When a prospective client doesn’t have a lot of experience with your brand, it will likely take them much longer to convert. You can change this with social proof software. Let’s find out how.
Imagine you are planning a holiday to a foreign country. You have settled on the particular country you would like to visit and now you are shopping around for a hotel. You decide to narrow down to the top 2 hotels that you love the most, same pricing. Both have over 300 reviews, but one has a rating of 4.6 while the other has 3.5. Which hotel will you pick?
You will most likely be attracted to one with 4.6 rating.
Why is this the case? The answer is down to a psychological phenomenon known as social proof.
This article will take you through this phenomenon including how you can take advantage of social proof tools and software to quickly increase conversions.
What is social proof?
Social proof is simply the influence of other people on one’s behavior and choices. Generally, people tend to follow the example of others, especially in new situations. If you report to a new job, you are likely to spend the first few days observing how people behave in that office, then try to fit in, etc.
Robert Cialdini, an American psychologist, coined the term in his book titled Influence after analyzing his own research into human behavior.
What is social proof marketing?
Social proof marketing is the use of the social proof phenomenon to market products to a target audience. This form of marketing is ideally driven by the concept of the bandwagon effect, which states that people are always likely to do things because others are doing it, regardless of their personal beliefs. People also follow those with whom they have a high level of trust and confidence, again regardless of their beliefs.
Social proof marketing tools and software
What is social proof marketing software? Social proof marketing software is an automated system that is developed for the purpose of helping businesses to carry out social proof marketing activities. It makes your work so much easier and fast, enabling you to reach out to more potential customers, convert and increase sales. A good example of software for social proof is RBL, which offers some of the best social proof marketing tools such as conversions counter, social sharing widget, customized messages, and countdown widget.
The operating principle of the best social proof tools is the collection of influential data from various sources to present it to your audience in an easy-to-read format. The execution can be in various forms as we’ll see later under types of social proof marketing items. The idea is to automate the collection, presentation and delivery of information from persons or organizations who have interacted with or used your products.
What is the importance of social proof software?
Social proof software allows you to quickly distribute social proof items such as reviews and testimonials at crucial conversion points, like your product pages across different sales channels.
You can also send emails containing these items to your customers and also track your social proofing campaigns through a dashboard within the software. The email dashboard should show you how many reviews were collected and sent to your audience, so you can see the success of your social proofing strategy. At the end of the day, the marketing social proof software you choose should help you maximize your sales.
How to choose the best software for social proof
There are many social proof software options available online, which means getting to choose the right one for your campaigns can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know what to look at.
Give prominence to these 5 considerations when looking for the best social proof software for your business;
Pricing is ever critical as you need to get value for your money. Go for marketing social proof software that not only meets your needs but also offers pricing plans that are within your budget allocation for this kind of marketing. The price of most software ranges between $10 to $79 per month. Choose a software that offers a free trial, as this will give you a chance to test it before you decide to spend your money.
The best social proof software should offer dedicated real-time stats such as campaign performance, number of purchases made by your customers, and insights on areas that need improvements. Some stats should also face customers, for example live visitor count which shows the number of current visitors on a page. This is a magic feature for offerings such as ticket sales and bookings, because it creates the feeling of scarcity in the mind of visitors. Scarcity ignites the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), which triggers customers to make quick buying decisions.
The best social proof software should be easy to integrate with other tools or platforms, for example eCommerce platforms such as Shopify; social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Social media integration is particularly so important in this day and age. Some software can pick important mentions from social platforms and import them into your library, ready to be used in campaigns. The RBL CRO software integrates seamlessly with any platform including Webflow, Zapier, Magento, Squarespace, Wix.com, etc.
Ease of setting up
You want to choose social proof software that is easy to set up and not consume unnecessary resources like time and money. You should be able to copy and paste a simple code into your website and you are good to go.
A good social prof software should enable you to perform split testing from time to time, complete with conversion analytics. This is important because with A/B testing, you are then able to tell the true impact of the software by comparing what you are able to achieve when using it and when not using it.
Types of social proof items
There are broad categories of social proof items or approaches that you can use in your campaigns. Here are the top 6:
- User-generated content (UGC): This is content that originates from customers who have already used your products. UGC is perhaps the most popular type of social proof and the most widely used as it encompasses a wide range of approaches. Examples of user generated content include reviews, testimonials, social media comments, and customer communities. Reviews, for example,have been used effectively by Amazon to extraordinary success.
- Brand ambassadors & endorsements: This is where you utilize popular persons (celebrities/influencers) to be the face of your product or to just get out a couple of mentions about your product (s). They can include products or services in their posts, create sponsored content for your brand or mention a product during a TV show. Such influencers typically have a solid relationship with their audience, which conveys credibility.
- Thought leaders: Experts in different industries e.g scientists, researchers, and lecturers, can offer amazing social proof by endorsing a product or service. This can take many forms, including media reviews, social media posts, and quotes.
- Product popularity: Simply show people what’s most popular and they will run to purchase it. You can do this by dedicating a “most popular section” on your products pages. For example “most popular shoes”’, “most popular watches”, whatever you are selling.
- Friends and family: Most people will buy what their friends or family recommend without thinking twice.
- Impact demonstration: This entails showcasing the impact of your product on those customers who have already used it. A good example is case studies and reports. A dedicated case study area or page can satisfy potential customers who will in turn want to experience a similar impact by using your product or service.
Social Proof Tools: Conclusion
In today’s digital age, social proof plays an increasingly valuable role in marketing and its power is evident across all sectors. It works because people tend to follow the example of others.
While creating social proof campaigns, it is important to remember to tailor it to your audience. Avoid sounding overly braggy or using large brushstrokes. These can alienate potential clients and terminate a sales opportunity. Instead, aim to create a similarity with other buyers to encourage them to buy your product or service. In this way, you’ll boost conversion rates.
Social Proof in Marketing: FAQ
Can social proof improve buyer confidence?
Yes. When a potential buyer sees that other people like and trust a product, they are more likely to purchase it. That’s a great way to increase conversions. It’s not just helpful in sales though – it can make people feel like they’re part of a community.
Can social proof software improve my conversion rates?
Yes. If used wisely, social proof software can improve your conversion rates and increase brand loyalty. Social proof should be at the heart of your marketing campaigns as it taps into basic human psychology, whereby people rely on the opinions of others to make a decision. It works like a flywheel for consumers.