5 Ways To Get Social Proof

Aug 21, 2015 by
5 Ways To Get Social Proof

As much as we’d like to believe our everyday decisions are the result of our rational brain processing first-hand information, the laws of human psychology prove that this is not the case.

Social proof refers to the phenomenon where people are more encouraged to perform an action if they’ve already witnessed someone else perform it, whether that’s purchasing a new product or incorporating a new word into their vocabulary. Popularised by psychology professor and bestselling author Robert Cialdini in the 1980s, the law of social proof has been leveraged extensively by brands seeking to influence purchasing decisions.

Since the publication of Cialdini’s famous book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, new technologies have dramatically changed the marketing landscape. While the same principles still apply, it’s now important for brands to demonstrate social proof via digital avenues in order to catch the attention of potential customers. Incorporating these 5 types of social proof on your site are sure to boost your authority and increase conversions.

1 – Testimonials

Remember the last time you purchased a product or service from a site that had no testimonials from previous customers? I doubt that you ever have. Including a testimonials page on your site is the most obvious way to boost your credibility – so long as you actually have a selection of satisfied customers who are happy to pay you a written compliment! A positive quote from a human being, not just a faceless organisation, makes the testimonial infinitely more credible (a headshot to accompany the testimonial is definitely a nice bonus). After all, people still want to do business with other people, even though our digital lifestyles often make us forget this important fact.

Graphic designer David Airey has the following choice words about testimonials:

“Clients will want to know who else you’ve worked with, and what your working relationships have been like. They’ll want to know that their hard-earned money is in safe hands, and that once they pay the initial deposit, you aren’t going to ride off into the sunset.”

2 – Case studies

In addition to standard testimonials, a case study is a great way to showcase the depth of your expertise. By first describing the problem that your customer had and then showing the ways in which you resolved it for them, other potential customers will instantly relate their business to your story and will be more inclined to work with you. This is also beneficial for the customer being featured in the case study, as it brings more exposure to their business too. Strengthening a business relationship while demonstrating your capabilities to the world – that’s what I call a win-win scenario.

3 – Customer logos

Neil Patel’s consulting page is the epitome of social proof, full of glowing testimonials, case studies and also importantly, a tremendous selection of customer logos. Even if you haven’t worked with some of the world’s largest companies like Neil, a nice selection of colourful logos is visually compelling and demonstrates that you are a trustworthy brand in a matter of seconds. As with case studies, your customers are sure to appreciate the additional exposure.

4 – Social media shares

Want to encourage people to share your blog posts? Get other people to share it to first! For the same reason that it’s recommended to get your family and friends to donate first in a crowdfunding campaign, people are much more likely to hit that enticing “share” button when they see 100 people have immediately done so already. If a tonne of people have shared a blog post, the chances are that it’s of high value, so you won’t look foolish for sharing it. Conversely, if you see a post that has received zero engagement, perhaps there is a clear reason why other people didn’t resonate with it, so it would be unwise for you to share it! Although I would not recommend doing this, certain businesses artificially inflate their social share counters, presumably to leverage social proof and encourage more sharing.

5 – User statistics

cambridge-web-marketing-5-ways-to-get-social-proofBy posting statistics of how your products and services have benefitted your clients, new clients will immediately be attracted. This could be as simple as stating the amount of people already subscribing to your newsletter right underneath the landing page subscription button, or including a statistic about how much new search traffic, conversions or even weddings you have produced for your happy customers! If people like your products and services, you’d be foolish not to let the world know about it.