Marketing | 9 min read

Apr 2, 2019

What Social Proof is in Digital Marketing and Some Examples

After you get your business online, the next step is to make it get to the top of the search results. The trick to do that is not just to use the right keywords but to keep your visitors engaged, and know how to convince them to take action.

That’s where social proof comes in, helping visitors trust what you’ve to offer, so that they make the purchase.

Marketing Traditionally versus Digitally

Growing a business no longer mean having to spend two or three times your investment, or waiting weeks or months before seeing results or the return of your investment (ROI).  

The internet has dramatically changed the way we get our message across the globe and exponentially increased commercial revenues. How many customers you are able to retain over a longer period of time, depends on how satisfied they are – and that’s what digital marketing focuses on. 

With the right strategy, you reduce your overall marketing costs, and boost sales.

Digital marketing vs. traditional advertising nin the 21st century.
Digital marketing vs. traditional advertising nin the 21stcentury.

While marketing experts advise using a combination of traditional and online strategies for optimal profit-making ventures, recent SEO statistics show that the first 5 results of an organic search in Google, for instance, receive about 70% of user clicks.

The question for your business is:

  • How do you get your local business to the top amidst all that search traffic,
  • How do you keep visitors landing on your page convinced about what you are selling them?
  • How do you convert their curiosity into an action?

This is where Social Proof comes into the big picture.


Organic searches via Google alone account for 2.3M searches per minute while other search engines like Baidu (13%), Bing (7%) and Yahoo (5%) have their share.

 

What is Social Proof in Digital Marketing?

Social Proof is one of the few online marketing strategies that are effective.  To social proof your business is to show that your clients and customers trust what you offer. New prospects see the quantity and quality of site visits, your followers, shares, and reviews, as well as your social interactions, to name a few. 

With a digital marketing strategy, you are probably already creating websites, investing in content marketing, creating banners and advertising on Google ads, so why not add in social proof tools to the mix?

There are a few things you need to know about Social Proof though before you jump the wagon. For one, there is something known as negative social proof too. It has the effect of convincing people to do what you actually don’t want them to do or believe.  Consider the campaign phrase of a local bank, “Eighty-five percent of (the working class) don’t have a retirement plan”. 

What this quote does is ineffectively endorsing retirement plans by stating that the norm is not to get one and effectively implying you will benefit if you get one.

On the other hand, having positive Social Proof tools be strategically placed on landing pages can help customers make quicker decisions top purchase.

Since Social Proof metrics are better with pictures or photos, you can benefit more with a service like TrustActivity. It helps make customers more confident about your product r service, and helps them know they’re on the right track.

The Top Social Proof Examples

If you let your customers speak about your products and services, it means you have succeeded in helping crease your own social influencers. You can do this in different ways.

  1. Customer testimonials. Testimonials or reviews are by far the most effective way to sway your visitors to go the ‘purchase now’ direction.  As simple as a line, a short narrative or an anecdote when presented at the right time can effectively persuade the hesitant and doubters to take action.
  2. Case studies. Usually presented in a readable format such as graphs, tables, infographics and research heading screenshots, case studies uses logic to appeal to consumers.
  3. Number of likes or shares. Perhaps the most widely-used Social Proofing strategy, social media shares and likes are the easiest to monitor as well because of the convenience on the part of what users need to do: Click the Like or Share button, no typing, no photos necessary.
  4. Embedded social media posts. The beauty about using social media is that posts are almost always interconnected to other posts. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and even Google+ can all be linked and you have a network of Social Proof tools on one site.

There are countless more channels to Social Proof your site.

How Does Social Proof Tools Increase Website Conversion?

Robert Cialdini coined the term Social Proof, also known as social influence,in his book Influencepublished in 1984. He defines it as an occurrence where people want to copy another’s behavior and action in a given situation.

Picture a movie theater with a long queue on a premier night.  People are in line not because they had no better movie options to watch but because they know and believe that they will be seeing a blockbuster film. 

How do they know that they are not busting their money on a low-quality production?  They came with their partners, friends or colleagues who recommended it or at least read about the story plot, or how the actors played their roles.

It’s how Social Proof works.  More information about a product helps customers make the buying decision.  It’s also why you just cannot leave out a call-to-action on your landing page.

Positive Social Proof is done through presenting facts, data, and confirmable claims to help create high demand, by letting customers know that they product or service meets their specifications or stated needs.

With a better conversion ratio, you get more ROI and sales.

Booking.com shows current visitors concurrent booking activities with hotels and properties, influencing them to reserve a room with this popular accommodation.

 

The Best Social Proof Software - Trustactivity

TrustActivity, among the best social proof tools out there today, can be installed on any website. The comprehensive social proofing tool lets users know about the site, including real-time traffic data and other customer reviews.  For instance, tourists looking into booking their room can actively see how many more of the same accommodation is available and the number of customers who are looking at the same page too.

As a web owner, you can install TrustActivity on your site with just one piece of code. The 7-day trial means you can try it out first, to see if it suits you.  

It works just about everywhere, from iPad, smartphones, desktop to laptops and there are plenty of customization features available as well. You can set all the things your customers can see, including the timings, the language, and live visitor counts.

Combine that with the 24/7 support service, and you’ve a winner  It’s easy for both you and your customers to trust TrustActivity with your site, since all data is true and accurate, in turn helping build a safer place online.

Author

Greg Hickman

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