If you really have no clue what the concept of social proof is all about, let’s define it right now. Social proof is the idea that people will shape and conform their ideas and beliefs to the prevailing wisdom of the crowd, as long as it is believable.
This profoundly popular and powerful tactic is admittedly very appealing. Getting large numbers of people to cast votes in your favor, merely by virtue of what they like or follow is a notion no marketer could let pass idly by.
Let’s look at 5 types of social proof, and let the ideas begin to flow.
5 Amazing types of social proof
Celebrity – No doubt if you can get a celebrity endorsement or testimonial, you have something quite valuable. These work best when the person in question is either extremely likable or somewhat controversial.
Scarcity ploy – In this consumer-driven society we live in we all live with the fear of missing out. This is because you or someone else has just informed them that they really need this right now, just like dozens others just like them have gone for this limited time, one-time only offer.
Expert social proof – There’s something about placing your trust in someone who has been there, or is viewed as an authority or expert on the subject that conveys just enough trust to get people to buy into the offer. This is where the term “influencer” emanates from, and is a powerful technique in sales these days.
User generated – Having your customers leave unsolicited reviews is something that happens frequently. (And more often if you encourage the practice!) It’s what you do with these that counts. Visitors to your page often see this as the tipping point because these “testimonials” carry an air of authenticity that a paid endorsement and other social proof only wish it had.
Peer pressure – The power of social media can extend into the personal lives of users, when they are recommending things to their friends. There’s an unwritten obligation to take this more seriously, and perhaps give it a chance, based solely on their friends recommendation. I guess the lesson here is be careful who your friends are!