First what is ‘Social Proof’? Social Proof is basically a psychological trigger that’s inherent in all of us. It’s been present in the human race ever since we became humans!
It centers on the fact that we basically just follow what others are doing – we follow along. This is even more pertinent when we are in an uncertain situation. It makes our decisions easy – in fact when Social Proof is in operation our minds go on autopilot and we just through human nature just ‘follow’.
For example, let’s say you’re a football fan and you’re going to a stadium you’ve never been to before. You see a crowd heading in one direction so you just follow, you don’t even analyze it.
Remember when you were a child, and you had a friend or a group of friends and you basically did everything they did? Your mother or father would at some point would say, “If Johnny told you to jump off a bridge would you do it?” That’s Social Proof.
We are very much influenced by our peer groups, people who we have a connection with, people who we are similar to. In this respect Social Proof is even more stronger.
Every single person in the world is continually being exposed to Social Proof, so how can you use it in your marketing? How can you use it ethically to influence your prospects and customers to buy from you and to keep buying from you?
Here are the elements of Social Proof you can use…
- Testimonials – the more relevant they are to the people you’re targeting – the stronger the Social Proof
- Case Studies – again the more relevant the better
- Evidence – mention in your marketing how many people have already bought (be exact, don’t use rounded figures because that sounds like you’ve made it up). Tell them they are ‘just like you’
- Use Association – You don’t even have to say, ‘look these people have bought it – so should you’. Even saying things like, ‘Here are some of the people already on board’. Just the association creates strong Social Proof.
- Create ‘Community’ – Strive to create a ‘group’ or ‘community’ of people within your target or niche market(s). One of the reasons why target Marketing works so well is you are in effect targeting a set group or community of people. You can talk to them on the same level. You speak their language – you’re in effect creating a community around your business and the services or products you provide
- Figures And Statistics – the more ‘proof’ you can use the better. Strive hard to back all your claims up with hard evidence. Statistics and figures about the industry you’re in helps to add credibility to your Social Proof.
- Endorsements – using celebrity endorsements is taking advantage of Social Proof. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity endorsement. It could be anyone that’s well known to your target market. Endorsements work because people say, ‘If it’s good enough for them – I’ll give it a try’.
All these things will help you take huge advantage of Social Proof, and then just watch your profits soar.