Conversion Optimization

Social Proof – The Essential to Boost Website Conversions

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Social Proof – The Essential to Boost Website Conversions

“I’ve tried so many marketing strategies but none seem to work!”

“It seems like our competitors are growing in sales, but ours seem to remain stagnant!”

“What affects the customer’s decision making process and what marketing strategies can I use to influence them to buy from us instead?”

I’m pretty sure these thoughts have crossed your mind before.

You have probably observed this before: Businesses that are already flourishing tend to see an even greater amount of sales each day with their increasing customer base, while on the other hand, businesses that are struggling with low sales tend to continue experiencing stagnant, or even declining sales for a long period of time. So why are the flourishing businesses able to multiply their customer base so rapidly, and how do they do it?

The key strategy is, in fact, Social Proof – the proven and effective psychological marketing method that will help boost your conversions and sales. 

Now that you know about it, it is not too late to act on it. Once you implement it, you may just see spikes in your sales and conversions that you have been envisioning but never thought was possible.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is the idea that the behavior of consumers are influenced by other consumers. When many people perform a certain action, others are more likely to follow in their footsteps. People often trust the choices of others and tend to want to follow the choice of the majority. It is the mindset that ‘If many are doing it, it must be the right way’. 

Long queue outside Apple Store
Source: Johnny Evans

This is social proof at its best. Just by looking at this massive queue in front of the Apple store, it makes you feel as if there’s something extraordinary about their products that you’re missing out on, and makes you curious about their products too right? That’s exactly how social proof works. 

Why is Social Proof Important?

About 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.

Source: Spiegel Research Center

93% of local consumers use reviews to determine whether a local business is good or bad.

Source: BrightLocal

This greatly highlights the importance of Social Proof in a consumer’s decision making process. If the majority of consumers rely on Social Proof before making their purchases, it is definitely something that you should leverage on for your business, and it might just be the missing key factor towards your business’ success.

Social Proof also increases credibility and reliability for your business. It is normal for customers to think twice before taking action on something that they have not tried before. Hence, sharing past positive experiences of other customers can reaffirm their decision in converting. Additionally, if they are deciding between 2 different brands, the one with more positive feedback from customers will definitely have the upper hand in winning the heart of the customer.

Let me share with you 8 types of Social Proof that you can leverage on for your business.

8 Social Proof Tips

1) Reviews

92% of consumers hesitate to make a purchase if there are no customer reviews.

Source: Fan & Fuel

Do you really want to risk losing 92% of the visitors on your website? I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of putting customer reviews on your website. Positive reviews show that the customers have tried and tested your product or services, and can verify its quality and goodness since they’ve had first-hand experience with it. Another benefit is that customer reviews help to prove that ‘what you see is what you get’, and that the product or service is similar to what is shown or described on the website. This also helps to build and gain your customer’s trust, and customer trust is a crucial part of any business as it helps to achieve brand loyalty. Big brands such as Amazon and Alibaba have long implemented the review system on their websites.

Positive Review on Amazon
Source: Amazon
2) Influencer & Celebrity Endorsement

Influencer Marketing Campaigns Earn $6.50 for Every Dollar.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

8 out of 10 consumers have purchased something after seeing it as a recommendation by an influencer.

Source: Oberlo

Influencers and celebrities often have a large following and large fan base. They are people with authority as many look up to them and even ‘idolize’ them. Upon seeing a product or service endorsed by them, people would assume that it’s super cool and probably of a good standard since endorsing low quality products may ruin their image. Celebrities are even a notch higher as they are essentially walking advertisements so any product or service that they endorse is definitely going to get a huge amount of attention. Hence, their large following coupled with the trust people have in them makes Influencer and Celebrity endorsements an effective Social Proof method.

For businesses out there with a tighter budget, fret not. You can always start by experimenting with micro influencers, influencers with a smaller following which may be more appropriate for your budget.

3) Testimonials

Some may ask what’s the difference between reviews and testimonials. Well, the difference is that testimonials are longer, more detailed and more impactful. They are also managed by the company itself. Testimonials can appear as a written or video format.

The significance of testimonials is that if someone bothers to take the time out of their busy schedule to write or appear in a video to give his or her testimonial, it shows how great the product or service must be to make the consumer actually want to personally endorse and recommend it to others. Also through the testimonials, it would make others curious as to whether the product or service is really as good as claimed and would want to try it out for themselves too.

An example of a good testimonial would be one that talks in depth about the benefits of the product or service, how it has impacted the customer or how they have benefited from it, as well as the factor that differentiates it from others. Highlighting the customer’s plans to use the product or service long-term would create a positive impact on the viewers as well since it shows that the product or service is good enough to create customer loyalty towards your brand.

Furthermore, if you have established a close relationship with your customers, you can consider building an entire blog or customer stories section on your website, which will be greatly beneficial towards your brand.

An example of a testimonial by a customer on Codeacademy:

Positive Testimonial on Codecademy
Source: Codecademy
4) Client Logos

Displaying logos of the clients you have worked with on your website helps to increase the credibility of your products and services. This is especially useful when you have big clients that are well-known. When people see that big brands are using your products and services, they would likely want to follow and do the same too. This is due to the mentality that if big brands are using your products and services, there must be something really good about them. 

An example of a good client logo display by Hootsuite:

Client Logos on Hootsuite
Source: Hootsuite
5) Referral Program

People have a higher tendency to trust reviews or referrals from people they know personally such as families and friends. Why not create a referral program to leverage on this? It is a smart move to get your existing customers to bring in more customers for you, isn’t it?

For a referral program to be more effective, implementing incentives would be a good way to encourage customers to refer the people around them. Of course, the referral process should also be simple and easy. Airbnb is an example of one of the companies that have come up with a successful referral program.

Referral Program from Airbnb
Source: Airbnb
6) Social Share Count

When people see that your article has been read by many others, they would more likely have a better opinion towards it and be inclined to read it as well. Since the article has been shared so many times, people would have the tendency to think that there must be something worthwhile about reading it. Thus, the share count would definitely be useful in creating a better impression of your content. Likewise for a Product Page, showcasing the number of social shares gives users the impression that it is a very well-liked product, giving them the faith to purchase. 

Social Share on 16Personalities
Source: 16Personalities
 7)  User-Generated Content (UGC)

The best thing about User-Generated Content? It’s free, and super impactful. Examples of UGC are social media posts by your customers about your company, products or services. They can also be unsponsored posts by high profile people such as influencers or celebrities. The benefit of UGC is that it creates publicity for your brand, without you having to pay a single cent, and it shows the customers’ genuine love for your products or services

Starbucks is one of the brands that leverage UGC, whereby they repost the UGC created by their customers and fans.

UGC from Starbucks Instagram
Source: Starbucks Instagram
8)  Power In Numbers

There’s always power in numbers. People tend to believe a piece of information more when presented with statistics.  A useful example would be Agoda, a hotel booking website. When recommending hotels, they show statistics such as the hotel ratings, number of customer reviews on that particular hotel, the number of people that booked the hotel in a day, and the percentage of guests that would recommend the hotel. This allows people to have a feel of how popular the product is among others before making their decision. Other statistics to include on your website are the size of your customer base and the number of countries in which your customers come from.  

Power in Numbers on Agoda
Source: Agoda

Want To Increase Your Conversions?

Social Proof has a huge impact on a consumer’s decision making process. When done right, it can be a very effective method to increase conversions and drive up sales. However, for it to be effective, choosing the right tools is important as well. That’s why at Ping Proof, we provide you with just the platform to get it done. 

With Ping Proof, you can create and customize notifications to your website visitors in a matter of minutes. 

Here are some of our amazing features:

Live Counter

Shows your visitors how many people are on your site to create more trust

Ping Proof - Live Counter

Social Share

Lets others share your content and generate more traffic for you 

Ping Proof - Social Share

Conversions Counter        

Establish social proof by showing how many recent conversions you’ve got

Ping Proof - Conversions Counter

Random Reviews

Display a random review/testimonial from your clients to create social proof

Ping Proof - Random Reviews

Many competitors out there have already implemented Social Proof on their websites. You simply can’t afford to miss this step. Want to convert your website visitors to customers? Start your journey now with Ping Proof! Request for a 14-days free trial with us today!

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