Good social proof is the one that builds trust. I’ll explain it further using an example of an online store owner.
If you own an online store, you want to get as many customers as possible. There are a lot of factors that may influence the visitor’s decision to become a buyer.
One of the most important is trust. Nobody likes to be the first customer, and it’s in our nature to imitate others, no matter if we want to admit it or not.
This is the main point of social proof, which is the term first coined by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Social proof as a concept is drawing from our tendency to question ourselves if we’re making the right choice, and you can use this as a powerful tool in internet marketing.
Good social proof consists of these principles:
Similarity means that people are more likely to adopt behavior they notice in people similar to themselves. E.g. teenagers are more likely to believe someone who is their age and who has similar activities as them. They can relate to each other.
When we’re feeling sick, we usually go and see a doctor, not an engineer. It’s the same for the people who visit your website: they’re visiting it to find a solution to their problem. To offer good social proof, you should present yourself as an expert in your field and learn how to speak to your target audience.
Most of us like to think we are not affected by the herd mentality and that we are making buying decisions on our own. But we do fall in the trap in certain situations - e.g. checking reviews on the restaurant when we’re ordering the food for the first time. When you are a business owner, the more people you have to support your product, the bigger the chance that others will make the same choice.
There are various forms of social proof to display on your website, click here to learn more. Combining various forms of social proof is the main idea of a new concept called Clients-Convert-Clients (CCC) marketing.
While using CCC marketing, you are implementing social proof in such a way that you use existing customers’ positive experiences and display them on your website. This way your customers are helping you in converting website visitors into new customers.
You can implement it either manually, or automatically, by using tools like Social Proof Now.