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5 Types of Social Proof That Will Help You Sell More (With Examples)

11 Oct 2018

We all know that social proof is essential in building the trust necessary in your business and products to gain customers. 

 

In fact, it is one of the seven psychological sales principles that the godfather of persuasion, Robert Cialdini, teaches in his book Pre-Suasion.

 

Social proof is the idea that we have a bias towards things that other people like and therefor are more likely to purchase those things.

 

This why the best selling products on Amazon are always the ones with the most reviews. Or why many business similar to Trustpilot exist. 

 

People want to see that other people enjoy a product or service before purchasing it themselves.

 

This is especially important in the online world where we can't physically see or touch the products we are buying.

 

As I said before, you likely already know this is important, but did you know all the different ways that you can use social proof to build that trust and sell more. 

 

In this blog post I am going to explain five ways you can use social proof and give you some examples of businesses doing a great job of it. 

 

By the end of it, you are going to be able to build up so much trust in your business, people will be diving headfirst into purchasing your products or services blindfolded.

 

Let's get stuck in...

 

 

The testimonial

 

This is possibly the most well known way to use social proof. You get a happy customer to sing your praise and feature it on your website. 

 

You can take this a step further by getting your customers to go on video and sing your praise. 

 

Here is a great example of this from Amazon.

 

 

The reason why this is so powerful is because potential customers can see that the people giving these testimonials are real. They are not just a stock photo and the business singing their own praise.

 

Being able to see and hear from customers first hand will make people feel safe in the knowledge that your products or services are as awesome as you say they are.

 

You don't need a budget like Amazon to get video testimonials. Often, a selfie on your customers phone is more powerful as it increase the realism of the video. 

 

Real time stats

 

Real time stats are becoming a very popular way to demonstrate that people are buying your products. 

 

I am even starting to see them used for lead generation opt in pages. 

 

There are a couple ways that you can do this.

 

Travel website and app Booking.com take the approach of telling you how many people are currently looking at the hotel you want to book and how many people have booked it recently. 

 

 

This likely requires a great deal of custom coding so it is not going to be available to every business budget. 

 

However, there are many apps available that offer a similar type of social proof. 

 

Like this one from Provely.io, that they so handily use on their own website.

 

 

It allows you to live feed purchases that are currently happening on your website. So, website visitors can see that people are purchasing your awesome products. 

 

Pretty cool, right?!

 

Case studies

 

If you are a service based business or maybe even sell high ticket physical products, then this is one of the most powerful forms of social proof that you can use.

 

People want to hear about how other customers are benefitting from your services. Not just how good you are.

 

It's these real world example that won't just increase the trust factor but help people understand exactly how your business can help them.

 

Check out this one from Taboola.

 

Not only are they building trust, they are telling a great story that potential customers can relate to. Once they have read this, it will be difficult not to want to become a customer.

 

Media mentions

 

A media mention is a great way to demonstrate that your company is being talked about. It also shows that you are an authority in your field. 

 

Not only will it help to build trust through social proof, you are going to get more people to believe the advice you are giving them.

 

This could work especially well if your product is information. 

 

Here is a great example of media mentions in action, taken from Single Grain's homepage.

 

 

If you are browsing a website and you see that that have been featured in authority websites like this then you are going to think they must be pretty knowledgeable. 

 

An instant trust builder.

 

Proof in numbers

 

The definition of social proof is that we have a bias towards things that other people like.

 

If the number of people that like this thing is higher then it goes without saying that our bias towards this thing will be higher too.

 

This is where proof in numbers comes into play. 

 

By demonstrating that a bunch of people use your services or have purchased your products, you will build more trust with potential new customers. 

 

Check out this example from Copyblogger.

 

 

If 334,000 people trust Copyblogger know what they are talking about, it is very likely they do. 

 

Now it's your turn

 

Social proof will help to build the trust in your business necessary to sell more to your ideal customer.

 

You know what they say, you can never have too much social proof.

 

That probably isn't a saying but it's still true. 

 

Obviously don't make your website into one big social proof ball.

 

Do take note from some of these examples and apply them to your own business. Your sales will thank you for it.

 

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