There’s been a lot of talk about social proof in the marketing world in the past couple of decades, ever since the online flood gates were opened and the business world expanded into the digital realm. This oversaturation of content kind of made it difficult for customers to figure out who they should trust, and it made it even more difficult for them to establish meaningful relationships with their favorite brands anymore. Simply put, there are too many players in this digital marketing game nowadays, and people need a way to figure out which brands deserve their attention and trust.
In essence, this is social proof, a psychological phenomenon that you can use to your advantage in order to incentivize new customers to adopt the behaviors of others, and thus inspire them to buy from your site, or engage with your brand in any way. By building social proof, you will become more trustworthy, and thus generate quality leads and even inspire conversions on the spot. Here’s how you can do just that.
Add User Ratings and Reviews to Your Site
The first solution that might come to mind is to add user ratings and 1st party reviews to your site. The former is a type of visual feedback that your existing customers give to your potential leads and future customers, while the latter is more descriptive and allows the potential customers to delve deeper into the subject matter before making the decision to buy. You can start by adding simple user ratings (typically in the form of stars, but it can be unicorns if you’re feeling unique) to your products to give visitors a clear indication of the popularity of every product in your offer.
Next, be sure to add customer reviews to your site, but instead of copying 3rd party reviews from other sites such as Google or Yelp, be sure to focus on 1st party (native) feedback. The 1st party review is a unique type of content, in a sense that you own it, and that you post it only on your website. While 3rd party reviews can sometimes be unreliable, 1st party reviews are posted only by your real customers, which will help you build social proof more easily.
Emphasize Trending and Popular Product
People who are just now coming into contact with your brand or website for the first time probably have no idea what’s hot and what’s not, but they would love to. It’s up to you to guide them on their browsing journey and help them navigate your site easily without getting confused or thinking that you might not have what they’re looking for. To do this, you should proudly display your “hot” or “trending” products in each product category, which will also build social proof by showing new visitors what your existing customers love the most.
After all, if the majority of your customers are buying one product, then chances are that potential customers will follow in their footsteps. Once you have converted those customers, it will be easier to get them back to your site and inspire them to buy your less-popular items simply because they know that they can trust your brand.
Leverage Website Notification Tools
One of the best ways to build social proof in real-time and as your potential customers are browsing through your website is to use cues and notifications. By leveraging a feature-rich social proof tool such as Cue to create website notifications that will tell people who are shopping on your site, what they bought, when they bought it, and provide other valuable information about other customers, there is a much higher chance that your potential customers will feel more inclined to buy.
Because if other people trust your site enough to make a purchase, so can they. Simply integrate a cue tool into your website, choose the customer information you want the notifications to show, and use the cues to build your brand’s authority and trust. This can also be a valuable tool when you’re trying to prevent people from leaving your website prematurely.
Add Relevant Certifications and Badges
Another great way to build social proof is to add all of the badges and certifications that are relevant to your industry, niche, and business. People love certifications and badges, not because they look good, but because they provide them with a sense of security and ease when buying from brands they’re seeing for the first time in their life. Consider adding data security badges, antivirus and antimalware badges, shipping and satisfaction guarantees, money-back guarantees, and more.
Capitalize on User-Generated Content
And finally, always remember that people trust other people more than they trust you. So, for all the reviews and certifications you put on your site, you should double the amount of user-generated content.
Yes, reviews are user-generated, but beyond that, aim to build social proof on social media by communicating with your followers, engaging them in meaningful conversation, and incentivizing them to make their own photos and videos to showcase your products and just tell the world what they think of your brand. To put the icing on the cake, make all of your images on social media shoppable by linking the products directly to the corresponding product page on your site in order to boost traffic and conversions.
Social proof is one of the most important elements of long-term success in the modern business world, and it’s easy to see why. With these tips in mind, go ahead and optimize your online presence to build social proof and thus generate new leads and incentivize conversions.