The Psychology of Social Proof

Facebook Like is Social Proof

…and How to Use It in Your Marketing.

Back in July, I wrote an article about the importance of customer recommendations.

These are just one example of what marketers call Social Proof.

Social proof isn’t just a sales trick.

It is a social reality that human beings are significantly influenced by the decisions of others.

We see what our peers are doing and make our decisions based largely on what we see.

Their actions validate our decision to take action.

To put it in a sales context, the potential buyer is considering their options and evaluating offers.

Their mind is full of doubts.

They’re looking for reasons not to trust you or buy the product.

Social proof helps them understand what your business offers from the point of view of another customer just like them.

It’s part of any rational decision-making process.

Social Proof in the Digital Age

Social proof has always been essential in sales, but in the digital age it has become more important than ever.

All of us are glued to screens all day long and bombarded with marketing messages.

We’re so used to getting spammed and shouted at by businesses that we largely tune it out.

As a result, people rely more than ever on what their friends, connections, and peers say.

When considering buying a product, any savvy shopper will check online reviews and see what people are saying on social media.

Therefore, it’s more important than ever for you to work social proof into your marketing.

How to Use Social Proof in Your Marketing

Fortunately, it can be easy to take advantage of the power of social proof.

Procuring and publishing social proof should be a key part of your marketing mix.

Show potential buyers what other users think about your products and services.

A great way to do this is through testimonials.

When someone contacts you with positive feedback, telling you how happy they are with their purchase, ask if you can use it.

Online reviews and case studies are also great ways to demonstrate the value you offer to your customers.

In addition to your customer base, reach out to influencers, experts, and other industry leaders for an endorsement.

People listen to what these influential individuals say, plus you can get access to their audience.

Customer Referrals

Another highly effective form of social media is referrals.

Word of mouth is more powerful than any other marketing message.

Encourage your customers to tell others about your business and offer them a reward for doing so.

For example, if you get a new sign-up, give the referrer a discount.

Set up a reward system for customer referrals.

Indirect Social Proof

Certificates and membership in organisations also work as a form of social proof.

They show that a third-party organisation recognises your expertise and value.

If you do speaking engagements and events, post about this on your website as well to show that you’re active in your industry.

Choose a few of the above methods and use them to demonstrate to potential customers the value your products and services offer.

Do you want to learn more about using social proof to bring in new customers?

Follow this five-part series of articles for lots more examples and handy tips to improve your marketing.

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Written by 

Co-Founder & CEO of Link Management Group. An Investor & Coach to Small Business Owners, for the past 30 years I have helped startup and early-stage businesses to enter new markets and achieve sustainable growth of both revenue and profits. I have experience across a diverse range of sectors including central government, information services, software, health insurance, pet products, couture fashion, entertainment and aviation.  How can I help your organisation accelerate growth and achieve its full potential? 

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