Online ratings and reviews are becoming popular nowadays. According to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong, modern consumers are getting smarter and rely on other consumers when researching products and services. For a social media agency Hong Kong, such ratings, reviews, and testimonials are called social proof. They prove the authenticity and credibility of an account. That is why a video marketing agency Hong Kong notes the importance of determining how to use social proof for eCommerce. We’ve got you covered!
WHAT IS SOCIAL PROOF?
Robert Cialdini coined the term “social proof” in his 1984 book “Influence.” It is the idea of people copying the actions of others in an attempt to emulate the behaviors of the majority. In marketing, social proof covers the same idea. Shoppers look for ratings, reviews, and testimonials before making purchases. It is to ensure that they act and fit the way everyone expects of them.
Around 91% of shoppers read online reviews before buying an offering. That is why many online marketers strive to get reviews to increase the number of people making a purchase. People often make judgments based on their overall impression of someone. Most of us think that anything that experts use is great. It is because we think they are more knowledgeable than us. Others buy products endorsed by celebrities just to imitate them. Most of all, we trust users’ reviews because they have experienced the offering, unlike us.
FORMS OF SOCIAL PROOF
There are six categories of social proof. Each category depends on the source of information. These include social proofs from celebrities, certifications, crowd wisdom, customers, experts, and friends’ wisdom.
- Celebrities. A celebrity is a famous person. Today, the measure of popularity depends on the number of followers that somebody has on social media. So, a celebrity may be an actor, actress, author, chef, fitness guru, politician, singer, etc. Celebrities often feature the lifestyle of the rich and famous, which every one of us dreams of. So, any endorsement from a celebrity can influence us to use the same brand, product, or service as we secretly dream to be like them.
- Certifications. This type of social proof comes from authoritative bodies or figures. They can be a government institution, an industry regulating organization, prestigious review firms, etc. A certification can simply be a blue checkmark from Facebook or Twitter. If the certification looks official, people are more likely to believe that the brand, product, or service is of good quality and trustworthy.
- Crowd Wisdom. If a large group of people is endorsing a brand, product, or service, other people believe that it must be good. In a physical store, it represents a crowd lining up to get one. In the digital world, it means a large number of followers on social media pages.
- Customers. These are ratings, recommendations, reviews, and testimonials from current users of a brand, product, or service. Shoppers often trust others’ opinions if they are of good quality. They are authentic and credible as user-generated content (UGC).
- Experts. An expert is a person who has authoritative and comprehensive knowledge and skill in an industry or niche. People look into them with high respect and trust. That is why many experts can influence their buying decision through endorsements.
- Friends’ Wisdom. Friends influence the buying decision of 9 out of 10 people. They are a well-trusted source of product recommendations. The most common example is people buying a product because they see their friends use it on social media.
GENERATING SOCIAL PROOF
Brands and businesses should find ways to generate social proof. They can collaborate with celebrities and experts to boost audience reach on online events and social media. Share milestones with your audience. These include awards, citations, and certifications received. Show appreciation for any mentions. Better yet, you may want to explore having brand ambassadors.