Through the course of a day, humans make several decisions regarding a whole host of issues. However, many of them aren’t aware that they don’t make the majority of those decisions themselves.
Someone else is controlling your decision-making process.
There’s this phenomenon known as social proof. The term ‘herd mentality’ might be more familiar.
Generally, what this means is that you make most decisions based on what other people are doing. This is mainly because, on an innate level, we all want to be part of the group. No one wants to stand out.
For long, marketers have taken advantage of this natural phenomenon to advertise their brands and products.
In the digital era, this herd behavior is particularly apparent in several social media marketing strategies. Words such as ‘influencers’ make the rounds because of this concept. However, there are several other ways social proof comes into play.
In this article, we peel away the layers of this phenomenon. We show you how you can apply it in your Shopify marketing strategy to take your brand to the next level.
Social proof is great for boosting ecommerce sales but you need a high-converting store to make the most of it. Click here to get Debutify, the highest converting free Shopify theme.
How To Apply Social Proof In Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
You like music, but you don’t really mind what kind of headphones you use. Heck, you can’t even distinguish between the different audio qualities of the different brands.
But now you find yourself really attached to a particular brand. You can’t even entertain the idea of buying another pair from a different manufacturer. You go ahead and buy your preferred brand. You’re delighted with your decision.
But was it really your decision?
How can you, a self-confessed audio amateur, know that this brand is better than the next technically-similar brand?
The answer is simple. You’ve seen other people wearing these particular headphones; sportsmen, notable musicians and even your friends.
This is social proof in action on a marketing level.
Let’s get down to it. This is how you can use social proof in your Shopify store to sell more.
Highlight Customer Testimonials On Your Site
92 percent of people trust a recommendation of a product from a peer. And that is to be expected. After all, they know the person and can vouch for their honesty.
However, 70 percent of those same people trust a recommendation from a complete stranger.
This means that if you put up testimonials from previous customers, potential customers will trust them regardless of their relationship with those prior buyers.
Customer testimonials are an efficient way to drum up trust in your individual products and the overall brand.
Off the top of your head, select a handful of online stores you know. Check out their homepage. Chances are, you will find customer testimonials in a carousel or other format.
This form of social proof is next to foolproof.
And to make it even more so, add photos of the previous customers who have used the product. This humanizes the testimonial, making it real and not something that a computer algorithm spewed out.
Debutify offers several ways to display social proof on your ecommerce store with its in-built testimonials section and its wide range of powerful add-ons. Debutify offers the Live View add-on that shows the number of people viewing your product page, the Trust Badge add-on that displays a trust badge under the add-to-cart and checkout buttons, and the Sales Pop add-on that shows a notification of other purchases being made in your store.
Collaborate With Online Influencers
Some accounts on the various social media platforms carry sway over the masses. The personalities are usually celebrities. Even more common are those that are considered thought leaders in their given niches.
For any new product relevant to that niche, several individuals in your target market will turn their attention to that personality to see their take on the item.
These personalities are known as influencers.
Partnering with influencers to promote your brand enables you to gain priceless social mileage. Association with the given influencer is seen as approval of your products and brand.
If you have a larger social media marketing budget, you can leverage the power of celebrities. Naturally, masses already look up to celebrities. They try to copy everything the star does.
If they endorse your brand, the celebrity’s fans will jump on the bandwagon, buying your products and further spreading your brand’s name.
Take care to collaborate with celebrities and influencers who relate to your product. This will make their message to the masses more genuine. Genuineness carries a lot of weight in social media influence.
Show Buyer Activity Regarding Different Products
The whole point of social proof in Shopify marketing is to get your potential customers to make purchasing decisions. And these decisions should be based on what they think other buyers have done.
An effective way of doing this is by showing buyer activity for different products.
For example, once a potential customer adds an item to their cart, you can display ‘People also viewed’ or something along those lines. The prospective buyer will be compelled to view those products.
This falls under another related phenomenon – fear of missing out (FOMO).
You can also induce this by showing real-time figures depicting buying activity. Some Shopify themes – including Debutify – allow you to show purchases from other buyers just as they’re happening with the Sales Pop add-on it offers.
When a potential customer sees several others buying the product, they are compelled to buy so that they don’t miss out on its benefits.
Use Experts To Convince Your Target Market
The words and opinions of an expert carry a lot of weight. When they speak about a particular product, interested individuals pay attention.
When potential customers see these expert contributions on your social media channels, they are willing to buy your products.
Furthermore, the expert’s fans and followers can find out about your brand and products. This opens up another market for you – a market that you hadn’t even targeted in your Shopify marketing strategy.
You can use experts to vouch for your product. Alternatively, you can decide to omit the direct sale altogether.
Instead, let the expert take and answer questions from your audience. Just the fact that you were able to host a thought-leader plays well in the minds of your target audience and other interested parties.
An added advantage is that people will look to your brand when looking for a solution to a problem in the niche. The increased brand authority is more than worth it.
Show Off Your Media Mentions
Mass media influences the perception of several things. These range from day-to-day affairs to brands and their products. Media can be television, radio, newspapers or even magazines. In the digital era, add websites and noted social media channels to that list.
There’s a common saying, “People believe what they see on tv.” This attests to the power that the media has over people’s beliefs and decision-making.
If your brand has been mentioned in different media, show off these mentions on your homepage. These can be excerpts from magazines, websites or videos which featured your product.
You can set up Google Alerts that let you know each time your brand is mentioned by a media outlet.
Lately, podcasts are popular. On your social media channels, you can post links to the podcasts where your product or brand was featured. Better yet, you, a well-known influencer or expert, might have made an appearance on said podcast and talked about your brand.
When your target audience sees or listens to these media mentions, they are likely to pay more attention to your brand. This leads to more conversions because respectable outfits have mentioned your brand or products.
Who Has Used Your Product Before?
For the more established online stores, social proofing works when you display other brands that have used your products.
On many websites, you can see a selection of notable brands displayed. This makes your target audience trust you more because they see other significant businesses that are your customers.
Even when your brand doesn’t carry a lot of clout in the industry, displaying the brands you’ve worked with lets you borrow some of their authority.
After all, if a big company X has used your product, who am we to believe that your offering isn’t worth it.
Display Social Shares
Your social media marketing strategy probably includes sharing blog posts through the appropriate channels.
How can you show the readers and potential buyers that your brand is worth the time? You can display the social share numbers on the page.
In many blogs, the share buttons are located near the author’s name under the title. You can show the number of times that the article has been shared on the different social media platforms.
To conform to the herd, the reader is more likely to share the article via their own social accounts. This increases brand visibility and also increases the amount of traffic to your site when people follow the links embedded in your blog posts.
Social proof is one of the many strategies you can employ to increase sales in your Shopify store. Using the above methods, you can get a headstart in your mission to make your Shopify marketing efforts more effective.
It’s not enough to boost your social proof without setting up a high-converting store for that social proof to work on. Click here to get Debutify, the highest converting free Shopify theme.