People buy products/services for different reasons, but one of the most common reasons why people buy a product or service is because other people they know are also buying it. This concept is known as social proof.
According to Wikipedia, Social proof (also known as informational social influence) is a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour in a given situation.
In business, social proof gives your prospective customers confidence to do business with you. By hearing or seeing the reviews or testimonials of others who have patronized your product or service, they are more convinced to patronize you.
You can use the following social proofs to increase confidence and patronage of your products and services:
- Testimonials: if you have offered excellent service or sold your customers a great products that solved their problems, you can ask them to share their experience. For example, one of our clients who packages Coconut oil and sells to new mothers through the General hospital, usually goes back to find out how the Mothers are enjoying her products.
A few of them willingly gave video testimonials of how their babies’ skin were fresher because of the product. She put this video on her Website as Social proof to give website visitors more confidence in her product.
- Case studies: this is usually good for service based business where you can use a case study to showcase the work you did for a customer and the result you achieved. A case study is a detailed process of examining a subject and documenting findings.
With a case study, you can showcase your expertise and your ability to get results. I recently wrote a case study of one of our clients who we have worked with for almost 3 years and how she has grown her business revenues over 500%. The case study provided social proof and we got new clients as a result. You can read it here.
- Endorsements: one of the most effective social proofs is when influential people endorse you. You can get endorsements from celebrities or from your industry influencers talking about how good your product and service is. If these people like your product or service, they can use it often and become brand ambassadors.
Their followers would be more confident in your product and you can gain their patronage. When I launched my book Uplevel last year, I got an endorsement from a celebrity actress which she posted on her Instagram page. This exposed my book to her followers.
- Features: if you get featured in a major online or offline publication, this is a great social proof. This will provide exposure to people who might not have heard about you and could lead them to patronizing your products or services.
You can also share this feature with your existing audience on social media and it will increase or reinforce their belief in your product or service offerings. You can also put the logo of these media outlets who have featured you on your website to further enforce the social proof. You can see an example of how I do this at the bottom of my website home page here.
- Milestones: another way to get social proof is to share your business milestones with your audience. You can share your business anniversary, you can share customer numbers, social media reach or other major (or minor but relevant) achievements.
Milestones re-inforce your existence to your audience and gives them confidence that if you have stayed around this long, or achieved this milestone, then you are worth doing business with.
Social proof is a psychological tool that makes prospects or members of your audience know about you, tell others about you and patronize you more.
Make sure you leverage social proof to convert prospects into customers.