It’s said that the power of social media can make or break your business. And we couldn’t agree more. After all, there are now over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide! One thing that has changed over time when it comes to building business credibility, boosting sales and earning customers’ trust is the way prospects use the internet and social media.
Previously, brands were focused on topping search engine page results. However, today, this is just not enough for building brand credibility and improving sales. Brands need to focus on ranking in the top searches plus social proofing. Let’s take a deeper dive to understand this concept better.
What is Social Proof?
The driving force behind the idea of social proof is FOMO (fear of missing out). This is a feeling of anxiety we get when we feel we’re missing out on better experiences in life. Therefore, to ensure we enjoy the best life has to offer, we rely on other people’s experiences, recommendations and referrals. That’s where social proof comes into the picture.
Social proof works for both potential customers and brands. It provides external validation from actual users/customers, making a business more trustworthy and credible. In other words, it focuses on positive reviews, comments, or experiences shared by customers. Therefore, when applied to marketing, social proof shows that if the product or service worked for people in a similar situation, it will work for the potential customer too.
And let’s not forget humans are hardwired to care more about what others think. So, social proof can truly help businesses build brand credibility and trust, thereby increasing their customer base and sales. The key to effective social proof is keeping it real. Real opinions of real people; no trickery!
Let’s Talk Statistics….
Nothing shows the true power of any marketing strategy other than statistics. Here are the numbers that reveal the importance of social proof for your business in modern times.
- 91 percent of buyers read online reviews before they make a purchase
- 82 percent of people seek recommendations and referrals before they purchase a product/service
- 79 percent of people prefer to view video testimonials, while 2 out of 3 people are more likely to engage with the brand after watching them
Simply put, social proof builds your credibility and increases your sales opportunities.
Incorporate Social Proof into Your Marketing
As the social media landscape continuously expands, employing the right strategy on the right platform will optimize your marketing efforts and increase your social proof along with your sales opportunities. That said, LinkedIn is a must for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer brands as buyers and consumers will evaluate your personal and company profiles before during business with you or your company.
For business-to-business companies, LinkedIn is the most important social media platform as evidenced by the following statistics.
- 76 percent of B2B buyers prefer working with recommendations from their professional network
- 75 percent of B2B buyers rely on social media for making buying decisions
- 50 percent of them use LinkedIn as the leading source for making purchase decisions
For business-to-consumer companies, Instagram and Pinterest offer great opportunities to engage with consumers and provide a direct consumer sales channel. It is also helpful to have an active LinkedIn personal and company profile to provide additional social proof.
- 90 percent of people on Instagram follow a business
- 89 percent of users are on Pinterest for purchase inspiration
- 83 percent of people use Instagram to discover new products and services and 87 percent said they took specific action, like making a purchase, after seeing product information
- 60 percent of Pinterest users start their product research on the platform
Other ways to integrate social proof into your customer journey are:
- Customer testimonials and reviews
- Case studies
- User generated content
- Awards, accolades and certifications
- Celebrity and influencer endorsements
Every business is unique, so it is crucial to develop a customized social media strategy that works best for you. This is where we can help. Join our free live Social Media Made Simple Strategy Session to learn the best methods to unlock the power of social proof for your business.