If you're walking down the street looking for a restaurant and you see several that are packed and a few empty ones, which are you most likely to patron (pre-Covid, that is)? If you're like most people, you'll dine where others are. That's because of social proof—the idea that if the masses behave a certain way, it must be the right way.
And not just the right way, the more appealing way.
It’s why I wanted Gloria Vanderbilt jeans in sixth grade.
It reflects our desire to do what’s in/popular/trending/of value. We’d love to think we’ve outgrown peer pressure, but those of us who follow influencers and bloggers know we’ve bought Tula skincare and ordered our Vici on Sundays because of social proof.
There are over 250 million reviews on Amazon . . . each of them steering us toward or away from products we’re interested in, guiding our purchasing decisions.
Let's get down to brass tax. Nearly 55% of online consumers rely on user-generated content (like customer reviews, photos and endorsements) to make purchasing decisions. That's because social proof goes beyond passive browsing and offers a committed act of engagement to site visitors and social followers. And it has the power to raise your ROI. The social proof is in the pudding. Take the apparel, food and beverage, and beauty industries, for example; in all three industries, social proof increased conversion rates more than 200% (source: Yotpo).
Whether you’re selling skincare or 18-wheelers, providing legal services or a wedding venue, social proof needs to be a critical part of your marketing strategy.
What are some examples of social proof?
I'm glad you asked!
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