We do it most of the time. Before you finally decide on what online store to buy from, you want to be sure you’re with the right company. Buying right is the deal here. You want to know what people are saying about the company before taking the leap. Do they deliver on time; is there a favourable refund policy in place? You are out to get reliable answers from people who have used them before. You’re seeking for proof that the brand you’re thinking of visiting, buying from etc. is everything you expect it to be.
So, what is Social Proof?
Also referred to as an informational social influence, social proof is said to be a social and psychological influence, a phenomenon where people make decisions based on the feedback and actions of others. Working on social proofs given by others help people figure out what is the appropriate decision to take – whether that be as simple as following a brand on social media or travelling to visit a restaurant.
In today’s age, people don’t buy things they see just like that. Researching into past experiences from others, a recommendation from close friends and family members, and other testimonials are some of the ways people get the assurance they are looking for before buying a product. Consumers decide to buy or not buy a product based on what past buyers have to say about it, so much so that 79% of customers depend on online reviews and recommendations from others before parting with their money based upon a 2013 report.
However, reviews & testimonials aren’t the only forms of social proof. Social media profiles with high follower counts appear more trustworthy. Whilst a brand with 100 followers may produce a better product than a brand with 100,000 followers, it all comes down to social perception. Imagine you’re in a new town searching for a restaurant. You walk past 2 eateries, one full of people and the other with only a few tables full. You’re immediately going to favour the more popular option because more people equal more trust. This is the same philosophy on social media.
Social proof also requires social media engagement (likes, shares, comments). Every business needs it. If your brand has a large number of followers but very low social media engagement, you should be alarmed. Modern social media users aren’t dumb. If they notice you have thousands of followers but are receiving little-to-no likes on your content, you will lose trust.
Let’s go back to the restaurant analogy. You trust the more popular restaurant because it has more people inside. However, when you get inside, you realize nobody is consuming their food.
When a user clicks through to your largely-followed social media profile but finds nobody is consuming your content, they will become skeptical and lose the trust you have worked so hard for.
What do businesses draw from this? It’s simple. They need social proof to stand out and create trust. Whilst it may be tempting to purchase followers or page likes – you must remember that there is a larger picture than just the number of people who follow your page. The number of people interacting with your content, leaving you reviews, and testimonials offer much stronger forms of social proof.
All businesses can build social proof for their social media channels, but it takes time. Double Up Social offers to help you build your following, engagement and social proof to increase trust and create social advocates for your brand.
Shoot us an email and we’ll let you know how we can help or follow us @doubleupsocial on Instagram.