Social Proof and Its Ability to Increase Sales
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Social Proof and Its Ability to Increase Sales

Have you ever noticed that a store or restaurant with a large crowd draws your attention? You figure that place must be good if so many people are willing to wait on line. How about when you go to purchase something online and checked to see which item had the most and/or better reviews? Those are examples of social proof. Social proof, also referred to as informational social influence, is the idea that we base our opinions on the actions of other people. This phenomena can be broken down into several different categories: user, celebrity, expert, wisdom of a crowd, and wisdom of friends and each can be used to improve your business.

User Social Proof

User social proof is approval from people who have or currently use a product or service. Examples can include customer testimonials and online reviews. User social proof is a power tool for any brand, and it can be the difference between a new potential customer purchasing your item or moving on to the next one that has a better rating. This doesn’t mean you should have your employees write positive reviews! It means you should see why your company received a poor review and make some improvements. You’re cheating yourself and your customers otherwise.

Celebrity Social Proof

This is the type of proof that occurs when a celebrity shares that they approve of or uses your product or service. While many businesses hope for and aim to get celebrity endorsements, you should also make sure that they match your brand’s mission and image.

Expert Social Proof

This is when your product gets a stamp of approval from a credible source or expert in the field. This can come in as a mention in a blog, review, press quote, or a mention on social media.

Wisdom of a Crowd

This plays into our human pack/herd mentality. A large crowd tends to make people curious. No one wants a case of FOMO (fear of missing out)!

Wisdom of Friends and Family

While you may not have direct control over this type of social proof, it can be the most useful. Yes, it’s great to read that experts in the field or your favorite celebrity backs the product you are thinking about purchasing. However, we trust opinions of those closest to us the most. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal.

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