Social proof in marketing is simple.
It’s a well-researched psychological concept with robust evidence.
Firstly, we all lean towards popularity. We love familiarity. Change is stressful.
Above all, for good evolutionary reasons, we love to rely on a group.
What is social proof in marketing psychology?
This article has a great explanation of why we look to other people for what we should think.
Here’s my quick summary.
The FOMO factor
Although it might seem negative to feel peer pressure or desire to conform, it’s vital for strong communities. It’s often risky to run against the crowd.
There’s an added dash of FOMO (fear of missing out) thrown in there too.
In other words, we hate to lose out.
We feel rivalry (sometimes envy) because we’re mostly loss averse and don’t want to miss out on the things other people have.
Group approval is vital
Group approval helps us decide to try new products and services too.
It’s important for marketers to understand that buying decisions are difficult without trust.
Your content must give potential customers proof that they’re smart and correct to trust you.
Social proof in marketing builds trust in your brand
So how can you make the psychology of social proof work for your business?
Well, it’s pretty straightforward and you can start today. Some of it is down to the word choices you make when you talk about your business.
First of all, show your audience that other people have chosen your product or service before.
It reassures them that they’ve made a good decision. There are many ways to provide this evidence.
Here are a few examples of social proof in action.
Social proof example #1: talk about your popularity in specific terms
Frame it in a story.
You don’t need to have the best-selling candle on the market, for example.
However, your bestselling candle could be popular with remote workers having difficulty concentrating … that’s the story to tell about your popularity.
It’s specific, relevant and engaging.
If you’ve been in business long enough to have Bestsellers, make sure you highlight them on your website or store.
Until that point, try different wording.
You can mention Favourites or have a category called Recommended. Both these categories imply group approval.
Social proof example #2: engage with your audience
Similarly, effective social proof also comes from engaging with your potential customers, even if you’re just starting out.
In other words, involve them by asking questions, or for their opinion, advice, recommendations.
You can also ask superfans to share your content.
Often the wording you use prompts this, for example –
Share this if you agree.
Send to a friend who needs to hear this today.
Social proof example #3: add Calls To Action incorporating social proof
You can leverage social proof by wording your calls to action carefully.
You could say “most people do this now” or just “join us“.
One of my favourites for a service business is Save my Seat.
Do you see how this wording implies that other people are making the same choice?
More ideas for social proof in marketing
To sum up, if you’re looking for lots of ideas on this particular topic, I recommend my free course on social proof.
Even if your business is just starting out, you’ll finish up with quick prompts for leveraging the psychology of social proof to help your business grow.
Key social proof in marketing tips for skimmers
In a rush?
Here’s what you need to know about social proof in marketing psychology.
- We lean towards products and services that are popular and familiar.
- That means we look on brands more favourably if we see that other people like us have chosen them already.
- Above all, without trust, buying decisions are difficult.
- Group approval helps us try NEW products and services.
- Brands have MANY options to show social proof in the words they use – testimonials, reviews, follower conversations. You’ll find lots of ideas here in Virtual Gold Dust’s free course on social proof.
More marketing psychology gold dust
Check out Virtual Gold Dust’s free marketing resources for more gold dust on building your brand using marketing psychology.