11+ Ways to use social proof to increase conversions on your website
Social proof is the coolest thing in the field of marketing these days.
If you look around on the internet, you’ll notice that most brands are using social proof to get more sales and conversions for their businesses.
Even bigger online brands like Airbnb, Amazon and Hotels.com have been using the social proof strategy within their websites.
But I know you might be wondering…
Why do brands even use it?
Is it even that good or is it just another trend?
The answer is pretty simple.
Social proof helps you make more money.
But before I get into that money-making bit, you must know exactly what social proof is.
So what is social proof?
Social proof was a phenomenon that got popularised by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. It is also known as “Informational Social Influence”.
“ Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behaviour in a given situation. “
Marketers, growth experts and a lot of CRO professionals use social proof to get more sales for their business.
Social proof is the #1 lever that businesses have been pulling these days to get more sales and conversions.
Some studies even suggest that 92% of consumers look for product reviews online before making a purchase.
The reality is that social proof allows you to push customers to buy more and faster from you because it eliminates doubt from the customers’ minds regarding the service/product that they are about to buy.
In fact, you might not even be aware of it even though you must have probably come across many instances of social proof without ever realising. For example:
Think of the time when you go out to a restaurant, and you want to try out a new place to eat. You’ll notice that you tend to gravitate towards places that are more occupied & have people sitting inside vs trying out a new place which looks visibly empty.
You might have noticed a lot of big stores and departmental chains often use images of celebrities who they have partnered with to increase their sales.
Subconsciously that sends a message to prospective buyers that since these megastars have tied up with the brand it must be really good.
That’s why brands continue to invest in celebrity endorsements because it continues to reward them with more sales.
3. Exclusive Clubs:
A lot of exclusive and expensive clubs usually have a waiting list for customers with a membership. There is a reason behind that.
A waitlist sends a message to the prospective buyer that you’re an exclusive brand and getting access to this must be good and worthy.
That point of view triggers people to join the membership, which then gets them on the waitlist.
So if you carefully look around, you’ll notice social proof at play in our day to day lives.
While it is widely used in other physical businesses, you must be wondering how you can use it for your own online business.
A couple of years ago it was impossible for small businesses to adopt social proof, but it’s very much doable now in the 21st century and there are many ways you can add social proof to your website.
So where do you find the social proof to use on your website?
Fundamentally there are many types of social proof, but I will brief you about the most popular ones-
1) Recent customers: Testimonials or case studies from customers who have recently purchased your products/services
2) Celebrity endorsements: You’d have noticed a lot of popular stores & brands often use celebrities to bring in the crowd.
3) Crowds: A large number of people using your product indicates that your brand is trusted by a majority.
4) Friends & Family: Showing friends and family of a customer using the product instils a sense of trust towards your brand.
5) Certified by Authority: People tend to trust products that are certified by third-party verification agencies (HIPAA compliance, FDA certification).
So now that you know the different types of social proof, let’s run through top ways you can use social proof to increase conversions on your website.
a) Showing recent buyers:
In my opinion, the best way to convert more customers to your product is by having recent real-time users to show up for your customers.
If your customers can see that there are others who bought the product 10 mins ago, it triggers them to take immediate action.
Even displaying the total users who have bought from your website can get you to get more sales.
You can get these types of social reviews both in one tool, you can click here to get a free trial of Influence. It will help you get more sales, leads and conversions by up to 17% in less than 1 minute.
Reviews are the second-best way for any business to show social proof.
Be it Google Reviews, Facebook reviews. Or any other type of reviews.
Displaying reviews to customers enables trust with them, and gets them to believe that there are other people out there who have used and reviewed your product, and as proof, your prospective customers can even see those reviews.
This works with high ticket, mid ticket or even low ticket products and services.
You can show descriptions of what others have said about you and your business on your website.
Click here if you want to learn how to show your recent reviews to your prospective customers using Influence. You can display Facebook reviews, Google reviews and so many other review services to your prospective customers.
c) Case studies:
Case studies are REAL. They simply show that there are people out there who have used your product and have gained real-world benefit from using it.
And case studies highlight the importance of how another customer got results by using your products/services.
Unlike reviews, case studies take you in-depth and show you how & what took place during the purchase so that you can see and relate and make up your mind about buying the product or service.
Big brands like Shopify use long-form case studies to show how and what their customers do while using their product.
This allows them to paint an image of their brand in the customers’ mind.
d) Media mentions:
Media mentions are also another powerful way by which brands can convey their authority to prospective customers. You’d have noticed that a lot of brands show how they have been covered by CNN, BBC and other popular authority figure media mentions.
People watch the media and trust them a lot. So when you see a brand mentioned that means that consumers consider your brand as a BIG and established name that has made it big enough to be covered in the media.
e) Trust seals:
You’d have noticed that a lot of businesses these days use trust seals on their checkout pages to show how safe their pages are.
Some are powered by Stripe.
Some are powered by VeriSign, Visa, Mastercard etc.
And not only this, there are other types of trust seals which are very widely known in the market like Norton Security, McAfee, Trustee etc.
f) Social share count:
A lot of businesses often show their social share count as social proof. Because sometimes showcasing the social share count means that the content, page, your website or maybe your business page is really popular.
And since a lot of people have seen the page, it triggers the customer to check it out.
For instance, a lot of blogs and pages often show the social share count. That’s nothing but the business showing you how popular they are with their audience.
So if you’re someone who is looking to get more sales, leads and conversions using social proof then you should check out a free trial of Influence.
You can click here to claim a free trial of Influence and start getting more sales.
g) Order numbers:
You’d have noticed a lot of brands these days use order numbers to show how popular they are.
Like a lot of BIG authors often showcase how popular their book is and how many copies it has sold. In the publishing world, this has been a BIG trend and helps them establish brand authority along with triggering more sales and new revenue.
Here’s an example of the popular book “5 Am Club” By Robin Sharma. As you can see, it reveals a large number of buyers for the book in a very short time, and that adds amazing social proof for the author and helps them sell even more.
Over a million copies in sales can’t be wrong. Right?
h) Popular Posts:
If you’ve been around in the blogging world you’d have seen that on every blog on the right-side panel you’d have stumbled across popular or viral posts that start to trend.
A lot of businesses show those posts and pin them there because it allows more and more users to click them and read them.
Essentially this happens because a lot of people have read those posts which resulted in their popularity.
So when a brand shows such posts they are looking to tell their audience that a lot of their content is popular, which psychologically pushes them to click and spend time reading the content.
This, in turn, fulfils their goal of getting more people to read and stay on the content for long.
i) Customer recommendations:
Customer recommendations are another powerful way brands can leverage more sales. A lot of brands often get their star customers to rate or recommend their brand.
For example, a lot of brands like to use recommendations to ensure that they get repeat buying and sales. Based on those repeat buying numbers and percentages they calculate and show a number which displays the number of people buying this product.
This is something you would have noticed in the world of book sales.
A lot of the popular books and authors use the #1 bestseller title in a certain category to establish authority in their space. This way, when you are looking for books in the time management or say self-help categories, you will be shown a bestseller.
The chances of you choosing to buy a best seller book vs a non-bestseller are very high.
This is especially common on amazon.
This way, if you’re planning to buy and check out other books in the same category, you would be inclined to get the one which is bestseller vs other ones which may or may not be good but won’t get the seller as many sales.
Here take a look at this screenshot & see how amazon has used this social proof on their website.
k) Ratings and Reviews:
How can someone miss this one…..
Go around and try to see all popular Shopify stores or Woo-commerce or even the big ones like Amazon, eBay etc. You’ll notice that all of them heavily rely on reviews and ratings to support the sales of the product.
Almost all the products that you see on Amazon, They have ratings and reviews on them, if they don’t have any ratings and reviews that simply means that the audience is less interested in buying them or even considering them for a purchase.
Hence it is not a product that’s worthy of purchase.
Even the bad products have reviews on Amazon or eBay. Though it might be negative reviews, still, there are reviews and ratings for everyone’s product.
I am sure some smart guy working at Amazon would have introduced this concept but it would be working pretty well and getting more sales and conversion to the existing product sales.
If you pull all these levers I am sure you’d be able to get some extra sales, & will be able to get more conversions and leads along with the process.
If you’re looking to get more sales, leads and conversions instantly for your business then you can click here to get social proof for your business and make more money.