I want to share with you an article from the project, which is a free library of principles and examples, published to inspire and enhance the experience of interacting with clients.
“When you say it, it’s marketing. When your client says it, it’s social proof.” Andy Krestodina.
People are herd animals. We'll do something faster, seeing that others have done it. And this feeling is stronger than we are willing to admit. This behavior occurs, for example, when we are not sure what to do.
In the experiment of Baron, Vandello and Brunsman (1996), participants were asked to identify a suspect in a criminal offense of several people. Photos of suspects showed very quickly, so it was difficult to be confident in their judgments. The task was presented to several groups consisting of one real witness and two false. These two deliberately chose an innocent person from the photos presented. The witness deliberately gave the wrong answer so as not to be disagreeing with the group when they were told that the results are not of great importance for the control data. But when they were told that the police and the court would use their answers, the witnesses were less willing to adjust to the majority opinion.
The study showed that an increase in the rating by one star on the Yelp website led to an increase in sales of 5-9% (Luca, 2011).
92% of people trust the recommendations of their familiar experts, and 70% of consumers trust the recommendations of someone they do not even know (Nielsen, 2012).
Using quotes from happy customers is one of the most frequently used and most convincing forms of social proof on the Internet. Be sure to add a high-quality photo to enhance credibility (Newman, Garry, Bernstein, Kantner & Lindsay, 2012).
Number of shares in social networks
Showing the present number of shares is a simple form of realization of social proof. People are more likely to read material that was shared by the thousands. (Russian Internet slang, from English. Share - share, approx. Transl.). It causes more confidence, which will lead to even more lectures. But be careful: a small amount of share can create negative social evidence and sometimes it is even worse than the lack of any share. People might think that the content you provide is not good enough. In the VWO experiment, the removal of the social buttons "Share" led to an increase in conversion of 11.9%.
Summing up the number of shares
Instead of displaying each counter separately, you can show the total number of shares in different social networks to show an even greater number to the user.
Number of subscribers
Show people how many fans, subscribers, followers you have already subscribed to. You can use the official Twitter button “Follow”, the plugin on the Facebook page or any community plugin of your choice. Most of the larger platforms provide a public API for developers, with which you can also count the number of subscribers.
According to the Pew Research Center, 82% of Americans read reviews before making a purchasing decision. In addition, we pay more attention to negative reviews than positive ones. Therefore, regularly check sites such as Yelp to find out what your brand and products are about. If you have an e-commerce store, viewing customer reviews can increase your conversion rate by 207%. A healthy combination of positive and negative customer reviews is considered more reliable and can even improve conversions.
Give your product for free to people with high social media influence with a niche audience and ask for feedback. Another way is to sponsor these (micro) influential people to mention your product through their channels or even hire them for long-term relationships as brand ambassadors. Since opinion leaders have a positive reputation, people tend to associate it with everything they are associated with. This cognitive phenomenon is called the halo effect.
Instead of someone talking about your product, find a quote from a celebrity or influential person who supports a more general picture of your industry. Even if they are not directly related to your product, displaying a quotation with a famous person can add social proof through the halo effect.
Explain in detail how some of your customers are using your product. This method provides not only social proof, but also gives other potential customers ideas on how to use your product or service.
Did the famous media give you a positive review? Let others know, use his logo with the posts “Write about us” or quote positive comments. Consumers often trust large publishers, so by showing that they mentioned you, you are improving the legitimacy and reliability of your brand.
Integration with other platforms
Like in the media, displaying logos from major brands with which your service integrates can also have a halo effect, which can positively affect the credibility of your brand.
Show your visitors a huge number of people from your mailing list, customer base, or number of downloads. Any statistics that reminds potential customers that so many people use your service, so it’s good enough for them. Wordpress, for example, uses this powerful tactic in the title of its landing page: "WordPress produces 28% of the Internet." Use exact numbers instead of rounded ones, they are perceived as even more believable (Mason, Lee, Wiley & Ames, 2013).
Mention the number of audiences outside the site
Go even further - specify the numbers not only on your website, but also in accounts on social networks and in your advertising texts.
It's one thing to read about someone else's experience with your service or product. It's completely different to see and hear someone say how much they like him. Give your potential customers the opportunity to dive directly into the world of another customer, this will greatly enhance confidence.
Present real-time data to your visitors, for example, “89 people make purchases right now” or “Last purchase of this product was 7 minutes ago” to look convincing and create a sense of urgency.
Lively response to user activity
Show your visitors that others buy products, post messages or do something else related to your service right now. This will not only add social proof, but also increase interest in the products on your website.
Have you ever wondered why some online stores leave products on the list that were sold on their website? This is a combination of social proof and the fear of loss : “what others buy is a safe purchase for me,” and fear of losing the product again.
Attract new customers with social proof: offer a referral bonus to send to friends and relatives. Recommendations from people we know personally remain the most reliable source for referring (Nielsen, 2012).
If your company operates in regulated industries, add credibility to your site by demonstrating that your business meets the requirements of state or international standardization organizations, such as ANSI or ISO.
Verified social media accounts
Request confirmation of your profile on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or another platform on which you are active. Now you will have a blue check mark next to your name. This icon indicates that executives and users have determined that your account is in the public interest, authentic and influential.
Trust seals and stamps
If a stranger asked you for credit card details, how would you feel? Uncomfortable? Uncomfortable? Doubts? Such feelings are similar to those experienced by your customers. Increase trust and legitimacy, show official stamps, security certificates or association memberships.
Show your visitors real facts and figures backed up by research to increase social proof. Give potential customers your research that shows the real benefits of using the product.
Public thanks for the awards received
If you won an award or were publicly praised in the media, be grateful for such references in your social networking channels.
Share joy with your audience
Mark your growth and achievement with your audience and thank them for helping you achieve it. This may be the achievement of a certain number of users, followers, downloads or anniversary.
Inclusion of brand advocates
A brand lawyer is a person who enjoys your product or service so much that he is ready to constantly praise him. This is not just a person who leaves a positive review, or agrees to quote his comment. They are so enthusiastic that they constantly share their positive experiences with your brand. The lawyer speaks with greater certainty, because his behavior is not dictated by money. Keep them involved, and you are likely to find even more advocates. Here are a few ideas: Offer them a corporate hashtag so that they can use it in posts and in the main one.