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
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.
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.
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.
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.