Does social proof work?
Does social proof work? 2 minutes read
Does social proof work?
What is social proof?
Social proof in a marketing context is proof that other people have bought a company's product or service and found it to be good. Since people are more likely to buy a product that is already bought by others (bandwagon effect), social proof can be a way to increase conversion rates by showing customers how popular a product or service is.
On the internet, social proof can take many forms, such as customer testimonials and product reviews, customer lists and quantifiable data.
All of these different tactics help to build trust, communicate value and increase conversion rates.
Why is social proof important?
Social proof can be an effective marketing tactic for a number of reasons.
The most basic motivation behind social proof is the bandwagon effect, a social psychological concept that states that people are more likely to participate in an action if other people are doing the same. For example, if more than two million people have bought a book and liked it, you are likely to like the book because of the wisdom of crowds.
This form of social proof is about showing that a large number of people have bought a product ("Over 20,000 copies sold!") or that many people support the company ("Over 1 million satisfied customers!"). The number of followers on social media can also be a way of providing social proof. Since such numbers are often difficult to verify and easy to manipulate, the effectiveness of this tactic depends on how much the customer trusts the company's claims.
Another advantage of social proof is that it can help instil trust. Trust is one of the key factors in attracting online customers, because giving a credit card number to an unknown company over the internet is a big hurdle for customers to overcome. By showing potential customers that a company has many satisfied customers, you can use testimonials and user reviews to build trust in the seriousness and trustworthiness of a company.
Finally, social proof can also be used in online marketing to convey authority. For example, a buyer may find a testimonial from an expert in the field more convincing than a hundred reviews from average people. Displaying customer logos of well-known clients can be another way to demonstrate both social proof and authority. If many of the world's best companies use a service, the logic goes, then it is likely to be effective.
Social proof works by appealing to the basic human instinct to follow the actions of others, building trust and credibility and lowering barriers to online purchases.