We live in a world where public opinion is worth its weight in gold, but what is the best way for companies to capitalise on this social proof?
There are two different approaches in terms of using social proof as an advertising tool to would-be consumers, known as positive and negative social proof.
Negative social proof
Negative social proof is incredibly unpersuasive, in fact in some cases it has actually led to opposing and drastic results. An example of this particular marketing technique would be to discourage a certain type of behaviour by stating its current damage, ie. 4 years ago, over 22 million single women did not vote.
Explaining that the activity is morally wrong but claiming a large number of people are still doing it, does not create a strong argument to deter enough people from committing similar wrongdoings.
Positive Social Proof
Positive social proof is powerful as it has actually been proved to be more influential than the effects of money. I know, hard to believe right?!
The power of group influence should not be underestimated, with user review websites such as TripAdvisor rapidly growing in popularity in recent years. However, social proof is not a phenomenon that has been unleashed overnight. Before the invention of statistics and marketing gurus, our ancestors relied on word of mouth and neighbourly advice to gain the majority of their consumer knowledge.
It should therefore be encouraged to include elements of social proof on your homepage and sales pages, especially in areas that allows customers to purchase your product or services. The professional networking website Linkedin heavily promotes the implementation of a user picture, which has shown to significantly increase the trust amongst followers and consumers, so prepare to say ‘CHEESE!’ and don’t forget to smile!
Salespeople are constantly trying their best to tap into our minds by making their product as relatable to us, the consumer, as possible. But by appealing to the heartstrings of customers is an incredibly successful technique. (The X-Factor ‘sob stories’ do seem to work, no matter how much they annoy us all!)
There are also tips that help you to avoid making your website a social proof nightmare! For example, if your recent social network post has a low number of shares, it may be detrimental in efforts to increase your online following. It can potentially be more beneficial to completely remove social proof from your profile, in order to avoid any negative impact. EventBeat's moderation software allows you to remain in control throughout, so rest assured your website will only show the best of the best!
The Web Scoop aggregates all of the social media content relevant to your brand, as well as allowing for further interaction through the appropriate social networking site.
ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO BY JAMES O'ROURKE