If you’re new to the internet I suggest taking a peek around at some new beginner sites and some of the giants like Facebook, Amazon & Reddit. So what do those big guys have that your store doesn’t? Well, for starters they leverage the heck out of social proof. If you’ve ever heard of Reddit they grew their entire platform using FAKE users. This made it seem popular…and then VOILA, it actually became popular!
Now we don’t condone creating a million fake user bots or paying people to like your page, rate it, comment, whatever. There’s a much easier way to create social proof on your store, and on your site.
What Is Social Proof?
Social proof, according to Wiki, is “a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour in a given situation.”
Now, let’s unpack that and see what it means to you. The concept of social proof is that we tend to imitate our peers. We see the things they buy, do and like and we want to do the same. Ever seen your buddy buy a sweet new hoodie and it’s got you wanting one? Or how about passing a stranger at the mall with some amazing kicks and trying to figure out where you can get your hands on your own?
We like to fit in and be like others, and in a large sense seeing what our peers are doing helps that feeling. It boils down to “everyone else is doing it (or buying it, or liking it)- I should too!”. How many of us have admitted to our Moms that “yea if everyone else thought jumping off a bridge was a cool thing to do, then I would too…”.
Yeah a lot of us have. And there’s no shame in that. We’re human, and of course, we’re shaped by what our peers are doing around us. It’s a psychological thing anyway, so good luck fixing that!
In a nutshell social proof: builds trust, validates a user’s buying decision & adds credibility to your products. Through this social proof can magically (and easily!) help boost your conversions!
So, How Can I Leverage Social Proof to by own Benefit??
Social Proof exists IRL-you can see how busy a restaurant is and then figure if 50 people are eating there is must be good. Or if 1 million people are going to a Miley Cyrus concert, she can’t be all that bad right? Or thousands of people buying Kayne’s merch have got to know something the rest of us don’t…
But how do we create the feeling virtually? How do we social proof our own website or our own e-commerce stores? We need to nudge users to buy our stuff, encourage them to browse and click around and eventually checkout with a cart full of stuff. This is how we get those glorious boosted conversion rates and higher sales!
There are a million of tools online (Fera.ai included) to help with social proof and urgency, and a ton of apps or even things you can do on your own to boost sales and up your conversions.
The Magical List of Types of Social Proof you can Utilize!
Create Social Proof through showing the number of visitors viewing a product
This is a big seller for sites. If you can show how many people have purchased your item and how many people are viewing your products/site you’re more likely to have higher conversion rates. By showcasing your popularity you’re convincing consumers that people love your stuff-and that they should too!
Create Social Proof using other customers
You can create social proof directly from other customers. You can add messages that let a potential customer know that Amelia from Utah, USA just bought a hat 30 minutes ago. This perceived purchase makes others more likely to buy things. Seeing a face and name (even of a complete stranger) creates a feeling of trust or credibility and makes people more likely to buy their own. This again ties into the idea of all of us just wanting to fit in.
Create Social Proof through success stories
Case studies or other stories about success are a great way to show potential customers to your store how others have created their own success or have achieved something amazing (record # of visitors, increased revenue) by using your product or service. These testimonials create credibility from people who are celebrities or experts, or from the average user that benefitted from your product/service.
Promote these on your blog, your Facebook page, Twitter or any other channel to get the word out about how customers are using your services or products to become successful! This is most effective if you use before and after numbers, explain what they did or used and how they continue to be successful. You only need a few to add social proof and give users confidence about your site/services/products.
The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) for Social Proof
People are deathly afraid of missing out. This FOMO phenomenon can help you create urgency through social proof. Showing a low stock message, or “one item left” is a great way of doing this. It scares people into action knowing that if they don’t hurry they could miss out. Showing stock numbers encourages consumers to act immediately (reducing cart abandonment) & creates a good experience for customers as it can reduce frustration for them.
YOUR TURN! So, where are you going to start?