The Importance of Social Proof in Marketing and Conversion

The Importance of Social Proof in Marketing and Conversion

Adil Mahmood
Written by Adil Mahmood
April 2, 2015

Nowadays, if you don’t show social proof to support your offer or message, a landing page is simply an advertisement. In recent years, people have viewed the internet as not just a means of looking for information, but also as a source of needs and wants. The far reach of the internet makes almost anything accessible. So it is important to have the right credentials when you are offering your service or product through your online business.

In this podcast, Creative Thirst‘s CEO and conversion rate expert Bobby Hewitt tackles the importance of social proof in marketing and conversion. A/B testing software” href=”” target=”_blank”>Convert conforms about the great influence of social proof in conversion, how it affects the behavior of people in their buying decision, and why it is considered as a powerful addition to your marketing approach. Almost all the top online business websites feature prominent social proofs.

Social Proof

 The Power of Social Proof

What is Social Proof? Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in social situations when people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior. They tend to believe and follow the behavior of other people like a ‘monkey see, monkey do’ type of attitude. By just simply observing the actions of others, one can have a mental shortcut for making an instant decision which is very powerful in conversion marketing.

Why do consumers rely on social proofs although they are capable of making their own choices? Simple, because it tells them reasonable and reliable facts without having to exert too much effort.The power of social proof is not only applicable to offline mediums such as television and direct human interactions, but it also has a huge impact on websites and customer’s buying decision.

[Tweet ” Publish the evidence surfers seek with articles, videos, reports, cast studies, testimonials, badges, certifications, press releases, and so on.”]

 Influence in Marketing and Conversion

How does this psychological human behavior intersect with online marketing and specifically online conversion? The interesting part of this phenomena is that the principle of social proof have been transferred from direct person to person interaction. How we are being influenced by social proof involves three factors;

  • Number of people doing the actions
  • Level of doubt
  • Behavioral comparison

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Let’s take as an example. If you go to any product page and scroll down the page, you’ll get to a point that usually says what other customers have bought after viewing the product in the page. Those items are somewhat related to the same product the customer is looking at. According to a Neil Patel’ article by Gregory Ciotti,

You’re not the only one. Research surrounding the concept of implicit egotism has shown that, despite what we often say out loud, most people subconsciously like things that “resemble” them in some way. These studies have found that when it comes to valuing the opinions of others, our brains place more weight on those people we deem to be the most like us.

You can also see the percentage of customers that is currently viewing the exact product and the star rating of each product in relation with the one you are looking at. Let’s say 86% of viewers are currently viewing the product. If everyone else has purchased the product or at least an overwhelming majority of the 86% has given it a four and half star rating then logically or psychologically, it’s easy for anyone to make the purchase right away compared to the other items in that same category with less percentage of buyers or less rating.

The case shown above is a strong online social influence factor and an excellent example of how social proof can be used online to increase sales. Pay particular attention to the words successful businesses are using to influence the social proof.

The more people who perform the same behavior, the higher influence it can bring. The action of others affects the potential customer’s decision particularly with similar interests. Above all, make sure to verify your social proof ideas through A/B testing at Convert to find out which one works best for your audiences.

Originally published April 02, 2015 - Updated April 15, 2019
Adil Mahmood
Hi, this is Adil. I am online marketing strategist with over 4 years of solid experience in content marketing, SEO, social media and website optimization strategies.
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