If you’re not sure how to act in a situation, look around, see what everybody else is doing, and copy them. It’s easy really. You’re eating at a Japanese restaurant – watch and see if people are removing their shoes. You’re buying a wedding present – look at the happy couple’s gift list and see which items are already taken. You’re booking a holiday – check out the hotel with the best reviews. If in doubt, follow.
This – in a nutshell – is ‘informational social influence’, a psychological phenomenon in which people adopt the actions of others to assume the correct social behaviour. According to Unbounce, social proof is “the positive influence that’s generated when people find out that ‘everybody’s doing it.’” If you run a business with an online presence, understanding this phenomenon (better known as ‘social proof’ or ‘herd behaviour’) is invaluable. Utilising it correctly can increase sales, subscriptions, shares – it can even be the difference between success and failure.
Social proofing in effect
Does your website feature reviews and ratings, or even a list of clients? Whether it’s planned or not, you’re already utilising social proofing to foster a sense of trustworthiness amongst website visitors and – hopefully – convert interest to action.
However, social proofing can be used offsite. For example, have you tried to social proof your ad campaigns? If small simple changes could make a huge difference to your click through rates, what are you waiting for? Try these 4 different strategies and see for yourself:
1. Seller Rating
If you use Google AdWords, Google Shopping or Bing Ads, you can display a star rating next to your ads. People will see the number of stars you have in bright orange, displaying your high approval ratings for all to see. People can see how fantastically reputable your business is from the get-go, which is a phenomenal way to attract more clicks.
2. Review Extensions
If you have a particularly noteworthy customer testimonial, you can add a mini segment on your ads. People love to see a glowing review, especially if it’s from a trusted and impartial source, such as an industry expert. It could be a write-up, award or third-party ranking – anything that will give people one more reason to click.
3. Numbers Talk
At Fluid Digital, we specialise in web design and development using Magento, a flexible ecommerce platform. If you’ve ever visited Magento’s website, you’ll quickly learn that they have over 250,000 merchant users, making them the most popular choice worldwide.
Learning that so many others have adopted Magento – many global leaders in their industry – is a fantastic example of social proofing. Can you make a similar statement? Do you have a substantial number of happy customers? Do you ship a remarkably high number of products every day? What statement could you add that demonstrates just how popular your business is?
4. Claim to Fame
Does a celebrity endorse your product? Celebrity social proofing is very powerful, and could be integrated into your ads. According to TechCrunch, Beautymint utilised a celebrity endorsement by Jessica Simpson and aesthetician Nerida Joy to attract 500,000 visitors in the first 24 hours of its launch.
Get the most out of your marketing budget
If you would like to kick-start a new PPC campaign or improve your existing set-up, we can help at Fluid Digital. We specialise in Google AdWords, Bing Ads and Facebook Ads. To find out more, take a look at our PPC services, call 0161 762 4920 or complete our contact form.