The term “social proof” or “informational social influence” describes a psychological phenomenon where people conform to others’ actions under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior. In fact, social proof is one of the most powerful drivers of everyday behavior.
In this article, we will look at
- What is social proof?
- Ways to improve business with social proof
- Where to place social proof in sales emails
What is social proof?
When it comes to getting the word out there about a company, there are different types of social proof. These can include expert, celebrity, and user opinions, the crowd’s wisdom, the wisdom of friends, and certification.
Expert social proof is when an expert in a specific industry recommends a company’s products or services or is associated with a brand. A celebrity or influencer gives you social proof when they endorse products and services through their social media channels or word-of-mouth. User social proof when existing customers recommend a company based on their personal experience with it. Other types of social proof include a large group of people endorsing a brand, friends approving a product, and a company getting a stamp of approval from an authoritative figure in the industry.
How public relations helps with social proof
Public relations can help you generate social proof and get the word out there about your company. Even so, sometimes companies have all the necessary information and tools but struggle to turn this into an effective PR strategy. If this is you, and you’d like to achieve adequate media coverage without the stress of putting together a whole campaign, then you can hire PR agencies and professionals like Pressfarm to help with all of your PR needs.
With a team of expert writers, PR professionals, and certified designers, Pressfarm can help you create quality content that attracts media coverage and inspires a wide audience. With a newsworthy press release, some engaging guest posts, and a creative media kit, you can build a memorable brand image and make heads turn.
In addition to creating this quality content, the PR experts at Pressfarm can help you distribute it widely and boost your online visibility. They also offer access to a database of over 1 million media contacts across different industries in addition to custom media lists. With these contacts you can continue doing media outreach for your brand long after your campaign at Pressfarm is done. With a PR campaign developed and implemented by Pressfarm, you can boost brand awareness and draw in more customers.
Ways to improve business with social proof
Social proof can positively influence the purchasing behavior of potential customers. When done correctly, it can help grow a business and generate more sales. It also proves a company’s credibility by pointing to other people and organizations that they have previously worked with. It is also the quickest way to go from being unknown to being a company that people trust and want to work with.
There are companies that do not use the power of social proof to their advantage through their landing pages, social media posts, product pages, blog content, and other marketing channels. However, these companies may not receive the same levels of conversions and online traction as ones that are.
Let us look at some ways that companies can use social proof in their email marketing campaigns.
1) Let customers do the talking
One of the easiest ways to leverage social proof is to highlight positive ratings and testimonials about your company. Research has shown that potential customers always look at product reviews before making a purchase. They trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations.
Regardless of their sentiment, customer reviews indicate to potential customers that your company has made sales in the past and is a legitimate business. These opinions will help potential customers understand the quality of a company’s products, the timeliness of their shipping, the likeness to product photos, and other useful information.
Along those same lines, if a customer makes a purchase and enjoys their shopping experience, they will tell people through word-of-mouth and their social media profiles. By providing high-quality products to customers at an affordable price point, you can increase the social proof of your business organically. You can also send emails to customers once they have received their order and ask them to leave a review. Additionally, you can incentivize reviews by offering customers who give you a review a discount code.
2) Showcase press and media features
The main intention of sending out an email is to get media mentions and attract journalists to write about your company. Since journalists are humans, they will more than likely follow the pack mentality and want to be a part of something that has already received media attention.
You can include previous media mentions and stories that have been written about you to gain more attention because this is another credible form of endorsement. If your company has been mentioned in the media, a great way to stay relevant and keep the content alive is to feature those previous media mentions in the email. Social proof is one of the easiest and under-utilized strategies for building an effective email marketing campaign. When your company uses social proof, you can take the interest they have earned for the brand and convert it into paying customers.
3) Create a blog
Another great way to gain social proof for your brand is to establish authority as a thought leader in your specific industry. Content marketing is a perfect tool used by businesses to provide potential customers with insightful, actionable content that ties into their business, products, and services. By creating a blog, you can draw in high volumes of qualified traffic, which will lead to more sales. Blog content indicates to existing and potential customers that the brand cares about its customers, rather than just being a company that cares about selling products. Having a positive brand image helps you secure repeat customers and increase traffic to your websites. This is in addition to increasing your brand’s social proof.
4) Use brand ambassadors and influencers
As mentioned previously, customers are more likely to follow what their favorite celebrities and influencers are interested in. Brand ambassadors and influencers can help humanize a company’s products and brand for prospective customers. They can help spread social proof on social media, their websites, and within their circle of friends.
Influencer marketing has proven to be very useful on social media, with a high percentage of customers relying on recommendations from influencers on the platforms. Content from influencers has earned more than eight times the engagement rate of content shared directly from brands. It is more effective when it comes from someone that your company’s target audience knows, likes, and trusts. This person could mention the brand in a social media post, reviews the product/service on their website, or writes an endorsement that you can use on your company website. Either way, influencer marketing will help you gain social proof.
5) Show off your awards and recognition
Sometimes, just saying that your company is trustworthy is not enough to gain the trust of customers. Having awards and recognition as evidence is an excellent form of social proof and is more convincing to your target audience. Awards and recognition help validate your brand because they come from an unbiased third party that has given you the impartial stamp of approval.
6) Case studies
While they are more formal, case studies provide high authority social proof because they leverage long, in-depth user views, which are more reputable than brief excerpts.
Where to place social proof in sales emails
Now that you know what social proof is and what kind to use, it is equally important to know how to use it. A few scenarios that come to mind are if your audience is ignoring your cold emails or reading the emails without responding. In that case, adding social proof to the beginning of an email is one way to grab someone’s interest and engage their imagination. Another tactic is to add it right before or after the call to action so that people feel confident about responding to an email.
Having social proof is a great proven tactic to give companies a leg up. This is especially useful when a company is trying to stand out from the competition. It gives companies control of what messages are going out to their public and allows them to tailor these in a way that is attractive to potential customers. Using social proof in your email marketing allows for a higher open rate and the potential for higher conversion rates.