What is social proof?
Also known as informational social influence, social proof taps into the human psyche of a need for reassurance of the unknown. It provides first-hand validation of a brand, product, or service's effectiveness to potential consumers.
Modern-day social proof examples
When booking your last vacation, how did you choose which hotel to stay at… was it the hotel with lots of negative guest feedback or the one with all 5-star reviews?
Chances are you stayed at the 5-star review hotel, right?
This is because of social proof. A high amount of positive reviews gave you extra reassurance that the hotel you booked would meet your expectations – because that's how it was experienced by others. Ultimately, social proof influences potential purchase behavior by providing positive validation of a product or service.
Online customer reviews are one form of social proof, but another form dominating the ecommerce space is influencer marketing.
With trusted relationships with your target customers, influencers offer a sense of social proof similar to that of family and friends, but with the added benefit of a much larger audience that is actively looking to them for purchase inspiration.
As an influencer, there are a wide range of social proof methods available. They include:
- Brand promotion and endorsements
- Product demonstrations
- Reviews, ratings, and testimonials
- Links to affiliated brand websites and e-commerce pages
Benefits of using social proof
Nowadays, brands invest heavily in partnering with influencers and content creators. Brands recognize that influencers provide a heightened sense of trust to their followers by demonstrating that a brand, product, or service is genuinely beneficial.
By demonstrating reviews in an engaging and entertaining way, influencers are able to reach wider audiences with their product recommendations, helping brands to reach new audiences and convert new customers.
Influencers also benefit from recommending products through paid sponsorships with brands. Their ability to build trust with their followers can make them attractive long-term brand partners, allowing them to generate impressive online revenue streams… not to mention receiving additional free branded products and gifts.