Want to Increase Conversions? Try Powerful Social Proof.
We warn teenagers about the wiles of peer pressure. What we don’t think about is the how: how does peer pressure (AKA social proof) drive conversions for your business?
Nearly 70 percent of consumers reach out to their peers when researching a product to purchase. They can learn about your products, both through their social network or courtesy of online reviews. Either way, if they choose to make a purchase after that point, you can thank your existing audience for your boost in income.
How can you identify social proof, though, to better use it to your advantage?
Psychological and anthropological studies define social proof for us. It’s the act of embodying perceived correctness—in other words, when one person sees a group of other people behaving in a specific way, social proof encourages the single person to mimic the group.
There are six primary types:
- Customers: Reviews or testimonials suggest that a distant majority of people enjoy your products
- Experts: Input from studies or established industry experts lend your products authority
- Celebrities: Social credit applies esteem to your products
- Crowds: Large quantities of people interacting with your work suggests that your products have mass appeal
- Friends: Consumer networks imbue your product with a sense of relatability and trustworthiness
- Certifications: Third-party sources verify that your platform and product are safe for a layperson to use
Social Proof in Action: Testimonials
Consumer testimonials work double duty here. At first glance, they let potential consumers know that other people have bought your products before. This offers “crowd” social proof.
At second glance, testimonials provide individualized (and usually positive) assessments of your products. This offers friend-like social proof and encourages consumers to trust in your good intentions.
Social Proof in Action: Reviews
Customer reviews act almost like testimonials. However, these reviews include visual aids that are easy to process – think five-star ratings and the like – and are usually quick for your customers to absorb.
In fact, if you include reviews with your products, 63 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from your platform. You can’t afford to miss out on that consumer base.
Social Proof in Action: Certifications
Badges and headers from security companies or from authorities in your industry pull double-duty for your business. Security badges let consumers know that you want to keep their financial information safe. With that sense of security comes respect, which encourages consumers to attribute authority to your business that they wouldn’t otherwise.
If you partner with McAfee or Norton Security, or if you’ve had your business mentioned by a magazine such as Forbes, see if you can’t create a badge for your platform saying so. The impact on your sales will be noticeable.
Social Proof in Action: Influencers
It’s gotten easier to take advantage of these types of social proof thanks to the rise of the influencer.
Consumers trust influencers more than they trust a business. Why? Because influencers, on the surface, don’t appear to be selling consumers anything. That personable persona makes it easier for consumers to relate to influencers. When an influencer does include your product in her Instagram posts, then, it’ll look like she’s giving the “friends” in her audience a recommendation instead of selling a product.
Social proof is the best kind of peer pressure. Use it wisely, and you’ll see it positively impact your business’ conversions.
Image attribution: tampatra – stock.adobe.com