What is Social Proof?


Not to be Missed: Facts about Social Proof and Why Not Using it Means Losing Sales!

Social Proof has fast become one of the simplest yet most effective way to increase conversions and therefore revenue. Now, with advances in technology and statistical analysis readily available, it’s possible to not only see but also easily measure how simply acquiring testimonials and presenting them to your visitors can result in unbelievable benefits to your bottom line. 

Today, I want to talk about Social Proof: how it influences the customer, where to place it, and how it can lower your marketing costs and increase revenue (what’s not to love?)! Start optimising your conversion rate today by simply following these simple steps to integrate social proof onto your site then sit back, relax, and watch in wonder as you see marked improvements in your business revenue…

Customers TRUST social proof 12x more than manufacturer descriptions! eMarketer

social proof optimisation and conversion

Why Social Proof Increases Customer Conversions and Sales

We are a peculiar species indeed. Give someone a shape and ask them to tell you what it is and it’s pretty likely they’re going to give you the right answer. However, put loads of people in a room together with a few determinedly shouting “it’s a square!” as they stare at a hula hoop and people will begin to question themselves and respond differently simply based on what their peers believe to be true. Okay, this might be a slightly exaggerated example but this desire to believe and agree with others is primitive and socially ingrained.

Humans are pack animals and we subconsciously believe there is safety in numbers; a cognitive bias that nicely transfers itself to encouraging engagement and conversion online. Displaying social proof provides that safety we crave.

This bias has been pondered by philosophers such as Nietzsche in Herd Mentality, used in government programs documented by Edward Bernays in The Engineering of Consent, and has been scientifically identified in the Reptilian Brain Theory.

The reptilian brain is the part of our brain that operates the fight or flight system.

Social proof appeals to the reptilian brain and allows it to measure the risk of following a link or making a purchase from a specific supplier.

The goal of any business website is to increase sales, and social proof is quickly becoming the #1 way to do it.

Brain Food: People will follow others. It’s been proven in science, philosophy, and we observe it daily. So gather positive testimonials and use them to increase your sales.

Where to Position Your Social Proof

Social proof is most effective if it’s located as close as possible to your Call To Action. This has a lot to do with timing.

If you want someone to follow a link, you need to give them a reason to follow it. Benefit statements can go a long way to influencing a viewer to follow a link, but you can supercharge that benefit statement by using social proof at the same time.

When encountering a CTA, your visitor will make a split-second decision: “To click or not to click…”

Like any computer, their brain will scan the immediate environment to gather information that will help them make the right decision.

At that moment in time, social proof allows the reader to know which way their herd is moving and gives the reader a sense of security as they can see that others have chosen to follow the link.

Learn more about designing Calls To Action that increase profits.

Online attention span is limited and people skip from site to site during their decision making process. They make a decision whether or not to stay on a site within 3 seconds!

They evaluate 10s of companies before making a purchasing decision and, as they are guided by the reptilian brain, the one thing they are really looking for is a company they can trust that will make them feel safe whilst providing them with what they need.

Your testimonials and other forms of social proof will be exactly what grabs their attention and helps guide them towards making a purchase on your site.

 

social-proof-increase-revenues

Brain Food: Kaya increased conversions by 70% through adding social proof to their site. Keep social proof and testimonials close to the Call To Action (CTA).

How Can Social Proof Decrease Marketing Costs and Increase Revenue?

Do you feel like you are spending £100s or £1000s on a futile effort to generate new traffic on your website with only limited results? Then STOP!

You may be unnecessarily driving up your cost per customer acquisition. Big advertising merchants are dominating top spots in search engines for their big brand customers. Big brands have deep PPC pockets and teams of content publishers. There’s a lot of discontent from business owners online at the moment about this.

Diminishing returns on paid advertising will slowly drive you out of the market. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding PPC and the average business’s ability to compete. If it is not working for you then continuing to try and do so whilst experiencing diminishing returns is the very definition of madness!

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

What’s the solution?

Drive down your cost per customer acquisition by increasing conversions, of course!

Okay, but how?

Sales from your current traffic could be literally doubled or tripled with just small changes to your website. Changes like adding social proof, changing your contact form or landing page design, making use of compelling Calls To Action and influential copy, etc. can all radically affect your sales.

Best of all, they can be measured through A/B testing so you can know for sure you’re doing things right.

Below, you’ll find an infographic which reveals 8 reasons why customer success stories should be your #1 priority when marketing your content…it’s going to blow you away!

Simply unlock the content below and discover how you can increase conversions and boost sales whilst actually cutting costs (no seriously, we don’t joke about this kind of thing).

So what are you waiting for? Time to start gathering testimonials from your customers and getting them in pride of place on your site. Having trouble getting them? Whilst some might do it out of the goodness of their heart, many will find sudden enthusiasm if a little value is added to the exchange. Perhaps offer a discount on future purchases or some free special advice to customers who are good enough to provide you with this invaluable feedback.

TOP TIP: If possible, get testimonials on the job when delivering a service or product or ask for immediate feedback using a pop-up online (bonus tip: people are usually feeling pretty warm towards your site when they’ve just made a purchase – another cognitive bias that leads us to justify our own decisions by casting a positive light over everything involved). Another great way of showing Social Proof is to get widgets from social platforms that show your fans, likes or testimonials and install them close to you CTAs.

Safeguard Your Business Online and Get More Sales with Social Proof

There are even more benefits to Social Proof than initially meet the eye. Social Proof is quick becoming the leading indicator in search engine rankings and will remain so for some time to come. Google and other search engines want to provide the searcher with relevant and quality content and social shares help them to find that quality content.

social proof opimisation

As you can see, Social Proof is now one of the leading indicators for Google search results. The implications of this are massive: not only will focusing on a social media strategy gain you more testimonials and social proof, but it will also improve your rankings, get you more traffic, and also tonnes more links. And all of this this equals what? MORE SALES!

But how will you know if your social proof is working? To get the best results you can A/B test variations of your social proof such as testimonials, Facebook likes and much more to ensure you are fully maximising sales. Get in touch with us for more info and help.


Hello, I’m author of this post. I help businesses like yours create memorable brands, get found online by “ready to purchase” web searchers. I also use nueromarketing techniques and coversion rate optimisation to influence web visitors to “buy now”.

I have worked with companies like IBM & BT Telecom and have started several small businesses so I understand how you feel.

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