Using Social Proof For Business Success

In an age where people are becoming more and more digitally social, businesses have started to leverage on social proof. What others say about your business and what actions they take, spread to a wide global audience in a matter of minutes through various social media channels. Social proof has the power strong enough to influence a person’s purchasing decision. Seventy percent of Americans today go through product reviews before proceeding to place an order. So, what actually is social proof and how do you leverage on it?

What is Social Proof?

Social proof can be described as a psychological phenomenon wherein the actions of one person or people influence the decision of others. The influence is usually due to the assumption that the person or people taking a certain action (influencer) is more informed and knowledgeable about the situation. This phenomenon can hugely impact consumer behavior. Now this explains why a comedy show has an intermittent laughing track in the background; you are more likely to laugh when you see/hear others laughing. Another example is invite-only launches that are on the rise of late – gmail, smartphones, beta programs, etc.

Building Social Proof for Your Business

Adoption of social media has made it lot easier to integrate social proof into your marketing strategy. You can either focus on a single form of social proof that works best for your business or try out a mix of different forms. The good thing is you can test and implement what works best.

The basic technique involves putting your product before the early influencers. You however need to have a great product to begin with.

Reviews and Ratings: People are more likely to buy from websites that contain user reviews and ratings. According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, an increase by 1-star in Yelp rating can boost sales by 5 to 9 percent. You can encourage your users to leave you a review/rating on popular review sites like Yelp, Google Plus, Facebook, etc. In case of ecommerce website, you should also integrate a review/rating system right into your website.

Track Mention on Social Media: There are various tools and services like HootSuite, Mention, Simplify360, Social Studio, etc. to help you track your presence on social media platforms. Make sure you keep a constant watch over what people are saying about you. If you come across anything negative being said about your brand or product, you should try to address the issue as soon as possible in order to minimize the brand damage. Similarly, whenever there is any positive mention, try to give it maximum exposure.

Promote Social Sharing: Sharing on social media too constitutes a social proof. So, make it easy for your readers and followers to like and share your content in their social circles. For this, it is essential that you embed share/Like/Follow buttons in your content at most appropriate places. You can also take some help of paid services to expand the reach of your content, for example, to get retweets automatically.

So, go ahead and promote all those reviews, testimonials, recommendations, etc. to give your business the visibility it deserves.