The Influential Impact of Social Proof on Consumer Trust and Brand Awareness

Before you buy that expensive software — or that new PS5 game — chances are, you first let yourself fall deep into the rabbit hole of customer reviews.

We take a look at how other users enjoyed a product, or think twice about it when we see that most of them didn’t.

It’s no secret that other people’s opinions can have a significant impact on our purchasing decisions. But as we now know, there is one thing that brands can leverage to convert and grow — social proof!

Integrating Social Proof into Your Strategy

While traditional promotional messages are great, they may not be as effective as real customer feedback in driving consumer trust and eventually, brand loyalty. 

Introducing: the social proof formula.

The right social proof formula can help you build brand awareness while fostering trust — two crucial elements of a successful campaign. Furthermore, infusing social proof with product-led narratives appeals to prospects because they feel like their voices are being heard, with real stories from real people to back it up.

But we’d like to emphasize trust here. Seventy-nine percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations of people they know. Even if you manage to tell the world about your product, if there’s no trust, your chances for conversion are low. Furthermore, you need to make sure your product is being marketed towards the right audience, as the marketing experts at Lucid discuss in their recent blog post. And when it comes to marketing your software, you need to strategically leverage social proof, as you don’t have a physical product to promote.

Here are a few strategies on how you can integrate social proof into your strategy:

1. Post metric-driven reviews on your homepage and landing pages to encourage trust.

Among the first things customers must see upon arriving to your website are customer reviews. Positive testimonials will convey to visitors how your product has addressed other customers’ pain points. Make sure that it communicates directly to your ideal customer persona for higher engagement.

Placing them beside CTAs and forms will encourage visitors to engage with your brand, since they’ll now see your product as a potential solution to their problems. Authenticity is paramount in customer reviews — generic ones without customer names and friendly-looking photographs aren’t as likely to drive conversion.

2. Seek help from influencers.

While customer reviews are a common form of social proof, feedback from influencers and industry thought leaders is also effective. Their expertise and gargantuan follower base can work wonders for your brand — provided that you have a good product to start with.

If you’re able to acquire customers or have been featured by brands who are major players in their respective fields, you may use that to convey authority even without using words, just like Trello has done.

3. Accelerate the “Aha!” moment.

Similar to what we’ve mentioned earlier about testimonials on your webpage, you should strive to give visitors that “Aha!” moment by displaying your portfolio of projects with current users. The crucial element here is visuals — they must be able to capture the reader’s attention within seconds, without forcing them to read too many explanations. This provides the audience with a clear picture of how your product can help address their specific needs, and conveys your product’s unique features.

4. Harness the power of social media.

With 54% of customers using social media to research a product they’re going to buy, it’s not surprising that it’s also a powerful tool for social proof. People can now easily share their positive experiences with a product with just the click of a ‘Share’ or ‘Tweet’ button — making these platforms an ideal place for customers to advocate for your brand. Tools like Capterra enable you to create a product page that could also be a way for you to acquire new customers. 

Final Thoughts

When combined with product-led stories, social proof can help shape people’s purchasing decisions. As trust is built, you will also stand out from the competition as long as prospects see balanced and transparent reviews and feedback about your product. After all, nothing beats customers as the best ambassadors your brand could ever have.

READ NEXT: Toppling the Giants: Building a Challenger Brand

Before you start generating social proof, you need to make sure your product lives up to customer expectations. Make sure you’re on the right track by watching our exclusive Annual Conference session on Product-led Growth.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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