How Social Proof Influences Purchasing Decisions
What if you were told that every day of your life includes decisions being made with the help of social proof without you even realizing it?
Right from your choice of cereal in the morning to the particular pub you hit on a Friday night to your favorite sitcom – many decisions are driven by Social Proof.
So, what is social proof?
Social Proof is the concept that people subconsciously conform to the actions of others, believing that those actions are the most acceptable ( as they are tried and tested). We often find ourselves in situations where we aren’t sure of the appropriate decision to make – so we end up relying on others to show us the way.
It is the same reason TV shows use canned laughter to point out the funniest bits; the reason movie posters come with a thumbs up review – the core idea behind social proof being that, because someone else had a positive experience, you would too.
But, does this tangibly affect purchasing decisions?
With the advent of social media, social proof has become more than just a part of product promotion. Today, it is the lead driving force behind modern day marketing.
In fact, this isn’t even a new phenomenon. Baseball legend Babe Ruth was roped in by Red Rock Cola back in the 1930s to drive sales. When Mr. Ruth was seeing drinking the soft drink, so did his legions of fans.
Social proof has always been an integral part of advertising. However, endorsements are no longer things that come to us from the confines of a television screen or a newspaper. They are everywhere; perhaps even in places you least expect them – constantly influencing your mind – 24×7.
The role of social media
Take social media networks like Instagram or Youtube, for instance. Celebrities on these networks have become legitimate tools for building brand awareness and reach.
Social media’s uniqueness lies in its nature to draw people in; creating an illusion of constant insight into a celebrity’s inner world. When Kim Kardashian makes one post about how wonderful her latest hair product is, amidst a host of many others; her followers gain immediate interest in the product because of the endorsement from someone they love and trust.
The role of online reviews
The number game!
- 74% People that trust social networks to guide purchase decisions.
- 49% of people say they rely on influencer recommendations.
- Consumers said they consider star rating as the principal factor in judging a company.
- Only 13% consumers would even consider doing business with a brand rated 1 to 2 stars.
When put together, these statistics point towards a clear correlation between online reviews and consumer purchasing decision.
Social proof is the most important tool in influencing a potential buyer about a product’s trustworthiness. When a trusted influencer tells us they had a wonderful experience with a purchase, we are inclined to believe them.
It’s all about building a successful narrative
The secret to making a great sales pitch lies in the power to tell a great story. A story can transport buyers from their subjective state of mind into the narrative you are weaving.
The most successful narratives are the ones that can persuade the viewer to take a decision that you want them to take – narratives that can cause them to forget that they are, in fact, being pitched to.
Did you ever think the long queues outside pubs were designed to lure more people in and make the place seem more popular?
Essentially by appealing to our FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), companies are using Social Proof to extend our propensity to consume.
The rise of micro-influencers and non-celebrity endorsements
Manhattan-based beauty startup Glossier has earned their overnight cult status to their ever-growing group of superfans and micro influencers instead of paying big-name celebrities to promote their skincare and cosmetics, the brand relies on regular women to spread brand awareness. 90% of Glossier’s revenues doesn’t come from paid or big marketing spend, but comes from their highly engaged fans and influencers.
Glambassador is an influencer marketing platform with over 12,000 global influencers with a combined social reach of over 120 million followers. The platform exists to bridge the gap between influencers and brands by helping brands identify and collaborate with both macro and micro influencers to create sponsored posts. It’s incredibly easy to get up and running. Start a campaign today by registering and finding a suitable brand rep for your niche.
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