It’s no secret that the internet has drastically changed the B2C market and given consumers access to just about any product they can think of. With this vast market and dozens of companies in each product category, how are brands differentiating themselves and getting ahead of the pack?

Social Proof is the concept that people will mimic the actions of others to make what they perceive is the right choice. Reviews are a hot commodity in the E-commerce world, and businesses have begun making an extra effort to boost their social media pages with 5-star reviews. 

The Different Types of Social Proof

There can be as many as 12 types of social proof that can influence consumer decisions, many coming from different sources but with some overlap. We have outlined some of the social proof types that we think can be the most influential during the buying process. 

User Testimonials and Reviews

Seeing positive reviews from peers can be the boost of confidence a consumer needs to pull the trigger on a product they were on the fence about. Seeing hundreds of positive reviews on a businesses website or product page on Amazon can be an invaluable sales tool as customers scroll through hundreds of available options. 

How Important are Five-Star Reviews?

More than ever before consumers are turning to customer reviews to inform their product buying decisions. According to Nielsen, 66% of customers trust customer reviews. On the other hand, excessive negative reviews can lead up to a 70% loss of potential customer loss. Think about a scenario for a second; you are searching online for a new pair of running shoes. You really like the look and specs of one pair, but the review section is filled with complaints that the shoes give blisters. You find a pair that you like almost as much, and the reviews are filled with praise about the comfort and durability of the product. With the knowledge that you now have, which shoes would you choose? 

Expert’s Stamp of Approval

Expert social proof is when an industry leader or influencer endorses a product or service. These endorsements can take the form of a social media post, a blog showcasing the product, or being photographed using the product. For example, if a highly respected dentist endorses the new electric toothbrush on the market, consumers may be more likely to try the new brush. 

Social Media Shares

Growing a social media following increases exposure to your brand, can encourage more reviews, and is a great way to unveil new products and services. Social media shares are an important part of growing your social media following and can serve as a testimonial of sorts. If a potential customer sees their friends sharing your content and expressing brand loyalty they may be more likely to try your product. At Schweb Design we specialize in creating meaningful and shareable content, contact us today for a free consultation! 

Business Credentials

Business credentials social proof can include things like promoting how many customers your business has, what high-quality vendors they use, or local and regional awards they have one. An example of this would be displaying the logos of past customers or current suppliers and vendors on your website. While testimonials of endorsements can add value to a product, business credentials can add a sense of trust regarding your product. 

What are the Common Threads Between Social Proof Types?

While proof types may appear different on the surface, there are some commonalities in their approach that can help your business succeed. 

Customer Engagement 

Customer engagement is at the root of almost every social proof type. Engaging customers in your products and services leads to reviews, testimonials, and other things that will encourage trust and brand loyalty. 

Customer Service

Excellent customer service is one of the best ways to promote customer loyalty and encourage people to endorse your products. We’ve all seen the review; “Love the product but the customer service is terrible!” By going above and beyond in your customer service efforts, you give customers the piece of mind that if something goes wrong during the buying process you will be there to remedy the situation. 

Don’t Go Too Far

While pursuing social proof techniques can be very beneficial, you can also take it too far and annoy your customers. Don’t badger your customers for reviews or testimonials! Give people the best product and customer service you possibly can, and reach out for testimonials when it’s appropriate. 

Social proof has become a huge part of any business, if you aren’t currently utilizing any of the proof types we covered it may pay off to pursue them. If you need help getting started or don’t have the time, we would love to have a discussion about boosting your customer engagement!