The term social proof was coined by prominent psychologist Robert Cialdini. He described it as a social phenomenon that leads people (think customers) to mimic the actions of others because of a need to conform. In other words, when people are unsure of how to react, they automatically look to others around them for guidance.
Social proof affects us in more ways than are immediately apparent. A testimonial from an expert you trust regarding a product or service is social proof. Similarly, chancing upon the logo of an industry leader that you respect is also social proof.
Here are 5 smart ways to build social proof in your marketing:
1. Customer reviews
Ratings provide valuable information about your business to both you and your customers. Business reviews can often appear next to your listing in search results and will help your business stand out.
2. Customer testimonials
3. Industry associations
Logos with links to popular and trusted authorities can quickly boost the credibility of your brand.
Where relevant, always include any awards with logos and links to boost brand trust and positioning.
5. Industry expert relationships
Leverage industry experts and marketing influencers who’ll spread the word about your brand on websites or social channels.
Brand mentions also play an important role in boosting the authority of your brand. Social proof generates fresh content for search engines, which rank your website higher if the content is frequently updated. The more social proof content you have, the higher the chances of keeping attention and generating leads.
Are you using social proof marketing in your business?
Source: Social Media Examiner [abridged]