The internet has changed our purchase habits quite significantly. Nearly 85% of people now search for products online, and 70% are influenced by reviews.
We have developed such an obsession with reading reviews because it helps us make accurate judgments based on other people’s experiences.
Social proof is the idea that humans subconsciously copy the actions of other people who are similar to them. It is evident even before we can walk or talk. Babies will naturally get drawn to each other. Teenagers want the latest tech gadgets simply because their friends also have them.
Copying is ingrained in our DNA and we rely so much on it because it helps us make well-informed decisions while conforming to society’s standards.
When we see that a product has so many positive reviews, and a lot of people are using it, then we know that we can trust it.
Businesses that incorporate social proof in their marketing strategy can achieve unprecedented levels of success in this age where consumers make decisions based on information they find online.
How to build social proof and stand out online
1. Ratings and reviews
Ratings and reviews are often the first things that get people’s attention while researching products online.
The more 5-star ratings a business has, the more it stands out and looks credible to potential customers. Product reviews are up to 12 times more trusted than self-promotional sales copies that businesses write for themselves.
You can easily get reviews by reaching out to your customers and asking for them. It only takes a minute of their time, therefore it’s not that big of an ask.
2. Augment your online presence
Since the majority of people now search for things online, your business should have an omnipresence on the internet, such that it is present on every corner potential customers might go searching.
You should have a website that’s been optimized to show up whenever they search on Google. You should have active social media pages. You should also have a Google My Business page as well as directory listings on various platforms. The more times people encounter your brand online, the more memorable it becomes to them.
Any task that you don’t have the time or expertise to do yourself, you can easily outsource to freelancers. If you don’t have the time to manage your socials, get a virtual assistant to do it for you.
If you don’t know how to build websites, use platforms such as FreeWebDesign to get professional developers to do it for you completely free. There’s just no reason why you shouldn’t have a completely dominant presence on the internet.
3. Get featured on well-known publications
This is one of the most effective ways of building social proof online. Whenever a popular blog or magazine mentions you, you look like the real deal. There’ll be no questioning your legitimacy.
You can get featured on popular sites either through sponsored content or by becoming a contributor. Although contributors usually aren’t allowed to promote their own businesses, they can briefly mention it in their bio and even link to its website and social pages.