If you haven’t been paying attention to the marketing world lately, maybe the term slipped past you: Social Proof. What is it, and why does social proof matter so much to marketers? Social proof is simply the idea that when other people – typically potential customers – see someone take an action, they become more open to that action themselves.
How Social Proof Manifests Itself in Marketing
Often, when marketers talk about social proof these days, they’re talking about observing the actions of others online. Social proof can be as simple as seeing a Facebook friend like or follow a specific brand. It can be reading an Amazon review of a recently purchased product. It can be watching a testimonial video from a happy client on someone’s website. Or it could be actually seeing when people buy a product or service (such as via a Venmo feed or through a special widget on an ecommerce site).
The Power of Social Proof
Social proof matters to marketers because we’re herd animals! We see the actions of others and assume that they’re making decisions and taking actions because they’re beneficial for them! That leaves us open to the idea that taking such an action might be beneficial for us, as well. OHH, Jennifer had a great experience with her real estate agent? Maybe her real estate agent could help me, too!
How You Can Use Social Proof in Your Marketing
Making social proof matter in your marketing can be very simple. Some easy social proof tips:
- Encourage more interactions on your social page by going out of your way to shout out your clients and thank them whenever they mention you. (This ensures more people will see you and your great service.)
- Take the extra step to capture testimonials from satisfied clients or engage a testimonial service to do so for you. Post your testimonials on your website and your socials.
- Don’t be afraid to share your awards, your big wins or your impressive milestones. It’s OK to post about hitting a business goal or getting some recognition. It may seem like bragging to you, but to readers, it shows that others – including experts in the case of awards – value what you do.
Making Strategic Social Proof Work in Your Marketing
Longer term ways to leverage social proof include getting credentialed through professional organizations, getting verified as an expert on online social platforms, employing third-party tools that allow you to capture and display social proof from others, and even sponsoring posts featuring you or your business on the accounts of social media influencers.
Remember: Social proof matters to marketers because it helps potential clients make decisions.