So What is Social Proof Anyway?
Put simply, it’s the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something. It’s also known as informational social influence.
One of the keys to success in business is the use of social proof. My definition of social proof is that “if everyone else is doing it why shouldn’t we.” When people don’t necessarily understand something, but they see other people doing it, they assume those people know what they’re doing and feel more comfortable about joining in. Sounds a bit complicated, right? Well, it is actually quite simple and is a very powerful tool to use for success in business.
Social proof is everywhere around us. How often have you seen a couple of dollar tips in a jar in your neighborhood bar or a hat on the sidewalk with a few coins in it alongside a street performer? There’s always a small pile of coins in there, just to push you to make a donation. What about the last movie you went to? Was it a great movie and worth a ticket? A movie is a “must see movie” because that is what the movie pundits & critics recommended. There was the movie trailer itself, and what people that went to the movie said to their peers. Then there’s the old classic. Try this yourself if you’re uninhibited enough. Walk along the street and then just stop and look up at a building. (Watch out for lamp posts!) See how long it takes until you get a group of people looking up wondering what on earth you’re starting at!
But how does that relate to success in business? Amazon is one of the best examples. Would you buy a book on Amazon if it only had a one star rating? But what about if it had 20 five star ratings? You can use social proof for success in business and here’s a few ways to get you started.
Testimonials This is one of the most classic uses of social proof and a great tool for success in business. It’s fine saying how great your product is and how it will solve all the worlds problems. But there’s a much bigger and believable impact if one of your happy customers says the same thing. If you don’t have testimonials about your product, you could use what people are saying about you on social media, like Facebook or twitter. Written testimonials are great, but video testimonials are even better, so use them at every possible opportunity. Blog Comments Encourage people to comment on your blog. Then when a new visitor arrives and sees the comments they will be more inclined to comment, or at the very least read your article as it looks like it’s worth their time reading it.
Social media is the wake up call for any business online or offline. It’s so easy now for someone to say something great about you and your service or product on Facebook and twitter. Your reputation can spread like wildfire on social media, and as it’s still in it’s infancy it will only get bigger.
However be warned. It’s also one of the fastest ways to lose all credibility and reputation. So for any online business today, it pays to always offer as much value to your customers as possible to avoid any negativity on social media. If you said you had a 30 day money back guarantee, make sure you honor it without question if someone asks for a refund.
Social proof is one of the most powerful techniques available for online or offline businesses today. It helps make the internet a better and more honest place because it’s so easy to spread the word about a great product, but equally, spread the word about an inferior product. Use it well for success in business today. To discuss ways that we can help you improve your brands reputation, trustworthiness, and authority in your marketplace, please fill out our contact form and we will be in touch within 24 hours