Why social proof is critical when selling products on Instagram
As humans, we all have a desire to fit in and be accepted for who we are. That affects our purchasing habits – and that’s the number one reason why you need social proof when you’re selling online, but especially on Instagram. Social proof refers to potential customers assuming their actions (buying with you) are the correct ones to take, based on the frequency they see those actions.
Think about it this way. If you see a restaurant you’ve never been to before, but you notice it’s super crowded, you’ll likely be interested in going there because people obviously enjoy it. You may not go that day because maybe you’re too hungry to wait out the crowd, or you just don’t want to be around that many people. But, you’ll likely put it in the back of your mind that you need to go check it out sooner rather than later – and at the very least, will find yourself looking up reviews to see what the social proof says.
What makes social proof important?
Testimonials are one of the biggest and easiest forms of social proof to collect. If you’re not doing it already, you should be. It’s a missed opportunity, so make sure you’re reaching out to past customers and encouraging them to leave reviews that you can then share on your website.
Social proof – particularly testimonials – are important because they add credibility to the products and services you offer. Most people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends and family. That’s why influencer marketing has become so popular and part of many brands’ marketing strategies. Social proof even helps with your search engine optimization efforts because it adds more favorable language about your business in various places online.
And when you take the time to reach out to your customers for their opinions, you show that you care about their experience with your band. This, in turn, strengthens the relationship you have with them, and the likelihood that they will recommend you to people they know, both online and off.
How can you get social proof?
One the quickest and easiest ways to build social proof on Instagram is to buy Instagram followers in minutes. When people see thousands of people following your accounting or liking your photos, they are more likely to like it too, so they can fit in with the rest of the crowd.
There are several other ways you can get social proof, too. And for maximum effect, it’s best to have a mix of many types – across your social media channels and your website.
Other options include:
- Working with Influencers: Influencers are those who have already gained trust online with the audience you’re trying to attract. Use the trust they’ve gained to connect your products to the people you want to market to.
By working with an influencer, you already show your audience you have enough social proof to have won their trust – because if that influencer is working with you, then what you offer must be good enough for their following, too. Not only will it help build brand awareness, but it may also encourage some of those influencers’ followers to come to follow you, too.
There’s nothing wrong with working with multiple influencers on a campaign, as long as you can track which influencer is giving you the most results. Also, don’t discount micro influencers. Just because their following hasn’t reached celebrity status doesn’t mean their audience doesn’t trust them. Look more at the engagement rate than follower count.
- Online reviews: If you have reviews of your products and services in other places online like Yelp, Amazon, or Google, then take the time to share these on your website and social media channels.
Highlight your best reviews on Instagram and tag the person who left the review, if possible. They will appreciate the shoutout.
- Survey new clients: After your customer receives their product, give them ample time to try it out, and then reach back out to them, asking them to provide their feedback.
To increase your response rate, you can compensate them with a free gift or discount code/coupon for their time. This feedback not only creates social proof but gives you an idea of improvements you can make to your offerings to keep people happy and coming back for more.
- Encourage user-generated content: Use a hashtag to track customer responses to your products and make it easier to find them. As noted by ViralRace, you’ll get more Instagram traction this way, and have plenty of social proof to go with it. Hashtags make it easier for people to find your content – so coming up with a branded hashtag to use in your marketing campaigns is essential to harnessing the power of user-generated content.
Social proof only gets stronger with time, because over time, you’ll have more to collect and display. If you focus on providing quality products and customer service to the people who buy from you and refer customers to you, the social proof will come much easier.
If you focus solely on trying to push people to give you that social proof, you’ll cause the overall customer experience to suffer, and when that happens, you can bet that people will start to speak negatively about working with your business. Negative comments are much harder to overcome, so always put the customer experience first and work to keep it as pleasant as possible.
The editorial unit