by Chris Lowers
Social proof is a concept that’s been around in various forms for nearly 100 years. So what is it? Social proof is the process of convincing people to adopt certain behaviors, opinions or actions by providing a form of “proof” that this is the correct or normal thing to do. You're giving people reasons to believe and buy.
Classic Examples: Social proof is the reason many medications will include a tagline like “The #1 recommended medicine by physicians.” It’s the reason why books always include brief blurbs from other authors on the back cover. It’s the reason why companies obsess over press mentions by respected media sources. It’s the reason why testimonials, case studies and examples of “people just like you who used this product” are so powerful. These are all examples of proof that can be used to get customers to try a product.
Social Proof in the Digital Era: Social media has forced brands to wake up and re-think about how social proof is now constructed in organic and unforeseen ways. For example, even something as simple as checking how many followers a brand has on Twitter or Instagram can be a powerful signal to consumers. It'’s time to think of ways that social proof can be updated for the way people use social media today.
Social Proof in Action: Consider how a new wearable fitness device from a relatively unknown tech company night try to market their product to people seeking weight loss. For a new and relatively unknown brand, most customers will require some form of “social proof” before buying. Here are a few steps this company could take to produce social proof by providing reasons to believe and buy-into their value proposition:
What Type of Proof Works Best? Certain types of social proof work better than others. Photos work far better than text for reinforcing social proof. (Even adding a small photo of a person’s face next to a written testimonial can markedly improve its effectiveness) And, recommendations from people “just like me” work far better than recommendations from experts.
Proving Your Brand: Social proof can be an extraordinarily powerful tool. You need a clear and manageable social proof strategy.
So where do you start? Grey Partners can help. Click or call today.