Social Proof is just a fancy way of saying word-of-mouth marketing or like some people like to call it, the ‘hearsay tactic’. Have you ever gotten messages on your business line like "Hello, a friend of mine told me you could help with A, B, and C?" The advantage of this kind of marketing is that you don't need to do much convincing when it comes to winning over the client, as long as a trusted friend or a beloved public figure in the online community recommends it to them.
This is also why Influencer marketing and User Generated Content (UGC) are on the rise when it comes to sales conversion.
What is Social Proof?
This is simply the influencing of user decisions using recommendations from friends, colleagues, favourite influencers, and experts. This is a psychological effect that has been a vital element in business because of its effectiveness. This is why new businesses might have a hard time pulling customers immediately after they launch because no one from the outside has been able to prove their credibility.
Case studies are also a great way of showcasing your credibility and customer experience. A great example of this is the Ad campaign Loopify did for AltSchool Africa; one of the leading Edtech platforms that helps you develop your career by upskilling.
Another great case study is the story of a popular food influencer and blogger in Nigeria She did a short video thanking a particular brand for surprising her with gifts and used storytelling to tell her followers how great the brand is and how long they’ve known each other. This resulted in the brand reporting on Instagram that within 24 hours of the video getting out, they had an influx of prospective clients calling and over 900 followers added to their page. A result that might have taken months to get was accomplished within a short time thanks to strong social proof.
Ways to integrate Social Proof into marketing
1. Brag about your successes: Note this, bragging is acceptable when it comes to business because you worked too hard not to show it off. Mentioning countries, brands, influencers, and clients you’ve worked with boosts the confidence of your prospective client in your product and services.
Placing them in strategic places, from your website to your social media pages, Instagram is advised because of the highlight and bio features.
2. Showcase Customer Testimonials everywhere: They can be posted on Instagram stories, the main feed, in video format if the client agrees to show his/her face to your audience. This pushes a lot of people to buy. Some might not engage your posts at the moment but a seed of trust has been implanted in their minds subconsciously.
3. Share Milestones: A lot of people celebrate their milestones on social media no matter how small. Influencers have mastered this art and even go as far as to create funny, emotional, or very creative content as their way of celebrating. This is a sign of growth.
4. Utilise the UGC creators: User Generated Content Creators and Influencer marketing sometimes get mixed up because of their similarities. After all, they both get paid to create content for a brand. But UGC creators put themselves in the shoes of the consumers and create their content in a testimonial type of way. Talking about the usefulness of the product, the advantages(some throw in subtle disadvantages along the way to make it look unstaged), and where to get it.
Their model of content is promotional but without the user knowing he’s just been sold a product.
Summary: The idea that everyone wants to get a hold of a trending and effective product is a human behaviour that has been inbuilt into the psyche of man. Curating shiny and new marketing ideas is great but forgetting such an effective tactic is a mistake that businesses should not make.
How Do I Measure Social Proof?
Frequency of brand hashtags/keywords.
How do I add social proof to my website?
What are the benefits of social proof?