Social proof marketing

Social Proof Marketing: What is and how to use it

People need confirmation from other people to be sure their choices are correct. Social Proof Marketing means to use this human behavior to your advantage. With this strategy, your users will feel more prone to acquire your product or service. In this article, we’re going to debunk the secrets of Social Proof Marketing and how you can use it to bring sales.

What is exactly Social Proof?

Human beings are social animals, that’s a proven fact. And we, either consciously or unconsciously, need the confirmation of a peer to make choices. This is called herd behavior. A typical example of this behavior is when there are two ATMs together, both good, but people only line behind one thinking the other one is malfunctioning. Another example, from NatGeo’s Mind Games, shows how social proof validates a wrong choice to a limit that everyone in the pack makes it.

Social Proof is an unconscious validation that, if people are doing it, it should be the right choice. In many aspects, we’re lonely beings. Still, in unknown situations, we tend to follow the herd as a protection measure from a potentially bad outcome. This is a powerful behavior that can be used in marketing too.

Applying it as a marketing strategy

Like its name says it, Social Proof Marketing is simply using this natural behavior as a marketing tool. What you want to achieve with this strategy, is to generate a herd behavior in your favor. Actually, it’s easy to implement this in your existing marketing strategy. Want to learn more?

Idea 1: Create a referral program

A Nielsen study revealed that 82% of Americans seek friends and family validation before acquiring a product or service. Actually, by having a referral program, your customers become sellers and share their own experience to generate social proof.

A good idea to test if a referral program is right for you, is creating coupons for some of your best customers and see if they are willing to share it with people who may need your product or service. If it doesn’t, you can always start giving a small incentive for them to share the coupon. Actually, you can start small and test if it’s right for your business.

Idea 2: Use a Social Proof solution on your website

If you have a website, things are fairly easier. Actually, a lot easier. You can create social proof notification using a solution like Sidepop. These type of notifications are designed to leverage social proof by generating validation. Actually, you’re probably experiencing it as this website also has it installed.

The secret sauce of Sidepop is that it allows you to create your own customized notifications. In other words, you don’t need to have real sales to use it. You can customize the look and feel of the widget, and if you use WordPress, you can combine real and fake sales. Your visitors won’t tell the difference.

Social proof widgets work by appealing to the same triggers of the line example. For example, if 30 people bought maple syrup last week, and someone near me bought it 5 minutes ago, why wouldn’t I buy it too?

Social proof marketing widget
These notifications are great to generate Social Proof

Idea 3: Use influencers to generate validation

Also, Social media influencers are great channels for validation. In this case, the equation works in a different way. If someone who is popular and desired bought the maple syrup, why wouldn’t I?.

Of course, influencer marketing is a more expensive strategy if your business is just starting. Still, you can use small influencers in your niche to get the job done.

Is social proof marketing right for me?

Yes! Social proof marketing is for everyone. Use these simple ideas as a boilerplate to begin, but don’t stop there. Test multiple landing pages, with different themes and social validation messages. The sky is the limit!

Pro tip: Did you know that with Sidepop you can create unlimited social proof widgets? Start your free 7 days trial!

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