Social proof is an important part of running an online store, especially for new store owners. By having the external validation that real people are using your product and sharing their photos, customers feel more confident making purchases through your store. Most Americans (70%) admit to looking at reviews before making a purchase proving the importance of social proof. And most teenage YouTube subscribers (70%) trust the YouTube influencers opinions more than a celebrity. This helps show that the everyday person can appear more credible than a high profile celebrity.
Social Proof Example: Brighter White masters social proof by having influencers take pictures with their teeth whitening products. All the influencers in the pictures have ultra white teeth. Their Instagram account also shows before and after results from a 7 day period to show the drastic change users showcase after using the product. They also add their logo in photos so that customers know it’s not stolen from another brand and so other brands don’t claim it as their own.
If your brand does influencer marketing, having a page where you post all your customer photos can help give your brand credibility. Anine Bing includes celebrity photos on their press page. Their customers include high profile celebrities. Having pictures of customers on their website helps validate their store’s popularity. While most brands add customer photos to social media and product pages, feel free to create a page just for customer photos.
If you sell a proprietary product such as a skin care line, having a quote from a doctor, dermatologist or other skin care expert may help give your brand credibility. It’ll help build customer trust. Are there key figures or experts in your niche you can reach out to for a testimonial or quote for an blog post? Do your research and reach out to them.
Collaborate with popular influencers on social media. Fabletics partnered with Demi Lovato to create a line of fitness apparel. Fans of Demi Lovato who love fitness apparel may think ‘if Demi Lovato likes Fabletics maybe I should too.’ That’s social proof in effect.
Skinny Teatox grows their social proof by having a before and after section on their website. They include pictures sent by customers of their weight loss. They’ll even disclose information such as whether or not the person exercised for full transparency. Customers may then be motivated to drink the tea for weight loss because they see that it works.
Your social media pages can be a huge boost in social proof. For example, if 50,000 people follow your brand on social media, it shows customers that your brand is popular and worth following. And buying from. If you have no followers, customers may be weary of your brand. Make a conscious effort to grow your social media following, through ads and engaging content, as it can help increase your sales over the long-term. And when you hit milestones on your social media accounts like 10,000, 50,000, 100,000 or 1,000,000 thank your fanbase for the support. Offer a special discount for a one day sale as an appreciation or a free gift with purchase.
Create a brand ambassador program. Whether you use social media influencers or loyal customers for the program, it can be helpful in boosting social proof. Your brand ambassadors will actively promote your brand on their social media in return for a commission in sales. You’ll not only grow your revenue, but your brand awareness will also grow. Social media users will see your brand being promoted on several pages making them realize how popular your brand has become.
About 86% of female shoppers find product recommendations from friends or niche bloggers more trustworthy than from celebrities. Tell your customers to share their purchase with a friend and offer a commission for any purchases through their referral link. And reach out to niche bloggers that are well-respected in your industry – they can be your greatest allies. Best part: you can do all of this with a new entrepreneur budget.
Grow your customer reviews. Product reviews show that people are buying and loving your product. You can use an app (see our list of tools in the review strategy section) to help automate the process of getting product reviews to grow them quickly and organically. The more product reviews you have on your store, the more likely you are to convert the store visitor.
Getting verified on social media can also help give your brand social proof and credibility. If you want to get verified on Twitter, you can fill out a form online. Twitter usually responds within a couple of days. To get verified on Facebook, you can complete steps on your business’ page settings.
Having a press section on your store can also help boost social proof. When customers see that top publications are featuring your brand or products in their magazines or blogs, it helps give your brand more credibility. Reach out to publications to feature your products in their publications. Focus on relevant niche publications to get qualified traffic.
Have no customers? Offer influencers a free product for a picture of them using it and sharing it with their audience. If you aim for influencers with under 2,000 followers you have a better chance of landing someone who agrees to it.
Social Proof by SpurIT shows customers how many people are currently viewing your product. It also mentions how many products are left which helps make your products look more popular. If you’re running ads to your product page, it’ll help boost the social proof as you’ll likely have quite a few eyes on the product page throughout the duration of the ad. If there are only a couple of products left for customers to purchase and several people on the product page, it can help drive more customers into purchase.
Loox is a photo reviews app that showcases customer photos. Written reviews can be convincing but photo reviews showcase products on another level. Showing customer reviews with pictures show that not only are others buying your product but they also love it enough to share a picture – and the product looks great. When customers see these types of reviews, they’ll be more likely to buy that product from your store provided that the review is positive.
FOMO is a social proof marketing app. When a person visits a store with FOMO installed a popup appears on the store showing recent purchases on your store. It shows customers the product bought, which city it was bought in and how long ago someone bought it. Social proof is creating because it shows customers are actually buying from your brand. And the time inclusion shows that your store is so popular that purchases are being made right now.
Oberlo’s Social Proof: What It Is and Why It’s Great for Marketing details how you can gain social proof through reviews, blogging and influencers. It also includes examples of brands like Daniel Wellington and Amazon who use social proof to grow their brands.
ConversionXL Social Proof: What It Is, Why it Works, How to Use it shares opinions from experts who share their take on what is social proof. They share social proof examples and the types of social proof.