For decades, advertisers have been using social proof to reassure consumers and influence their buying decision. With the Internet and social networks, social proof gains in authenticity. For marketers , it becomes an essential lever.
The social proof is a principle that a person confronted with two or more choices, and not knowing what to do or what to think, will tend to follow the advice or the majority of the behavior . The American social psychologist Robert Cialdini sums it up as follows: ” the truth is the others “. By thinking that a large number of people can not all be mistaken at the same time on the same subject, the individual considers the decision “collective” as a pledge of quality.
Since the 1950s, social proof has been used to highlight a product or service through customer testimonials . But at the time, the potential buyers, not having the means to verify the veracity of these opinions, had to rely on the experience and the point of view of their relatives.
Today, discussion forums, social media, blogs, as well as independent platforms that post ratings / comments / recommendations by consumers, have made social proof a powerful influence factor. marketing . Since the information comes directly from users, they are trustworthy.
For marketers , social proof can be exploited in a variety of ways to increase the effectiveness of their actions. For example, in the header of an advertising email, the words “product recommended by 90% of customers” or “preferred by customers”, “elected product of the year by our customers”, etc. increases the opening rate and the clickthrough rate.
On the search engines too, some results are embellished with a rating out of 5 that come in the form of stars; they usually appear at the top of the page. These “seller rating” come from specialized sites and complement what SEO professionals refer to as “sponsored or paid results”. This indicator, which helps many users in their searches, generates 10% more clicks.
To activate the lever of social proof as part of their digital marketing strategy , companies must start by encouraging consumers to talk about their brand. Among the different methods, they can ask customers to rate the product and the user experience and give their opinion immediately after each purchase. It’s simple and fast: already on the site, he devotes only a few moments to this extra step of the customer journey.
These returns are valuable in more than one way for marketing teams . The positive contributions thus collected represent as many arguments to attract other potential customers. In addition, they allow them to identify any defects in the products or suggestions for improvements. In all cases, both brands and consumers gain.