When you look up the term “marketing,” you’d be surprised by the number of categories under it. It turns out that there are many ways you can market a business. If you are a newbie in the field, all you probably think marketing means is trying to get people to buy from you.
In the simplest explanation possible, that’s what it means. But, once you dive deep into the marketing world, defining it as “trying to get people to buy” barely scratches the surface. If you don’t know yet, a 5-star rating or a positive review on your business’s Facebook page can be used in marketing. If you are interested to learn more about it, read on.
What is social proof marketing?
Social proof is a sort of evidence on which customers base their decisions on whether to trust your business or not. It anchors on the fact that a person looks to other people to decide what they should do. If many people are buying something, you should naturally follow suit.
Reviews, testimonials, and ratings are all forms of social proof. Your aim as a business owner should be to gather enough positive social evidence to attract a larger customer base.
Having your business’s social proof on display on your website ad social media pages takes away potential customers’ hesitation and worries to enter into a relationship with you. It builds trust. Remember that any relationship requires trust in its foundation to work. And, the relationship you have with your customers is no less than any other relationship you have in life.
What is difficult and extraordinary in a way with social proof marketing is that there is no way you can create it on your own. You need another party to make any kind of social proof. Unlike other marketing strategies, there is no direct way to create positive social proof because the reviews and feedback will come from old and existing customers.
What’s something that you can do then? Be the best. That’s all. Social proof must be genuine, and for you to generate enough positive social proof, you must also provide your customers with a positive experience.
That means you have to sell quality products or provide excellent service. Make customer service a priority, and cater to all kinds of customers. Accept all forms of payments. Understand that even in the age of mobile wallets and digital banking, some people still carry a new booklet of cheap checks they got online.
How to make social proof work for you
Unless your business is new, you have existing social proof you can use to widen your customer base further. The following are ways you can do this.
- Use social proof to assure your customers about a product’s quality
This one is pretty common. Usually, when customers buy something for the first time, they will look at reviews to help guide their decision on what product to choose. The decision is more complicated when the purchase is online because they have no way to ensure the quality of the product they are buying.
But the number of people who bought the product can make them trust that the quality is good. Otherwise, why would that many people purchase the item? This is why best-seller tags are a common practice.
- Use social proof to sell social validation
To fit in is a constant goal for many because it indeed doesn’t feel nice to be an outcast. Popularity signals attached to products drive commerce sales. When a product gets bought hundreds of times, it sort of gets a social approval stamp.
Popularity equals social approval. That is the only equation at work here. In the cosmetic industry, you would often see newly-launched products quickly becoming a trend.
After thousands of reviews from influencers and ordinary users, gloss lipstick became the trend. Matte became a look from the past. A customer follows suit and buys a gloss lipstick because what will people say if they continue using matte? The cycle repeats over again.
For small businesses, social proof marketing can mean simply posting if you have orders. Announce to the world that people are buying your products. It will make other potential customers think that if other people are buying it, maybe it’s worth it. You can only post testimonials as simple as screenshots of a conversation between you and a customer about a product. Or you can publish their review for the public to see. Celebrating milestones like making your first one hundred orders will also help.