What’s social proof? It’s a fancy name for a simple concept: It’s proof that someone else likes your product or service. It’s provided so that people who visit your site don’t think they have to be first to take a big risk on it. Visitors and potential customers like it when proof shows someone else thinks your product or service is worthwhile. This makes them more prone to take the desired action in your internet marketing strategy, such as a purchase, an opt-in, or a sign-up.
Granted, this may sound a bit like a herd-based assessment of your fellow man. But it’s a fact that many people tend to be followers and want some to see some proof that they aren’t taking any chances. Pioneering spirits exist, of course, but not in such great numbers that you can count on them to be around all the time. So, social proof is going to be something you need to motivate everyone else to do the something you want.
What are some examples of social proof?
– Testimonials and recommendations: This is a written paragraph or two by someone who’s previously used your product or service saying that it’s great. Usually, these are posted on sales letter pages, but you can use it with sign-ups or anything else where some positive comments would be helpful.
– Counters: Alexa ratings, feed subscription counts, membership counts, and the like all fall under the ‘counters’ description. I’m even partial to a blog feed service that provides such a counter called Feedburner. So, if you can prove any worthwhile stat with a counter, you should.
– Awards: Graphics that state that your site has been certified to excel in some way and was awarded for it. This helps you to stand out from the massive crowd of other sites on the net.
– Certifications: These are things that help people feel more comfortable doing otherwise prickly things like giving you their information. There are companies that will allow you to post certifications if you meet their requirements for privacy policies and the like, which makes your visitors more comfortable shopping with you.
Social proof is no small matter. I’ve been given review products and assistance freely by other people who want testimonials and recommendations for their products or services. You may even have noticed that when you saw testimonials, counters, or other social proof on a site, it gave that site a sense of legitimacy. It can do the same for you, so when you do create your site, do what you can to acquire social proof.