Social Proof
Potential customers do what potential customers like them—and potential customers they like-do.


Sometimes your potential customer will feel pressure to conform, or feel they're missing out. Other times your potential customer will be looking for help to make a choice. What they see others doing can be very influential.

 

When potential customers are uncertain, they will look at what potential customers similar to them have done, and do the same.

 

When uncertain, it seems like a smart move to make the same choices those other potential customers made. Since making the wrong choice could potentially be harmful, potential customers will take a "safety in numbers" approach.


 

Ways to use social proof in your marketing…

 

Show potential customers that many other customers have already done what you're asking them to do.

 

It’s a mistake to indicate that many potential customers still do the thing you don't want them to do. Rather than prompting potential customers to take different action, this will reinforce their current behavior.

 

Feature a customer testimonial, and make sure the testimonial giver is similar to the testimonial reader (example: they live in the same general area or work in the same industry).

 

For a testimonial to be most effective, choose one in which the customer admits some earlier hesitation or skepticism before revealing your product was a great choice.

 

Highlights potential customers who aren't similar to your target, but rather who are potential customers your potential customer likes and admires.

 

Highlight positive ratings, and keep in mind that a potential customer is often more likely to purchase a product with an average star rating between 4.2 and 4.5 than one with a 5-star rating. The thinking is the less than perfect rating is more believable.

 

Tell potential customers that customers like them also purchased certain other items.

 

Flag the number of a product sold, the number of potential customers currently looking at it online, or the percentage sold out.

 

Choose reassuring modifiers such as often, typically, usually, generally, and common.

 

Market to affinity groups.
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Encourage referrals from your customers.

 

Provide case studies and a list of satisfied customers.

 

Highlight the number of users, subscribers, retweets, views, likes, followers, downloads, etc. you have.

 

Use descriptions such as: popular choice, fastest-growing, most requested, best-selling, previously sold out, expected to sell out, and back in stock.

 

In B2B, show client logos and logos of professional associations you're associated with, as well as a list of industries and customer titles you serve.

 

When appropriate, mention the number of years you've been in business or how much your company has expanded since starting.

 

Use language such as: most potential customers, many potential customers and potential customers like you.


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