Believing that customers will make a purchase based solely on the merits of your products or services is wishful thinking - in order for this to happen, social proof must be leveraged. From an evolutionary perspective, following the footsteps of your tribe was an effective strategy for avoiding predators and staying alive in the ancient world. While our survival is no longer under threat in modern day societies, the tendency to look to others to inform our decisions is still hardwired into our psychology.
In a business context, the law of social proof states that if a potential customer can see overwhelming evidence of other customers who are satisfied with their purchases, they too will be more likely to purchase the same product or service. If you conduct business online, there’s no better place to demonstrate social proof than on your company’s website. Featuring these 3 social proof elements on your site is guaranteed to boost the credibility of your brand and increase your conversion rate.
1. Testimonials and case studies
When was the last time you made a significant purchase without reading online reviews to inform your decision? Probably never. One of the easiest (yet overlooked) ways to convey social proof on your website is to have a testimonials page, complete with a selection of glowing endorsements from your wonderful clients. A comprehensive testimonials page clearly demonstrates that your business can be trusted to back up its claims. By using headshots to accompany the testimonials, this reminds potential customers that your products and services have benefitted real people, not just faceless corporations.
As an additional measure, you may wish to create a couple of case studies which highlight your most interesting projects. By providing an in-depth explanation of how you assessed the problems of your client, strategised a solution and then executed, potential clients will see the specifics of how you can help them too. Case studies are also a great way to drive traffic to your clients’ businesses, which helps to strengthen your ongoing relationships.
2. Engagement metrics
Integrating social media buttons into your blog is highly recommended so that people can share your content quickly and easily via their prefered platform. You may also wish to display the amount of shares each blog post has received. The law of social proof states that if a post has been shared extensively, this indicates that the content is high quality and thus shareworthy, which encourages yet more people to hit the share button.
Be aware however, displaying the amount of people who have shared your content isn’t always wise. To quote Co-Founder of CoSchedule, Garrett Moon: “Near zero results on social media buttons may actually be providing near-negative social proof”. If you find yourself in this situation , Garrett recommends using this sharing widget instead.
Statistics of success are a great addition to any piece of sales copy. Showing the amount of people who are using your service, as well as tangible metrics for how greatly the service has benefitted them (increased traffic, conversions, revenue and so forth), is an excellent social proof tactic. This also works for your mailing list ‘opt in’ button - tell your visitors about the hordes of people who are already subscribed to your newsletter and many more will be sure to follow.
3. Client and media logo montages
Creating a colorful logo montage of the companies that you’ve worked with (or who have featured you in their new stories) is a powerful way to demonstrate credibility. Typically, people scan these logo montages in a matter of seconds, looking for any logos that they recognize, so make sure to place the prominent brands right at the top where everyone can see them. Unlike testimonials which take time to read, logo montages have an immediate visceral impact.You can even accompany the logos with a quote, giving you the visual benefit of logo montages and the informative benefit of testimonials, all at once!