Social proof – a huge topic in the world of Internet marketing – is a technical-sounding term for a very simple concept: Most of us are more likely to do something if we know other people are doing it, too. That's especially true if the "other people" are ones we respect and admire.
In fact, if the perception of social proof is strong enough, we might even feel like we should be doing something that we aren't already. It's a kind of subtle peer pressure we tend to put on ourselves.
The effects of social proof are everywhere. It's the reason we're more likely to try an exotic new food or workout style if we've read about it in a magazine. It's how fads and trends pick up steam, and the reason that advertisers will pay celebrities huge amounts of money to use and endorse their products.
As you've probably guessed already, there are a few things you can do to take advantage of the power of social proof and put it to work on your business website. You don't even have to have celebrity endorsements, just a few selected numbers or statistics shared or posted in strategic places.
Here are a few good examples:
Displaying the statistics for downloads or registrations. No matter how strong your offer is, there's going to be a natural tendency for potential customers to put off taking the next step, even if it's a minor one, because it involves risk. The more they can see that hundreds or thousands of other people have already taken that step, the more comfortable they’re going to be doing it themselves.
Showing how many people have "liked" your content on social media. Most of us like to be associated with winning ideas and points of view. That's why it's easier to take a social post from 1,000 views to 10,000 views, for example, than it is to get the first 100 from nothing. If your content is popular, build on that and make it more popular.
Letting customers give feedback and reviews. This is a powerful form of social proof, so long as your reviews are positive and credible. People don't have to hear from big names or experts if they think they're getting fair and honest opinions from others who are just like them.
In practice, the uses for social proof on your website could be virtually endless. What makes it powerful, though, is the fact that you're showing that other people already know, like, and trust your company… which implies that your prospect should, too.
One word of caution, though: You only want to activate or share these figures after you've already generated some traction. Seeing that "zero people" have downloaded your report, for example, is essentially the opposite of social proof. So, don't put up anything that's going to hurt your marketing efforts.
Looking for innovative ways to get more from all of your online and offline marketing? Contact WebRevelation today and let us show you what we've been able to do for other businesses just like yours.