‘Social Proof’ – What It Is and Why It Works

As a marketer in a modern marketing agency, you absorb countless useless buzzwords on a weekly basis. However, the buzzword ‘social proof’ is one that holds plenty of use.
In this blog, you’ll discover what social proof really means and why you shouldn’t think twice about incorporating it into your social media marketing.

What is Social Proof?

The term social proof was coined by Robert Cialdini, an author and psychologist. Cialdini described social proof as a psychological and social phenomenon, that leads people to mimic the actions of others in a given situation because of an inherent need to conform.
In layman’s terms, when people are not sure how to react to a situation, they subconsciously and automatically look to the people around them with the assumption that these people know more than they do, and so know how to react.
Without us realising, social proof is everywhere online.
For example, a testimonial from an athlete about a product is social proof. Several positive comments on an Instagram advert is social proof. A well-known brand logo on a product or service’s landing page is social proof. Your preference for a product or service that your friends or family have recommended can be attributed to the impact of social proof, too.
The way in which you use social proof to boost your digital presence will vary depending on the effect you want it to have. If you’re still wondering what social proof looks like, here are a couple of examples.

#1 – Put The Customer/Client in The Spotlight

For both B2B and B2C companies, putting the customer or client in the spotlight is a perfect way to utilise social proof.
A study carried out by Curalate discovered that 50% of consumers said that seeing user-generated content would increase their chances of buying products through a brand’s social media. With the rise of Gen-Z and millennial minds dominating the consumer landscape, this is only expected to increase.
Highlighting the fact that people are benefiting from your product or service also activates – and get ready for another millennial term – something called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Therefore, if a customer or client has said something good about you, make sure it is online for everyone to see.

#2 – Promote Industry Associations

Promoting a credible association in the industry is a great way to gain respect and positivity from your market.
Showing that your brand is tied to other popular and/or trusted online authorities is a quick and effective way to boost the credibility of your brand.
Never hesitate to mention collaborations, associations, clients, customers, awards or anything else that links you to credible brands online.
This type of social proof works perfectly in Google’s algorithm and is great for SEO, but I won’t get into that too much, and will leave that to our SEO department!


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