Social proofing is a psychological phenomenon that causes people to embrace the ideas and beliefs of others with little to no additional information. Businesses that have successfully utilized social proofing have received wide gains from the impact of this phenomenon without even necessarily offering a product that was worthwhile. A good example of how this works takes place every holiday season. There is always one hit toy that every parent decides they need to buy for their child. In a lot of cases, the child does not even express a desire for this toy, but the parent becomes completely wrapped up in the idea that it is the only toy worth having due to the social impact of listening to others rave about it.
In order to social proof your online business you need to encourage the creation of a high level of word of mouth about your product or service. This can be most effectively done by asking several of your most loyal regulars to post reviews. When other people see the glowing things that you customers have said, they will immediately feel more inclined to purchase something from you.
Another important thing to consider is the strength of numbers. For example, if your Facebook fan page has 5,000 fans, then people are instantly going to be more interested in your product than a competitor who only has 500 fans. The quality of a product can often matter less to people, at least at first, than the sense of inclusion that comes from going along with a crowd. People are inherently social creatures, and it is very tempting to follow all of the same trends. This is why most people, when given the choice, will opt to go to a movie that all of their friends saw as opposed to one that no one else had even heard of.
In addition to building your base of followers on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, you should also show off the number of visitors that your site has. If you are just starting out, it is a good idea to hide your site’s counter until it reaches a decent number. Once that number has been hit, though, you definitely want to let people see it. Even if they are unfamiliar with your product when they end up on your website, they will want to know why 100,000 other people have clicked on it before them.
Go through your comments and customer reviews to find the ones than provide the most well-written, compelling argument for why your company or product is the best one to utilize. Take these comments and showcase them for the world to see. When other potential customers see how your current customers feel about your product, they will instantly be more drawn to it. Make sure that you only use real comments, though, as some people will be naturally suspicious of praise and they will seek to prove that you made the comments up.
By utilizing the positive aspects of your online presence, you can instantly attract the attention of thousands of new customers. Just remember that everyone wants to feel included in something that is already popular, and provide easy to access statistics and reviews that help potential customers determine that your product or service is popular.