Social proof is when people influence others in ambiguous situations causing herding behavior. Social proof can be very powerful persuasion as over 70% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. Here, we will discuss the different types of social proof and strategies to boost conversion.
Expert Social Proof
We often defer to credible experts in the industry when we buy something new because we think that they know what’s best. The more influential and relevant the expert is, the more powerful is his / her endorsement. If a reputable nutritionist blogs about your company’s supplements, be sure to link back to it. If you have received notable media coverage, you could feature their logos on your homepage. If you have received badges, seals or certifications, display them prominently on your website to increase credibility.
Celebrity Social Proof
We seek advice from celebrities and successful people with greater rank in society so we can be more like them. We tend to join groups to increase our rank in society. So when Tim Ferriss, a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and angel investor suggests Wealthfront for investments, you might be intrigued to look into it.
Customer Social Proof
We are greatly influenced by customer reviews, especially if they are from a reputable third party website like Yelp. If you do include client testimonials on your website, be sure that they tell detailed stories and are paired with real photos and attributions. One of our clients, ClickTime, displays the logos of their notable clients prominently on their homepage. Huge bonus points if you can swing some video testimonials.
Wisdom of the Crowd Social Proof
This type of social proof plays on your need to seek approval from large groups of people. It is placing social anxiety on you to buy based on the fact that thousands or millions have already. When McDonald’s boosts “x billions served” they are playing into people’s fear of missing out (FOMO). If you have a large subscriber base, do not miss out on the opportunity to tell your prospects about it. You say something like “subscribe to join x thousands of your peers” or “bought by x amount of people.” If you are very active on social media, you might want to display follower or share counts.
Peer Social Proof
Consumers trust recommendations from friends more rather than just strangers. AirBnB, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor are some companies that allow you to view reviews that your Facebook friends have shared. Retailers like ThredUp and Yerdle offer a small referral credit for referring friends and family.
Studies have shown that social proof is 200% more effective than pay-per-click advertising. Now that you know the basics of social proof, you can more effectively implement into your website design.