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Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.
There’s no denying the power of social proof. Studies show 92% of online consumers look at a product review prior to making a purchase.
More telling is the fact that product reviews are 12-times more trusted than product descriptions and sales copy from manufacturers.
In other words, consumers want proof from their peers and unbiased 3rd parties, not the brands selling the products.
Restaurants often have limited space in reception areas so that people waiting for a table will be forced to wait outside. This shows people passing by that the restaurant is in high demand. As a result, a passerby is more likely to visit the restaurant in the future.
Stores will often post pictures of celebrities who have shopped on the premises in order to subconsciously tell customers that high authority figures approve of their products and services.
Country clubs often require people to join a waitlist in order to obtain memberships. While waitlists are sometimes needed to prevent too many members from joining, the reality is that they’re frequently implemented to make clubs seem more exclusive.
While you’re often subject to social proof as a customer, it’s imperative that you begin to leverage it on your own website. When used effectively, it can drastically and swiftly improve online conversions.
There are 6 major types/sources of social proof. Start by leveraging the sources you already have, and then work to acquire more.