We’ve talked a bit about the idea of social proof in the past and how showing your customers proof that other people love your business is a great way to increase sales. We’re going to tell you more about how you can use this for your own business, but first let’s define what social proof really is.
Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation.
Going back to the study referenced in the Wall Street Journal article, researchers offered 4 different messages to convince people to use fans instead of air conditioning:
- Message 1 – Informed the customer that they could be saving $54/month on their utility bill.
- Message 2 – Told customers that they could prevent the release of 262 pounds of greenhouse gasses every month.
- Message 3 – Encouraged customers that saving energy was a socially responsible thing to do.
- Message 4 – Let customers know that 77 percent of their neighbors were already actively using fans to save energy.
If you guessed message 4 was the most effective, you are correct! They used social proof to show and convince customers that everyone else is doing it and you should be too. It worked.
So how do you use this in your own business? Here are a few examples that can help you.
We all know how effective email marketing can be if done correctly. It can become a profitable way to reach out to your fans and customers. Why not use social proof to encourage more people to subscribe to your email marketing list? Here are some examples:
- Show the numbers: “Join 1,200 other people who get our monthly specials and start saving today.”
- Show an influencer: “I can’t tell you how happy I am with this service. A friend forwarded me the newsletter and I’m hooked!”
Growing Your Business
If the examples above work for increasing email subscribers, why not use similar tactics for everything else? Here is one we use on our own website:
Another example might be showing the number of happy customers: “Learn why 1,459 patients made the decision to see Dr. Smith last year for their cosmetic surgery needs.”
One important thing to remember is if you quote numbers for anything, keep updating them as it only helps to show your growing success. Also make sure you add a “last updated on” date to show site visitors you are keeping things current.
Taking all this time to show why people are choosing your business might seem silly, but it works! People want to know they are as “cool” as the rest of the crowd and using social proof will increase the responsiveness of your potential customers.
If you need some help on how to use social proof in your marketing campaigns, just let us know – we’re happy to help.