7 Great Social Proof Examples; 2019 Edition
6 Minute Read
Looking to increase your brand visibility, trust and transparency? A list of examples of social proof is a good way to start.
We can all agree, it’s pretty tricky to buy anything online these days without advice from a friend, family member or stranger on the internet. Which is exactly why Social Proof is such an important function in the marketing of your brand.
Why Social Proof Works
Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to conform to behaviour if other people are seen to be having a positive experience with it. And it makes sense, at our core, we look to other for guidance and advice all the time. Hardly anybody likes to be the first to test something new – especially when money or reputation is involved.
Polish up your social proof strategy and you’ll be able to inject a little more confidence into your customers decision to shop with you.
The following will explore some great examples of social proof and how to implement these tactics into your marketing strategy.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more marketers harnessing the power of online reviews. This makes sense, it only takes one poor review to start a flurry of more negativity. A recent report suggested that 94% of customers have avoided a business based on a bad online review.
It is easy for people to jump on a bandwagon, but it’s not so easy to get them off it.
The key is to implement tactics that encourage your customers to speak about your brand when they’ve had a positive experience. Some great ways to do this are:
- Provide great product and services
- Stay away from long forms and complicated sign-ups, make it easy for people to review
- Test incentives like weekly prize raffles
- Implement gamification… make it fun and rewarding for people to leave reviews
- Publish the bad as well as the good, it will show honestly and brand transparency
- Use pop-ups to prompt people
If managed well, reviews are a fantastic way to show brand personality. Of course, maintain a professional persona. But you cannot ignore poor reviews if they have no justification behind them. We’ve all seen a brand standing by their service in response to a negative review… if done well it’s great PR!
TIP: Display reviews on your site but do it subtly. Using a star rating is a great way to attract attention without forcing it.
Live-streaming video content is one of the newest examples of social proof to grace the eCommerce marketing industry. It’s a fantastic way to show brand transparency and engage with your following.
The Live Streaming tool you can see above is Shopcast. This eCommerce tool allows you to live stream directly from your brands website – meaning the traffic remains on your site, not YouTube. We’ve found that this can boost conversions massively.
Customers gain value from being able to ask questions, vote on products and engage in time-sensitive discounts. Live-streaming through Shopcast shows that you’re willing to take time to nurture and understand your valued customers; plus it’s pretty entertaining too.
Bunting offers Shopcast accounts for free. Check it out and get in touch if you have any questions.
TIP: Live-streaming on YouTube and Facebook is good, but your viewers are reluctant to click-through to your site and leave the video behind. Stream on your website so that viewers can shop whilst they watch.
One of the newer examples of social proof is the use of influencer marketing. Rather than spending as much time looking at our TV screens, a lot of us are engaging on social media. In fact, 49% of consumers demand influencer recommendations when searching online.
Influencers are great for increasing social proof when you’re entering into a niche industry. They’re able to build a following because of their ability to resonate with a specific audience (your niche market).
Influencers are a trusted voice and fantastic brand advocates. If you find the correct fit, you can bring a great deal more awareness and authenticity to your brand.
TIP: You don’t need a huge celebrity influencer to boost social proof. In fact, micro-influencers can often be more effective, authentic and engaging with their following (much more cost-effective too).
Even in the busy world of Instagram influencers and YouTube reviewers, our friends and family are still our most trusted source of advice. Which is why referral programs are one of the great examples of social proof.
A referral program is when you reward your existing customers for recommending your brand to another person. Typically, this is done through discounts, gift certificates or even free products. We can all remember the early days of Uber when we’d get a free ride for recommending the app to a friend. How many people did you tell about Uber as a result?
There’s loads of software on the market that can help you implement a referral scheme. Ambassador is a great example that will help you manage campaigns efficiently and smoothly.
TIP: Simplify your referral program as much as you can. If it’s complicated and time-consuming, not even your biggest fan will want to dedicate their time to it.
Social media can be a very saturated environment so people generally tend to be sceptical about branded content. But just a little personality and sincerity can go a long way. Check out how Gregg’s muster up public support by showing that they are not just a faceless corporation…
Acknowledging your customers engagement is a great way to make them feel valued and listened to. It also breaks down the barriers for potential sceptics by showing that there are ethics and values behind your brand.
TIP: A great way to encourage engagement on social media is through posting user-generated content and competitions. It’s very cost-effective and encourages your customers to post branded content.
What better way to boost visibility and market your brand than to get a story in the press?
A press release is another one of the great examples of social proof that will help you reach a niche audience. It’s a fantastic opportunity to tell your brands story whilst putting a stamp on your industry with new products.
Media publications are ever-growing and they’re always looking for up-and-coming success stories to print. Remember that the majority of the industry leaders and investors keep a keen eye on the press; it’s a good idea to find and maintain some publicists in your network. Who knows, your story may even go viral.
TIP: Increasing your online presence with back links is great for SEO. Media mentions from high authority domains can drive a lot more traffic to your site.
If you want to build up your brand trust and reputation, why not try a case study?
Case studies are great examples of social proof. They are built around the success stories of your brand. How your products and services helped to overcome an existing problem. Usually in-depth and analytical, a case study can prove the effectiveness of your product and services.
Because case studies provide a ‘view behind the curtain’, you can use them to show the teams personality behind your brand. Whilst a lot of marketing methods are concerned with what a product can do, use a case study to show what your product has done.
TIP: Don’t use your case study as a sales pitch. Allow it to elegantly display how successful your service has been.
In the digital era, it seems that we still value advice and recommendations from other human beings.
This is great, because it’s easy to harness the power of social proof in your marketing campaign. By encouraging reviews, live-steaming, using influencers, working with the press, it’s getting easier for brands to portray their ethics and values. In turn, people are much more likely to trust your products and invest in your brand.
Make sure to check out Shopcast and get in touch if you have any questions!