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How to use social proof in your marketing for maximum profits

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by markinternet, May 21, 2015.

  1. #1
    As an aspiring entrepreneur you know deep down that the fastest way to succeed on the internet is using the famous psychological principle of social proof. Not only is it a valuable shortcut that can grow your business faster than ever before but have maximum leverage for you.

    If you’re a newbie and have not made any progress online yet this article may be the short cut you have been looking for.

    In this article I am going to drill down what exactly social proof is and how you can apply this today to your online business to get you results faster than ever before.

    Wikipedia explains Social proof is where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to establish the correct behaviour in a given situation. This is often driven on the assumption that others have more knowledge or experience than you in a certain situation. It acts like a compliance trigger that can set off actions in someone to do something on assumption that others must be correct even though in reality they may not be.

    This can of course work for you or against you (Negative social proof).

    One of the most interesting studies of social proof was witnessed by Robert Chaldini the author of Influence and persuasion where he was in Beijing and a manager put on the menu of the restaurant “These are our most popular dishes” and each dish suddenly became 20-30% more popular with new customers.

    They even had dishes that were not that popular suddenly became popular due to the wording on this menu. People value others opinions who are just like them and follow the crowd when uncertain of which dish to pick.
    What was super cool about this was it took very little time to implement and the results were massive all because others went along with the wisdom of the crowd.

    When you perceive yourself as being similar in terms of interests and values as people around you, you are more likely to adopt their actions as the correct one. A good example is in laugh tracks at the background of TV programmes such as the TV show “Friends “ for example where viewers will laugh longer and harder when they perceive the people laughing to be similar to themselves.

    The questions is of course is if social proof is so powerful why isn´t everyone using it?

    There are many factors at play. If you believe you know more information than your surrounding peer group or think you are the leader in a given situation you will not be influenced by the group’s actions. So by seeing yourself as an authority figure in your group will have zero impact, however if you see yourself as uncertain of how to act and believe others are more wiser than you this will influence you.

    One amazing experiment was done in Los Angeles where they tried to manufacture fame from scratch and took an ordinary young girl from the street and dressed her up in stylish clothes and dark sunglasses and made her look like a celebrity and even had fake paparazzi’s to take pictures of her and her little dog. They took her to a typical celebrity hangout in Los Angeles and had actor fans act like she was a celebrity. Plus she even used her real name and not a known celebrity name.

    The results were astonishing. Not only did strangers walk by and stop to ask her for autographs and took pictures of her but several people even came up to her and complimented her on the movies and music she did none of which she mentioned or even did.

    When it comes to marketing online how can we use this principle ethically and in a way that benefits others and yourself. The first is of course Testimonials. Having powerful testimonials about your product or service is one of the best ways of getting instant credibility that your product or service actually work and giving you trust with your audience.

    If you can get testimonials from your mentors or people who are well know this can further enhance your reputation due to the power by association. Even just name dropping who you met and who your associated with ( Only if it’s true ) can rocket your chances of a successful Joint venture and attracting affiliates for your product launches.
    Testimonials will results in more sales on your websites as people will look at what others are saying about you and what results they achieved with your product or service.

    On Facebook for instance you can encourage your audience to press a like button or ask them to comment on your post. This can create a viral buzz especially if your audience share your post with their friends.
    Studies have also shown that people trust more the recommendations of friends than the actual brand itself when making a purchase decision. You can also use social proof in sponsored stories where you can take word of mouth recommendations and post and promote them in Facebook profiles as Facebook ads. So the post is on your timeline and goes out in a news feed to all your friends.

    If you have ever had an article published by a popular journal or media this can also establish massive social proof. This acts like the publishing company believing in your product and service and having it endorsed to others. Even awards from TV or other media will have an enormous effect on your business.

    If you can have screenshots of all results you have produced but also pictures of famous people in your industry you have met this can help your credibility. This will establish you as a trusted source after all when you are online who knows you, plus consumers have multiple buying options these days so who will they buy from?

    That is why you have to demonstrate that your product actually works and worked for like minded people also. In other words are you the right choice for your prospect? People love to belong to groups just like them and to which they perceive as of higher value so your product needs to be proofed by others when making that important buying decision.

    By interacting with your audience and helping them as much as possible when new people land on your blog/ website and see other positive reactions and comments this can propel people to label you as a person who is caring and trustworthy on the internet even though they have never spoken or personally interacted with you.

    Social proof is a form of leverage but any social proof may not be enough as what you need is hungry niche fans that not only follow you but buy everything you have to offer. These life time fans will not only spread the word and be a natural form of advertising for you but will recommend others to join as well. They are the same people who will join as one of your affiliates and give you testimonials as well as back your claims.

    If you receive positive email replies from your fans why not share these in your emails to kickstart others to also reply to your future emails. Not only do you get instant feedback of what is working and what´s not but you get to hear your prospects needs and desires and problems.

    So start using social proof in your marketing and leverage every success you have no matter how small it is it will start to pay dividends. Just make sure your ethics are in the right place, your honest and helping others.

    Take care

    markinternet, May 21, 2015 IP