What social proof is? How is it related to social media? How does it relate to your business promotion? In this article, you will find the answers to those questions.
Imagine that you’ve just arrived at the small village in Italy to spend wonderful 2 weeks with your friends. It’s your first time ever in Italy, but you decided to taste the real Italian lifestyle… This day it’s your turn to do the shopping for breakfast, so you woke up early and went to the village. In the center, there are two bakeries with great looking fresh panini and ciabatta – which one to choose? The first one has a great design and beautiful saleswoman, however, it’s empty. The second one doesn’t impress you that much visually, but there are a pretty much people waiting in a queue and the smell is also attracting… where do you go?
Obviously in this situation, different people would behave differently, however, according to the conformity principle, most of the people would rely on other’s opinion and choose the second bakery.
The psychologist, Solomon Ash, made a conformity experiment (1951), which aim was to show conformity of people on a simple example.
Explaining it shortly he asked a group of people to answer a simple question: Which of the lines on the image on the right is the same as the line on the image on the left?
In some groups, there was only one person being examined. That means only one person was about to answer the question according to his belief (he was answering at the end) and the rest was told before to say a certain answer. In others – control – groups, everyone was answering by themselves. Results? Ash measured the number of times each participant conformed to the majority view. On average, about one third (32%) of the participants who were placed in this situation went along and confirmed with the clearly incorrect majority in the critical trials.
Over the 12 critical trials, about 75% of participants conformed at least once, and 25% of participant never confirmed. In the control group, with no pressure to conform to confederates, less than 1% of participants gave the wrong answer.
For detailed information, have a look at this website: https://www.simplypsychology.org/asch-conformity.html
But how does Ash’s experiment concerns social media communication?
Indeed, it does. Ash showed the natural way of how people behave in a group and how big the social influence might be.
At a glance, social proof in social media communication is:
“(…) the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something. It’s also known as an informational social influence.”
How social proof reflects social media communication nowadays?
A lot. No matter what kind of decision we make, always there is someone who we ask for advice or recommendation. Taking into consideration the time we live in, an opinion shared in virtual reality is even more influential.
Now let us present some examples of social proof strategy you might use in promoting your brand.
Social proof strategies
1. Testimonials are a great option for brands offering services or products that depend on personal preferences. Opinions of people are more subjective and include a description with emotional timbre. Of course, some customers might take those as fake ones, but if you add a reliable source or trustworthy picture – it always brings a positive result.
Example: 99 designs (https://99designs.com/testimonials)
2. Reviews are perfect for any kind of service or product. No matter if you are selling tires, soaps, shoes or your hairdresser services – having good reviews on your website or fan page is essential. If there is someone hesitating between choosing yours and concurrency product, he will always go to the reviews section. Keep it in mind and don’t make your client unhappy, unless you want your brand to go bust…
Example: Nowe Horyzonty – Cinema
3. User-generated content involves people to participate in creating your brand. What exactly UGC is, you can find out in our previous blog article (https://postfity.com/instagram-strategy-tutorial/). There you will find a good example of how to use the potential of your clients to create social proof with you.
4. Trust icons/logos/clients
It’s hard to put it all in one name. In a nutshell, if you had a pleasure to work for a big, well-known client – why not to say it proudly? Images and icons are catchy for an eye, and it always gives your brand a little bit of splendor if it may stand among other strong brands. Later, if you additionally have a testimonial or review of such a brand, it sets you even higher in potential client’s eyes.
5. Social media linking button – are they correspondent with making the conversion on your website higher? Yes and no… Actually, everything depends on how popular your brand is and how many likes and shares it has. If you are just starting with promotion and the number of likes on your Facebook is not impressive, better wait a bit and put the SM button on the website later. The low popularity and lack of reviews look even worse in customers eyes than no social media at all.
Example: Calpont https://vwo.com/blog/social-proof-decreases-conversions/
6. Data and numbers work in the case of reasonable clients. Maybe the first impression of the products depends on emotional message hidden in brand strategy, visual elements and well-matched words, but sometimes having a strong factual content makes your website more trustworthy.
Which of those social proof strategies do you like the most? Feel free to share your opinion in comments!
Social proof application
At the end let us show you a few applications, which might help you to apply social proof in life.
a) Usefomo (https://www.usefomo.com/ )
It’s a platform that allows you to take care of your social proof no matter what you do. You can analyze your social proof results and learn how to make your service/product sale more efficient.
As they say: “social proof is the holy grail of marketing. Fomo uses it to increase conversions on your website”.
b) Fera (https://www.fera.ai/)
Fera is a platform that lets you add urgency and social proof to your online store with tools such as counters, timers and social proof feeds. It’s easy to install, completely customizable and results are guaranteed.
c) Useproof (https://useproof.com/)
With this app, you are able to increase your conversion by:
- checking activity notifications
- showing live visitors count
- check your visitors’ identification
- follow customers journey on your page
- control custom timing
- control custom rules
- optimize mobile traffic
- translate recent activity notification into any language