Human nature is somewhat predictable. We tend to follow the crowd. For example, if you pass by a busy nightclub, with a long line, your first thought is probably “this place must be awesome”.
Similarly, if you pass by an empty venue, you tend to assume that there are good reasons for the vacancy.
Nightclub owners know this, and we make these little decisions without really thinking. They’re instinctive. They happen in a flash, and we tend to act on them.
That’s social proof in action, and smart marketers know that it can be a powerful tool in their marketing strategies.
The concept of social proof is nothing new, and it has been applied in a number of different ways for decades. At its heart is the idea that people will fall in line with the actions of others, if they perceive those actions as being the proper response to situation. Consider these examples:
Social proof is nothing new, but with the internet becoming an ever more crowded place, it’s time to bring social proof to your online marketing campaigns.
There are five basic types of social proof that can be applied to online marketing. Most can be integrated into any marketing strategy, depending on the product or service you are offering.
Now that you have a basic idea of the five types of social proof that can be used to inform your online marketing, let’s look at a few ways you can get started.
With our list above, let’s go through each of them in order.
Social media widgets is an easy-ish one, and we all have have them on our blog. It could be a floating social bar or a static one at the top or bottom of the post. Then take a look at tip #5 here to promote your social media.
Next up is customer reviews. If you’re running an ecommerce site, this becomes exponential more important for your visitors to add to their shopping cart and checkout. But, this can also be very powerful in the form of testimonials on your services pages through out your website.
Look at RavenTools.com for example. They have a testimonial right on their homepage to bring customer reviews directly into your buying decision.
Promoting your followers is another way to bring social proof, and next on our list.
Take a look at Digital Ocean‘s homepage – they show how 500K developers use and love them. If that many people are happy with them, wouldn’t you think you’ll be happy too?
Endorsements requires a lot more work to interact with a celebrity in your industry. You see this done all the time with big brands all the time, but it can be done on a much smaller scale as well. The goal is always to create phenomenal content that other will share.
Did a leader in your industry link to your content? How about Techcrunch or Huffington Post? Let people know on your website that you’re featured in those places! Again, don’t be shy about doing this.
And lastly, trust logos are very common. This could be in the form of showcasing your top client’s logos on your website or other things, such as using secure site seals. The idea is that you want to using logos on your website that your visitors “trust” and will recognize. This will immediately put them at ease and make doing business with you a much closer reality.
Social proof marketing can be a powerful tool in your online strategies. When it comes to promoting your brand, understanding human nature and crowd dynamics can help you extend your reach, drive traffic, and realize greater conversion rates. Make sure these concepts are used throughout your website, and always feel free to reach out to us for help.
What are some examples you used for social proof? I would love to hear in the comments below.