If I was a gambling man, I’d put money on this year’s OED word of the year being a phrase. Social Distancing.
And while we’re all social distancing, another social phrase is more important than ever.
Here’s what it is and why it’s so important.
Lockdown Lessons: The Power of Proof
Social proof is a really, really, really powerful psychological concept.
Basically, it means that when we see someone else behave in a certain way, we’re more likely to do it.
You wouldn’t stand out in the street clapping on your own. You’d think it was incredibly strange. But when the whole street comes out on a Thursday night to clap, suddenly it isn’t strange. In fact, it’s uplifting. It’s enjoyable. It’s desirable.
And marketing is all about making your products and services desirable.
The Five Types of Social Proof
There are five key ways to use social proof in your marketing.
There’s expert social proof – things like 9 out of ten dentists use Oral B toothpaste.
There’s celebrity social proof – like lifestyle brands getting instagram influencers to use their makeup.
There’s user, or crowd social proof – which is when you have large numbers of people saying “I’ve used this, it’s good”
And there’s certification – which is a stamp of approval like a blue tick on Twitter or a Google Partner logo on your website.
B2B Businesses Need Crowd Proof
If you’re selling a b2b product, I honestly believe social proof is now more important than ever.
In normal circumstances, businesses will take risks to try and get an edge on the competition. But these aren’t normal circumstances. Budgets are tight. So put yourself in the shoes of a procurement manager, or an owner operator.
They still have a need. That’s not changed. But which of these suppliers do you think they’re more likely to choose?
Supplier A, with a market-changing offering. The first of its kind. A brand new way to do brand new things that nobody else has even thought of.
Or Supplier B. With a tried and tested service that’s racked up dozens of five star reviews. With a reliable process that’s laid out in six in-depth case studies. With endorsements from other successful brands and an industry-recognised accreditation.
When making the right choice is a matter of survival, most customers are going to choose supplier B. The safe option. They’re going to want the reassurance that this has worked in the past, is working now, and will work for them in the future.
And the best way to demonstrate that, is with social proof.
It’s how you reassure people that they’re making the right choice by choosing you.
Take a Look Around
In my next video, I’m going to talk a little bit more about user-based social proof. I’ll explain how I used it to build my first business and set the stage for Hampson Nattan Williams. And I’ll show you how to do it for your business.
But for now, take a look around at your competitors, see how they use social proof, and find ways of making sure you look like an even safer choice than they are.