When discovering a new business online, most consumers will do extensive research before using the products/services being offered. In a recent study, nearly 94% of consumers claimed to use online customer reviews to vet brands they aren’t familiar with. If bad reviews are all a consumer can find about a particular business, they will probably avoid engaging with them. 

If you want to make a positive impression on potential customers, you have to realize the importance of social proof. Read below to find out more about what this term means and how to use social proof to grow your customer base. 

What is Social Proof?

Author Robert Cialdini coined the term social proof back in 1984. When it was developed, social proof was a term used to describe the phenomenon of people copying the actions of others around them in an attempt to emulate certain behaviors. In the world of marketing, social proof is a term used to describe the habit modern consumers have of looking for online reviews and other trust signals to verify the legitimacy of a new brand before using the products/services they offer. 

Types of Social Proof

Online social proof comes in a number of different forms. The more you know about the different types of social proof, the easier it will be to use them to your advantage. 

User Social Proof

Perhaps the most popular and impactful type of social proof comes from a business’s customers. When consumers recommend the products/services a business provides, it is referred to as user social proof. 

Celebrity Social Proof

Over the past few years, online influencers have become extremely powerful in the world of marketing. An endorsement from a popular celebrity of social media influencer can help a business grow leaps and bounds. If an online influencer or media personality touts the benefits of your products/services, this is referred to as celebrity social proof. 

Industry Certifications

Receiving industry certifications is also considered a form of social proof. These stamps of approval show potential customers that you know your industry and have been recognized for your knowledge. Social media certifications like blue checkmarks on Facebook and Twitter can also be extremely powerful when attempting to gain the trust of potential customers. 

How To Incorporate Social Proof Into Your Marketing Strategy

Showcasing how trustworthy your business is will require the right type of social proof. If you have lots of positive customer reviews, you should think about posting them on the homepage of your website. You also need to think about performing video interviews of satisfied customers. 

During these interviews, you need to let the customer talk about their experience. Having these types of videos on your website and social media profile can help you attract attention from potential customers. You can also incorporate social proof into your marketing strategy by curating user-generated content to post on your blog. 

Utilizing the power of social proof can help you expose your brand to a new audience. Once potential customers see how well you have performed for others in the past, they will feel more comfortable investing in your products/services.