Have you ever bought something from a restaurant simply because there was a long line outside it?
When you see other people doing something like buying a product, you’re more inclined to do it too.
This is social proof in action. Social proof is a principle of persuasion that is easy to apply to sales and marketing.
You could get more customers to buy from your website if they knew that others were buying too. Incorporating social proof on your website is a powerful way to increase sales.
There are different ways to create social proof. Let’s take a look at how they work.
Use Reviews and Ratings
The most common example of social proof is reviews and ratings on websites.
We already use them for everything and check for product reviews before we buy a product. We read up on hotel reviews before booking a room.
People want to hear about other people’s experiences before they make a purchase. So, it’s important for you to showcase reviews and ratings by customers on your website.
Reach out to your customers to ask them about their experience working with you. If they have a positive experience then ask them to rate your product or business.
Showing your website visitors reviews shows them that you are genuine. It gives them the confidence to buy from your site without fear of losing money.
Provide Success Stories
Success stories celebrate the best experiences your customers had working with you.
They tell people how your business and products helped them.
Show these success stories as social proof on your website. This will help people understand how your business can make a difference.
Use details that are number based. Information like the increase in efficiency, cost reduction, and other changes are valuable.
Cisco uses compelling customer success stories on their website
Using compelling headlines and images make the impact of your success story stronger. Add background information such as company name, industry, and size.
Talk about the challenges that these customers experienced. Follow that up with the solutions your business came up with. Finally, present the results to show how your customer benefitted from working with you.
Success stories can be compelling. They can influence people to buy from you when they see that others have experienced success with you.
Use the Right Tools
There are great automated tools that can help you apply social proof to your website.
You can use a social proof app like TrustPulse that sends notifications to users. These notifications inform the user about other buyers’ activities with a small popup in the corner.
It can also feature the hottest selling items on your site and bring their attention to your top-selling products. It makes use of FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out to improve sales. When users see that a product is selling well, it sets off the desire to experience the same benefits as other buyers.
Using social proof tools are especially useful for e-commerce websites. You can integrate such tools with e-commerce analytics to track conversions. You can get useful details about your visitors’ activities and how you can leverage them.
Social proof apps allow you to automate trust-building. This makes it easier to convert visitors to buyers while you build your business.
Testimonials are usually from direct customers or heads of businesses you worked with.
It creates confidence by validating your business and product. They assure users of your ability to deliver and the quality of your work.
When creating testimonials from your website, it is important to get authentic quotes from customers.
Use their names, images, and the company they are from. This makes the testimonials appear real and interesting building social proof that works.
Use Social Proof in Social Media ads
A study on using social proof on advertisements shows that adding reviews to ads on Facebook improved ad performance. Such ads resulted in a 4x increase in CTR and a 50% decrease in cost per acquisition.
Add testimonials, reviews, and ratings to your social media ads to get better results. You can also use posts made by users with your products as social proof. This will influence ad viewers to check out your proposition.
Making use of social proof in social media ads shows people that their peers trust your products. This can help your business boost sales as social media will remain a powerful platform in the future. It’s important to leverage the latest trends in social media effectively to reach people.
Other Forms of Social Proof
You can use social proof in other interesting ways. Let’s walk through them.
Influencers are social media personalities on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms. They can have a large follower-base who are easily influenced by them.
Working with an influencer can be a very effective way to drive up sales.
First, find the right type of influencers. If you have sports and fitness products, then it’s important to find someone who creates content about fitness.
Check out the number of followers they have and negotiate the price for their work. You can plan to have subtle marketing on their profile or a more blatant advertising approach.
One effective approach is to have a giveaway in collaboration with the influencer. Come up with good prizes to give away and create a giveaway campaign on the influencer’s platform. This will drive up traffic and sales on your site.
Working with influencers can help you reach out to more people who are specifically interested in your product.
Celebrities are well-known and people are more likely to pay attention to them. Using celebrity endorsement is an expensive but effective way to bring attention to your business.
You can leverage celebrity endorsements on traditional platforms like print media. You can also work with them on social media platforms. It is even more effective if you work with celebrities that have an interest in your specific domain.
Expert endorsement refers to having a professional or expert in your domain to speak for your business or product.
We’ve all seen advertisements with captions saying that X% of doctors recommend a brand of toothpaste. This is an example of an expert endorsement.
Using this creates confidence in people that knowledgeable professionals approve of your product. This makes them far more likely to choose your product when they feel they are backed by an expert.
Certifications, badges, and awards
Certifications, badges, and awards are strong forms of social proof. They show that a third party of good standing verifies the business’s authenticity.
If you have industry certifications that you qualify for, then do add it to your website. Add relevant awards to show that your business is recognized for quality work.
Using such tokens of social proof can make a good impression on visitors. They are especially important for e-commerce sites to improve sales. They build trust and tell your audience that you adhere to industry standards.
MonsterInsights displays security and payment badges.
Badges, certifications, and awards highlight your business’s credibility. Using them can create a form of social proof that is impressive, influencing your visitors to buy.
Social Proof is Essential to Boost Sales
Social proof builds trust. It helps overcome the sense of risk users feel buying from a business they do not know.
There are many ways a business can leverage social proof for their company. It can drive up conversions and sales effectively. Use social proof tools to automate trust-building. You can find premium and free WordPress plugins to create social proof on your site. This allows you to focus on what’s important: growing your business.
Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.