Negative social proof can negatively impact customers and influence your sales. In the sales funnel, it is crucial to positively impact customers at every stage of the funnel and convert them into customers. Here are a few ways to add social proof to fight negative social proof-

  • Highlight testimonials in email newsletters, websites, and on forums.
  • Share a case study of your customers showing how your brand helped customers.
  • Share social media shots on your website and social platforms.
  • Showcase the number of times products are purchased, downloaded, or used in your sales funnel.
  • Use popups to showcase real-time visitors' offers on products, unique occasion products, time-bound offers, and more.
  • Add social media share buttons, trust badges, media mentions, and more.

Here are some examples of how different industries can use social proof to build trust, credibility, and authority and improve sales.

Let's get some tips on how to ask for social proof from your competitors.

Ways to get Social Proof

So, what if you're starting and you don't have social proof? One of the common questions is, how to create social proof if you don't have any testimonials or customers yet? Here are a few ways to get going-

1. Never Fake it

Yes, social proof can improve your sales and build trust among your customers, but it gets higher conversion rates; never fake about it. People are on the lookout for fake reviews when shopping online. If customer feels the reviews are fake, it might negatively impact their sales.

You need to add verified customer testimonials indicating that real customers have purchased and recommended the product. For example, you can add a badge of verified customers and a review to make it real.

2. Product Give Aways

Ideally, when you don't have customers, one of the best ways is to give freebies. In exchange, you can ask for reviews, testimonials, mentions, and customer feedback.

It works best with influencers; you can give them a free product or trial of your services so they can use your product and share their reviews on social platforms. Then, instead of faking up the reviews, you can directly get a quote from influencers or customers who have used that free product or trial.

3. Show Bigger Picture

Another way, instead of hiring someone to talk about the product or services, is to find a quote from influencers that backups up your testimonials.

It allows you to create a positive impact on your customer and is one of the most powerful social proofs. Followers trust influencers. In addition, you can ask bloggers or experts to review your products or services, adding one more positive impact on your customers.

Final Thoughts

So what are you waiting for? Social proof and FOMO can help you to increase your conversion rate today.

Social proof can come in many forms and shapes, from influencers to customers. Choose one of the social proofs or multiple ways to add to your website right now. You can use different notification types, Wordpress plugins, social proof tools, widgets, and templates to ease your work.

Tools like WiserNotify can help you add social proof notifications to your website. Whether built on platforms like WordPress or Wix or using codes, the tool can provide social proof without using a single line of code. In addition, you can easily integrate the tool, see analytics report, and create popups and notifications showcasing new social proof notifications.