Why is it that whenever you try a new restaurant with a friend who has been there, you ask him or her what’s good on the menu? At the end of all the browsing of the menu, you will end up getting what your friend said is delicious. Why is it that when you see a new product, you check the Internet first for reviews before getting yourself one?
Facebook Social Proof
Distinguishing what is right from wrong because you are relying on other people’s comments and feedback is the process of social proofing. It refers to people buying things or trying out things because of the influence of other factors. You buy products because you hear it is good, and you assume that it is good too and think other people are more informed than you are.
At this time and age, consumers can easily know whether your brand is known for having arrogant salespeople or praised for having been able to accommodate customers well. Reviews are almost everywhere, especially on social media. It is very easy to spread information because there are so many means of doing so.
But of course, there is positive and negative social proof. A study showed that three-fourths of the population of America look at reviews before purchasing products. Research also showed that 63 percent of the consumers buy more if they see and read reviews.
This means that social proof is evident and which is why it is important to build your brand’s image well. You should take advantage of social proof to gain more consumers. But how do you make use of social proof? Here are ways on how to do so:
Photos That Launched A Million Likes (Or Hates)
Know that people are observers and they notice the way the social proofs are presented. Having a bad review with an accompanying photo is bad luck for you. For instance, a teenage girl bought a cheeseburger from a well-known fast food chain. She later found out that the meal she just bought had a spider leg sandwiched in the bun and patty. Mad and disappointed, she took a photo and reviewed your store in one of your accounts. She attached the photo with her review and soon, the review and photo had gone viral. It is possible that to help the Facebook photo go viral, she bought Facebook likes onto her Facebook post.
Moreover, friends of the teenager who have never been to the food shop will likely not try to eat there anymore. This is so because they might feel that they and she belong to a group, after all, they are of the same age bracket. Also, people belonging to a group with similar belief likes and dislikes, among others, tend to be influenced by their peers.
It is also important to post testimonials with photos. Prominent people whose testimonials shall be posted in your brand’s site should be with a clear photo of them to show credibility and in order for people to believe that quotes used are really from people and not just made up.
Rumor Has It…
You have to think that having bad reviews would often generate echoes, meaning people who have had bad experiences with your business might spread the word, which will, in turn, reduce the number of your customers.
Consumers reading bad reviews about your brand will lead to fewer sales or no sales at all. What marketers would want to do is to get the consumers, after seeing posts and being persuaded, to get up and buy the product. So this means that having unfavorable social proof is bad for your brand.
Some brands also use negative social proof to get the opposite thing to happen: to get the consumers to get their products. A study showed that using negative social proof to get more consumers were not effective, rather it was destructive. The negative social proof further shoos away potential consumers. Also, saying that people need to buy your product and notice your brand but using negative social proof with it will prove to be ineffective.
The positive social proof is the safest way to ensure maximum advantage. It is important to place your social proof to where the consumer can see them. The influence of other people will make buying easier for the consumer as some of them have already experienced or tried the product, service or brand.
You can also highlight positive feedback, describing how you manage to satisfy a client or solve their problems. People having the same sentiments as they can see themselves on the social proof you underlined.
It is also important to showcase some stories worth telling. This means that stories are believable because detailed storytelling is coming from the first-hand source—the one who experienced it. Seeing a detailed post about the experience will make other consumers think that the person really, legitimately tried and tested the product.
Stories are also easy to remember than facts and statistics gotten from books. These stories are passed on to other people, thus, word of the mouth.
What people hear is especially believable when it comes from an influential person. Halo effect is the tendency of a person to base his or her impression of another person based on one trait of him. Social media influencers have many followers, meaning they get a lot of views and what they say is always seen or viewed by someone.
People see influencers as popular and powerful people, justified by the many followers they have. This is how people see them, that they are influential and powerful. Having them say something about your brand or product might influence his or her followers. It is an effective way of promoting your brand.
But one of the most important thing to keep in mind is that having negative or positive social proof is better than not having any at all. Not having any feedback, comments or suggestions means that no one visits your product or brand at all. This is worse than having negative social proof.
No views or comments might make your potential customers think: Is this a trustworthy brand? And because we live in the day when likes and shares make you popular, having no interactions whatsoever on your page makes other people think if your services or brand should not be tried at all.