The trick to using social proof for your social media marketing



There are a lot of psychological concepts that you can use to your advantage in your social media marketing. One of the most interesting is social proof.

What is social proof? And how does it work?

Most importantly, how can it help your social media marketing?

Social proof in social media marketing

Social proof was first identified by psychologist Robert Cialdini. According to him, social proof is a phenomenon where people see an action more desirable because others are doing it.

Social proof can also cross over to products and services, with people seeing certain options more desirable because of the number of people using them. Not all users are seen as equal either. The more we trust someone’s judgement or look up to them, the more power we give them.

Taking that into account, psychologists have broken social proof down into six categories:

One: Celebrity

This is the most commonly understood approach to social proof. Basically, it’s when a celebrity endorses a product or service. Think about this through the Kardashians. They have all kinds of products and services they promote on social media. Not only does this share information about the product or service, but people who admire, or aspire to be the Kardashians now transfer their trusted feelings about the family to the product or service.

Two: Expert

Expert social proof is about legitimacy. The idea here is that someone who we see as having a higher level of information than we do about something is giving us advice about which product or service is the best choice.

Three: User

This is a simple – yet effective – review system. When people are genuinely buying and endorsing products or services, others trust those recommendations. The idea is that these reviews are unbiased as the users aren’t being paid for them.

Four: Certification

This is about approval. When you are given recognized certifications, such as an award or even the blue checkmark on Twitter, that shows a level of credibility and respect. That is enough to make many customers give your business a second look!

Five: Wisdom of friends

This social proof occurs when friends are the ones endorsing a product or service. The wisdom of friends is a strong form of social media marketing because there is already trust in place. When friends suggest something, we are more likely to listen to them because of that trust. 

Six: Wisdom of the crowd

Wisdom of the crowd is about numbers. It happens when a large group of people all endorse your company, brand, product, or service. The idea is usually: “how can so many people be wrong?”

All these forms of social proof are great, but how do you use them in your social media marketing?

How can you implement social proof into your social media marketing strategy? Here are a few ways:

  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Working with influencers
  • Promoting partners and connections
  • Sharing milestones
  • Promoting press coverage
  • Curating user generated content
  • Getting verified

All of these social media marketing techniques incorporate one or more of the forms of social proof.

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