Social Proof And Increasing My Conversion Rate

By definition, social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon where people conform based on the actions of others or in order to be accepted by the influencer (society). When you find out that a certain celebrity is using some product, you hold it in high regard. That is social proof.

When you visit a landing page and see that a big company has already adopted the said tool, you trust it. When you sign up for a demo because it came highly recommended by an industry expert, it’s all social proof in action.

Social proof is the driving force for many products that excel in the market today. For instance, in a blind-test case study between Pepsi and Coke, most participants preferred Pepsi to Coke. How come Pepsi only takes 8.9% of the worlds carbonated beverage market while Coke goes on to claim 17%? You see, it’s all about perception and bias.

In one case study by the Wall Street Journal, three approaches were used to persuade people to use less energy in the summer by adopting fans in place of conditioners. The first one was that the customers would save US$54 a month. Then, that was socially responsible and would help prevent the mission of at least 262 lbs. of greenhouse gases a month. And for the last reason, 77% of their neighbors had already switched to bands.

The result is that most of those who complied confessed to making the switch because their neighbors were doing it. That’s how powerful social proof can be, especially when strategically placed on your important sales pages.

The 6 Conventional Types of Social Proof

When browsing landing pages, you most likely encounter one of the following six basic types of social proof depending on the nature of the company.

CASE STUDIES

Involves using data and analyses of the services you provided to a recent or current customer. This works especially well for B2B businesses. Case studies are an efficient way of revealing customer satisfaction as well as the success process that a client underwent using your product. In your case study, you want an outline of the issues the client had, how your product helped, the outcome, and the growth numbers if possible.

For instance, QuickSprout uses a short but effective case study from Ben Huh, a well-known guy in the tech business.

HelpScout, on the other hand, provides more detailed case studies in the form of videos:

In another scenario, Intercom integrates their case studies with their testimonials to capture casual browsers and customers who are already weighing on the available solutions.

TESTIMONIALS

You can go ahead and say all the nice things about what you are selling but it’s what other people have to say that will truly influence prospects. Has anyone said something good about your product or services?

If yes, ensure the people visiting your page see that comment as well as the person’s picture. And, if the comment came from a famous person, you just hit the jackpot. You must know this already. Almost every big brand shows off customer comments on their website.

Customer testimonies are perhaps the most common form of social proof. In fact, 92% of shoppers will trust a recommendation from a friend, and 70% will trust it even when they don’t know that person.

That’s according to a research by Nielsen. A good example is Amazon, the largest online retailer today. They have customer reviews and ratings on every product they sell:

REVIEWS

Product reviews play quite a significant role in conversions. They could decrease or increase your rates of conversion tremendously. According to Google, 70% of Americans make online purchases only after looking at product reviews.

The consumers get reassured that the product is popular and is working as advertised. You shouldn’t mind the few negative comments either as they make the consumer confident that the product review isn’t biased.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media gives your customers a quick and easy way of posting comments of appreciation, questions, or reviews of your services. Praises from current users, brand advocates, and other interested parties are very important. You should save all of them. This type of social proof is particularly useful for B2C products. Though it doesn’t mean the technique doesn’t work for B2B.

Social Media also gives you a chance to interact with your customers more closely, influencing them one step at a time. For example, harempants.com entices its buyers by offering gift cards to those who write a review on Social Media or a blog article.

TRUST ICONS

Logos and icons have been used to increase conversion rates for a long time. Although they don’t have a clear social aspect. Nevertheless, people seem to trust your product more when you stuff popular logos on your site. Just ensure they are relevant and that you actually worked together at some point or at least know that you have their logo on your site.

Something like this:

Notice how they have cleverly included their CTA (call to action) at the bottom after the trust icons? People might feel more confident signing up because they already trust one of their logos.

DATA/NUMBERS

Details such as the number of customers already served, invites remaining, and the number of downloads or views, etc. will go a long way in boosting your conversion rates. People will want to associate with your product more if they feel that others are using it or it is becoming trendy. Remember the Wall Street Study on saving energy?

How and When can I Use Social Proof on My Site?

Clearly, social proof is an effective marketing strategy and a crucial element to the successes of your landing page conversion rates. However, to use them more efficiently, you still have to add some creativity and innovativeness sin how you place them and when. Also, try as much as possible to come up with your own thing and differ a little with the six standard social proofing techniques.

It’s not about testing whether they work or not, but rather about testing how and when to use them. Put the following elements in mind the next time you draft a social proofing component:

1. Counter actual objections

Your landing page is basically about building a case to convince the prospects to choose your services and products. For this reason, social proofs such as testimonials and data points needs to focus on supporting your argument. Always try to counter the objections that a customer might have, rather than just praising your product.

2. Use social proof strategically

Ensure your testimonials or whatever else you are using go with the flow of your landing page. Don’t just pop them anywhere. Be sure to use highly credible witnesses and include their names as well as photos. Also, include social proof at points of friction – like where a customer might see the price and opt out.

3. Keep changing the content

Never stop looking for more social proof once you have filled your landing page.

4. Tap into their fear of missing out

If you can convince prospects that your offer will run out soon, they will most likely take it. People are driven by impulse actions when they think they won’t have another opportunity.

5. Collaborate with experts

Have industry experts take over your Social Media accounts to post some content every once in a while. Invite them to your Social Media events such as Facebook Live and Twitter chats. That way, you can take advantage of their positive influence.

Now you know that social proof is a key element in the execution of your landing page game plan. Remember that with so many products in the market, customers have neither the time nor the patience to test each one of them. Yet they still want to buy a product they can trust or one that will make them feel better.

Employing social proof in the form of trust icons, reviews, testimonials, case studies and so on, will help you coax prospects into feeling more confident about going with your offer.

How To Implement Social Proof on Your Web Pages

So many things go into a purchasing decision, and social proof is certainly an important factor among those. All big names and smart marketers such as Amazon, eBay, WordPress, and just about every company is using social proof on their website as it can drastically increase their CRO.  

What is Social Proof?  

Social Proof is a marketing tactic based on the psychological and social phenomenon where people assume others’ actions in order to reflect the right behavior in a particular situation. 

Positive social proof is actually very beneficial and it works best when combined with catchy and relevant images.  

Implementing Social Proof on your Website  

Here are effective and proven ways to use and leverage social proof for your online business: 

RealTime Stats  

Demonstrating the number of people that are currently seeing the same page or product on your website is a great form of social proof. It shows that people like the information on that particular page. Top of that, it also adds urgency to the entire thing.  

Let’s take an example:  

Agoda.com shows the number of travelers currently looking at the Wellington Hotel in the USA. The higher the number of travelers, the higher the perceived value of the hotel and the quicker someone will book before they miss out on the opportunity.

You can use plugins to implement real-time stats as social proof on your website.

Subscriber/User/Customer Count 

Show the number of subscribers, customers, or users on your website to increase the credibility of your brand.  

On the image above, it is seen that Aweber highlights that over 100,000 small businesses use their email service. 

Similarly, you can display stats relevant to the number of your customers, newsletter subscribers, or users to show your reach and popularity. Don’t forget that showing off your numbers help in your conversion quicker!    

Customer Testimonials

Include some short quotes from your customers stating their experiences with you and/or your products and services on your web pages.   

Here is an example of testimonials from BioClarity.  

You can also incorporate video testimonials as it works even better when it comes to turning visitors into customers. You can really touch the heart of your visitors by bringing your social proof to life.

Check out this great example from Digitized Logos: 

Reviews 

Reviews are simply testimonial’s more objective cousin. These applies to products with deep technical details or belong to crowded or highly-competitive industries.

Check out the following example from Froothie, Australia’s leading juicer, and blender seller: 

Encourage your customers to review and rate your products by adding a plugin or a widget to your website where they can do so. Provide space at the bottom of your landing pages or product pages where customers can write something about your product or service.

Endorsements 

Social proof from celebrities and well-known industry experts can be surprisingly effective for your ROI (Return on Investment). However, getting celebrity approval is not that easy. It may come in the form of paid endorsement or if you’re very lucky, even natural endorsements.  

Paid endorsements require a big budget and formal contracts between both parties.  

On the other hand, natural endorsements refer to situations when a celebrity publicly approves of your brand or product based on their own personal experience.

If you can get endorsements from celebrities or experts, paid or natural, it can be the most solid form of social proof and can easily transform your business by increasing your conversion rates.   

Case Studies  

Case studies are treated as the most authentic social proof. It is driven by the idea that customers perceive long, in-depth reviews as more trustworthy than brief excerpts.  

Case studies are effective, especially if you’re dealing with B2B marketing, agency services, etc. You can provide data-driven analysis of the service or product you are providing to your customers.  

Here is an example from Land and Water website:  

Storytelling Social Proof

Psychologists say that stories reach into those corners of human minds where numbers do not. The stories are very persuasive because people tend to imagine themselves as the character of the stories they hear.  

So, encourage your customers to describe their situation before and after using your products or services. Ask them to paint the picture of their problem, why they chose you, and how you helped them.  

Look at the following example of an impressive story-type testimonial from a customer on NerdFitness:  

Invite your previous customers to tell their experience as a story.

Certification and Badges 

If you have certifications or accreditation from reputable industry bodies, proudly display them on your website. You can freely display your logos or badges on your site. A study reveals that showing certification and badges can increase your conversion rate to as much as 30% 

For instance, the Australian International School in Singapore displays its certifications and accreditations on their website, which makes the school more trustworthy among students and parents.  

Platform Integration 

Do your products or services integrate a third party service? If yes, adding the logo of your integration partner can be the best form of social proof that will bring more credibility and familiarity to your brand.         

Below is an example from Baremetrics where they mentioned on their header that they are a brand that’s also serving popular payment platform, Stripe.

Factors You Should Consider when Implementing Social Proof on Your Site

Not all social proofs are created equally. Here are a few elements you should consider when implementing social proof on your web pages:

– Choose the type of social proof

Test different types of social proofs to see which one will work best for your brand. All you need is to pay attention to how you present and optimize them for more lift.

– Curate the content of your social proof

Don’t forget to keep updating your social proof content. Rotate them to get better or the best results. Try different ones each month or quarterly.

– Placement of social proof

Consult with your designer and find the best area for the placement of your social proofs. Not every social proof will look best at the top of your site so find the best placement that will compliment your site best.

Now you know how powerful social proof can be and the best ways to implement them on your website or landing pages.

Good luck!


Read more about social proofing on our blog  these are some uncommon social proofs that actually matters.

Uncommon Social Proofs that Matter

Winning customer loyalty with social proofs is a common practice for brands. They attract their customers using “trust factors”, like, if others are buying, you should buy it too. Likes, shares, views, etc. are some of the most common social proofs that help organizations and personal brands prove their authority in their industries. However, there are other types of social proofs which you can refer to as the “not-so-common social proofs”. Let’s take a look at what these uncommon social proofs are and how they help brands in growing their business.  

The Uncommon Social Proofs  

Platform Integrations 

Software companies use these social proofs a lot, especially SaaS (software as a service) companies. You will often find this proof right on the home page of the website where they will provide a list of platforms with which their software integrates.  

Take a look at the screenshot above. This particular company has a dedicated section on the website talking specifically about its integrations with various platforms. By talking about this, the company is then proving the completeness of its solution. It is also sending a message to the customer that they can use their platform without going through the hassle of switching back and forth due to incompatibility issues. 

Test Scores 

How much a service is trusted can be reflected through a trust score or test score. Trust and test scores from third-parties let customers know how good or bad a brand or their product/service is. Customers who have tried a certain product will give it a score based on their experience. Other customers can look at this score to know how much the public has trusted a brand. Google’s Trusted Store is a good example of this type of social proof. Another example of trust score is common on the Google Play Store. Google now displays the trust of the users in various components of the application in the form of percentage points (which seems like “ratings”). This is entirely different from the overall rating of the application.   

Per the above screenshot, it is seen that Google has displayed the user ratings for various features of the Facebook app separately. Such social proofs can have a great impact on people’s buying decisions.  

Bestseller Labels 

You will see this particular “Bestseller” label on products like e-books, beauty items, supplements, and maybe a few training programs from experts. This is one social proof that you cannot create on your own. A product can only be referred to as a bestseller when it has sold a specific number of stocks. All the giant retail stores on the internet feature their bestsellers separately on their websites. Take a look at this list of bestselling products from Amazon: 

There may be thousands of other headphones, and some of them might even have better ratings than the bestselling ones. However, because these are the bestselling items, they will appear on top of the items with better ratings because of their sales numbers.  

Customers Also Bought 

This is yet another social proof that you usually find on large retail stores on the internet. When it appears on a retailer’s website, it acts as a marketing tool for both product maker and retailer. Not only is it a social proof but “customer also bought” is also a powerful sales tool. You may find it on various websites in different forms such as “customers also liked”, “customers also downloaded”, or “customers also viewed”. Let us take an example of this social proof from Amazon again.

Number of Orders 

Just like the one above, this social proof can take a lot of forms, as well. It does not always have to be the number of orders. If you are selling a downloadable item, the social proof might then be “number of downloads”. If you are selling a service to which the users have to subscribe, this might say “number of signups”.

The best thing about this proof is that it gets the attention of the visitor instantly. Companies like to show these numbers in real-time where a ticker is moving as the customer signs up for the program, downloads the item, or subscribes for the service.  

Ambassadors  

You may call this brand ambassadors, celebrity endorsements, or social media influencers. The maker or promoter of the product wants to get the attention of its customers by showing them that their favorite artists, celebrities, athletes, and/or public figures are using the product. Today, social media allows brands to use their brand ambassadors more effectively than ever. Some of the largest brands in the world have dedicated sections on their websites for specifically for these influencers. Take the example of L’Oreal:

While famous people are more preferred for obvious reasons, it is actually possible for “regular people” to be a brand ambassador. Those who wish to be one may do so by looking up online job boards.

Take a look at this example – Rolex giving a dedicated space to its ambassador, Roger Federer, on their website. 

In the End 

Even though these social proofs are uncommon, they can still have a powerful impact. The list, though, does not include all the social proofs that are out there as there are simply too many (other examples are trust seals, PayPal Verified badge, McAfee Secure, BBB Accredited Business, VeriSign, etc.).

Brands are always using these different combinations of social proofs to appear as an authority to their customers. If you take into account the hundreds of types of social proofs, you will come to realize that they are practically everywhere. They create an image of the brand in your mind even when you might not notice.   


Read about the more common Social Proofs that most businesses use to sell better!

Social Proof: The Top That Businesses Use to Sell Better

Here we’ll talk about the ten social proofs that help businesses to sell better.

Social proof is like an indicator that helps customers make up their minds about whether or not they should purchase a product. A customer who was undecided on a product will lean towards buying it after looking at one or more social proofs on the Internet.

Statistics from 2016 reveal that online reviews are considered important and reliable for 85% of people as a recommendation; pretty similar to recommendations from someone they know. However, online reviews are just one of the many types of social forms of proof that exist in the online world today.

Here are the ten types of social proofs that help businesses sell better today.

The Ten Online Social Proof

Image Source: Generating Money Online

Testimonials

A testimonial is an admiration coming from a customer. A customer uses a particular product and likes it so much that he/she wants to express appreciation for it online so others can see it. Testimonials increase other customers’ trust, and they are likely to look forward to buying the same product. Receiving a testimonial from a customer is quite an achievement for any brand.

Here is an example of a customer testimonial:

sq1-customer-testimonial.png
Image Source: AMS Agency

Case Studies

You can say that case studies are a step ahead of testimonials. You need a case study when the content does not fit within a testimonial, which is often the case because testimonials are short and concise. Think of a company that provides CRM solutions. If their CRM helped one of their clients gain expected results, e.g., increased customer retention, then a case study on that success would be due. A case study helps a brand become an authority figure in its specific niche. A case study must talk about a problem, the proposed and implemented solution, and the results after the implementation of the solution.

Case-Study-Recipe.jpg
Image Source: Easy Marketing Strategies

User Reviews

User reviews are among the most prevalent and useful form of social proof. Businesses specifically ask their customers to give reviews about their products and services these days. Reviews help them inject trust into other customers. However, reviews must look unbiased and neutral for them to have an impact. Biased reviews can instead turn other customers away from a brand.

Here is an example of a customer reviewing a stay at a hotel:

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Image Source: Review Trackers

List of Customers/Brands

You will often see companies using this tactic on their websites. They use it to win the trust of their customers and to show them that well-known customers or brands trust them for their services.

Here is an SEO company showcasing its customers on their website:

ourcustomers.jpg


Social Signals

Social signals are as important as customer reviews. While customers have to do some writing when reviewing brands, it is pretty straightforward for them to give social signals. Social signals are the number of likes, mentions, shares, thumbs-ups, etc. that a product or service gets from users. They are also great indicators of the quality of posts. The best example of social signals is the number of likes you see on YouTube videos.

likes.jpg


Comments

Comments and reviews can be interchangeable at times, but there is a fine line between them. A user can comment on a post, video, product, service, etc. without ever using it. On the other hand, a review usually comes after a user has personally used the product. Comments are an excellent indicator of an influencer or brand’s penetration into its followers and the target audience. Here is an example of comments on a blog post.

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Image Source: Social Media Examiner

Ratings

You can say that ratings are the most powerful social signals due to their visual effect. They are visually compelling, and the companies choose to make their rating system that way. The most common method for rating online is with stars. You have one to five stars to choose from with one being the worst and five being the best. Star ratings have an instantaneous effect on the customer-buying decisions. The star rating tool is a favorite way for customers to rate products on Amazon.

starrating.jpg


Subscribers/Followers

Subscribers and followers can be the same thing sometimes, but not always. In most cases, the term ‘follower’ is more prevalent on social network platforms. On the other hand, ‘subscription’ is a popular term on blogs. The social networking platform with the most emphasis on the number of subscribers is YouTube. However, businesses show the number of their subscribers on their blogs as well. Followers on social media are an indication of the popularity of a brand and somehow, its influence as well.

followers.jpg


Number of Product Users

You will often see this social proof on the official websites of the companies too. It is their way of showing their customers about their prevalence in the industry and acceptance in the market. Companies often use this tactic when they have enough subscribers or users that would position their brand as successful and influential.

Take a look at this picture of a CRM company displaying its number of customers and other success metrics on its website.

users.jpg


Coverage on Media

Media coverage is a smart tactic, and it works well when you are selling services. Sometimes, it is difficult for new entrepreneurs to convince their prospects that their service or product works. In some cases, customers are under the impression that the product/service seller is a fake. Mentioning media coverage is a massive rescuer for such entrepreneurs, and a way to gain trust from their customers.

Here you can see the book author showing the success of his book on various other platforms by stating the statistics:

media.jpg
Image Source: 5 Love Languages

In the end, you can see that these tactics can be tremendously useful for businesses to sell their products and services. It is the human psychology that they feel the temptation to do what others are doing. They borrow trust from their peers, loved ones, and friends. If you feel the urge to eat something and you see two burger stalls — one with no customers and the other one with a dozen of customers — you will feel tempted to try out the one with lots of customers. In your mind, you will automatically decide that the burger with lots of customers asking for it is better than the one that no one is eating. The online social proofs work for businesses in the same way.

 

Have you checked out our post about using social proof on a website? Read here: https://www.crowdy.ai/how-to-utilize-social-proof-on-website/

 

BTW, we offer a solution that brings the power of social proof to your website:

Boost Your Conversions Using Social Proof

crowdy.ai is a tool used for conversion optimization. crowdy.ai uses social proof in helping clients such as Opvizor, Fit Schlank und Sexy, and Kleeberg.BUSINESS. And with social proof, clients get the trust of their market, improve their conversion rate, and lessen their cost-per-action to name a few of the benefits of crowdy.ai. You can try it 14 day for free by signing up here.

Tips on How to Utilize Social Proof on Your Website

If you are being smart about your marketing, then you will take a closer look at how social proof works and how it can deliver the results that you are looking for in your campaign.

But first, let us discuss a bit about social proof. What is social proof? The concept of social proof isn’t new. Its concept has been around for decades. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon wherein people tend to conform towards the behavior of other people thinking that it’s the correct behavior.

Just how exactly does social proof affect our decisions as consumers? If you have a choice whether to go to a busy restaurant filled with a lot of customers or to stick to some restaurant that has empty seats, you will subconsciously pick the former mainly because it’s the most popular choice.

And because it is highly effective in increasing conversions, it has been used as a tool by different businesses towards their favor.

To give you an idea of exactly how effective social proof works, 70% of online consumers today take a closer look at a product review first before even making a purchase.  In addition to this, product reviews are 12 times more trusted by consumers than product descriptions and sales copy coming from the company itself.

So how exactly can you utilize social proof on your website?

1. Trust Seals

Trust Seals are a great way to get the attention of visitors to your website. What it Trust Seals imply is that your company has been considered trustworthy by highly reputable organizations. In fact, in a split test made by Blue Fountain Media, adding a Verisign trust seal on their website increased their conversion by 42%.

Trust Seal

Trust Seals give users a peace of mind especially when they have to give out information when they are filling out your website. Is your business accredited by the Better Business Bureau? Utilizing its seal to your advantage can make a huge impact on how you convert customers.

2. Testimonials as Social Proof

Short testimonials from your customers are another great way to maximize social proof on your website. What you have to understand is that word-of-mouth advertising remains the most trustworthy marketing strategy. In one study by Nielsen, 68% of consumers actually trust consumer opinion posted online.

But not only should you use quotes, but it is also even more effective if you use high-quality photos when you decide to include testimonials. Be sure that the photo you use of the person who gave the testimonial looks smiling.

And also, it is important to choose who your ideal customer is when it comes to choosing a testimonial. It is a good idea that you find a customer that represents your market. And also, it is ideal that they emphasize exactly how your product or service made a huge difference.

3. Social Media Shares to gain Social Proof

Social media is a prime tool that can be utilized for social proof. It is no secret that things that go viral on social media usually get more credibility from your niche. For a website, what you can do is to add sharing buttons together with the number of shares on different social media channels.

This is typically utilized in blog posts. What it does is give readers more confidence to the information published by the website.

social shares

4. Include Data and Statistics

Social proof is all about the numbers. As they say, numbers don’t lie. For this reason, it makes a good idea to use numbers and statistics whenever making your content. You can even use infographics to make all the numbers easier to absorb by your audience.

And to be able to connect the numbers to the point you are trying to make, it becomes easier to convert your readers.

What numbers can do is affect the buying decision of your reader. Numbers and statistics can create a sense of urgency and even convince the reader that they really need the product or service that you are selling.

What are examples of numbers and statistics that you can use to your advantage?

  • Years of experience
  • Customers you have served over the years
  • The number of employees in your business
  • Number of branches and your locations
  • Price of your item compared to that of your competition

Code Academy made use of numbers to their advantage this way.

social proof numbers

So what if you don’t have the impressive numbers yet? You actually don’t have to hurry.  You can always wait for a while and let your company grow more before you display your numbers.

5. Media Mentions

Reputable websites and media outlets are picky who they should feature. In fact, people believe that there should be something special about your company in order to land on a notable website. In some occasions, it really is!

Just by adding a logo of the media outlets and saying that you have been mentioned by these organizations can already make a huge impact on your audience.

6. FOMO

Everyone wants a good deal. In fact, a lot of people fail to assess their wants and needs. For a lot of consumers, they simply become highly compulsive with buying decisions. And for this reason, it becomes easier to convince them whenever they are in an emotional state. And one great way to trigger emotion is by creating a sense of urgency.

Are you familiar with the concept of FOMO (fear of missing out)? It says that people are most likely buying something when they are on the verge of missing out an opportunity.

fomo

Companies that offer Groupons are commonly using this strategy. Some are even using a timer to send a message to its consumers that it is only a limited offer.

Conclusion

It is hard to get the trust of your niche, especially for newly established businesses. However, with the right strategy, you can get the trust of your audience. The use of social proof in your marketing strategy can make drastic changes in your website’s performance.

These are some of the most common strategies used by different companies in order to maximize the use of social proof on their website. Remember though to track your conversions and see which social proof strategy works best for your website.

Boost Your Conversions Using Social Proof

crowdy.ai is a tool used for conversion optimization. crowdy.ai uses social proof in helping clients such as Opvizor, Fit Schlank und Sexy, and Kleeberg.BUSINESS. And with social proof, clients get the trust of their market, improve their conversion rate, and lessen their cost-per-action to name a few of the benefits of crowdy.ai. You can try it 14 days for free by signing up here.