The Power of People: Social Proof in eCommerce
With scams and false advertisements growing by the day, it can be hard to build trust with your audience, especially if you are a newer brand. Even if you are doing everything right, new customers might be wary of your brand without doing a little of their own research. Using social proof is one of the best ways you can build a positive, trustworthy brand image and expand your audience.
What Is Social Proof:
Social proof is the positive influence that is created by current or past customers and uses this influence to draw in more customers. If someone does not know what to think, or how to feel, they look to those around them and conform to those ideas or actions. The more people who believe in an idea, or perform a certain action, the more likely it is to be correct.
Why Is Social Proof Important:
Social proof is important for businesses because your audience is very likely to believe what they are hearing from those around them. If everyone is raving about something, it has to be good. Customers look for real reviews and want to be in the loop on whatever they think will be the best solution to fill their needs. Stanley cups are a perfect example of social proof. There is nothing extraordinary about this cup that sets it apart from its competitors, but it became a social media phenomenon by using popular female influencers to sell the cup. Now, Stanley is seen as a status symbol, with owners of these cups raving about how fantastic they are. Since so many people decided that Stanley cups were “cool”, many women who want to be perceived as an “it girl” immediately turn to Stanley.
How To Use Social Proof:
If you are able to work with an influencer in your industry, they can be one of the best ways to get the word out about a specific product or your company in general. There are influencers with a wide range of audience sizes and demographics, so don’t feel like you have to work with the biggest ones! Micro-influencers are usually eager to expand their portfolio and work with new brands, so they are an excellent resource depending on your budget and industry. Partnering with influencers makes your job easy, as all you need to do is provide them with a product and fair payment and they will do the rest! Audiences tend to trust influencers, even if they know that they are getting paid, which in turn helps them trust your brand.
Another effective way to use social proof is through customer reviews. Your customers typically do not have incentives to write you a good review, meaning that potential customers are more likely to trust them. If they write a positive review, use that to your advantage! Positive customer reviews can be displayed on your website, social media, or anywhere else you want to display them. Make sure to thank your customers when they write you a positive review. It is also helpful to send customers a quick email after they make a purchase, asking them to leave you a review once they’ve had a chance to use your product.
User-generated content, also known as UGC, has been rapidly rising in popularity as a way to gain social proof. UGC comes from customers who like a product, and post about it on platforms where their followers can see it. This type of content is very valuable, as it shows actual customers using and enjoying your products with nothing to gain. Re-posting UGC encourages your other customers to post content, and creates excitement at the opportunity to be featured on your page or story.
Social proof is one of the best marketing tools you can use to help boost your sales. There are many, many ways you can utilize social proof to help your business. By having happy customers, you are more likely to get social proof, so listen to your audience and do your best to please them!