Social Proof: How to Build Trust & Increase Conversions (Guest Post)

This is the first in a series of posts from partners of us here at Antenna, the mobile-first commerce and content engagement platform. Author David Hoos is a Marketing Strategist at The Good, conversion rate experts based in Portland, OR.

Do you look at the reviews before you purchase something on Amazon? Do you look at Rotten Tomatoes before you decide whether to see the latest blockbuster?

That is called social proof. According to the data, online shoppers and prospects rely on it a lot as part of their decision making process. (And it’s the driving force behind Antenna.)

Research indicates that humans tend to reference the behavior of others to guide their behaviors and decisions. In fact, a 2013 study discovered that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where we reference the behavior of others to determine our own behavior.

It’s driven by our interest in making the best choice. We don’t have unlimited time to make a perfect objective decision so we turn to those around us to help guide our decisions.

Social proof is a way to build trust with a visitor quickly when they land on your site. Here are seven of the most common ways you can incorprate social proof into your website.

7 Types of Social Proof (with Examples)


Purchaser Reviews & Ratings

This is one of the most common types of social proof on the web. You’ve seen it everywhere from Amazon to Netflix to Yelp, and beyond. It’s just that effective. If you run an ecommerce website, adding reviews is particularly effective.

Testimonials from Users and Celebrities

We tend to trust words from those who we respect or who have experience. Collecting and displaying testimonials from some of your biggest users and fans is a great way to build trust.

(desk.com)

Trust Seals

Trust seals are particularly important on websites that handle sensitive information like financial or personal information. You need to show the lengths you have gone to to ensure your consumers are safe doing business with you.

Make sure you consider which trust seals will mean the most to your audience and use them strategically when visitors are being asked to provide sensitive information.

(http://baymard.com/blog/site-seal-trust)

Client Brands

One powerful way to increase brand credibility is to borrow the credibility of others. Include some of the brand names and logos of those you’ve done work for and the results you’ve delivered.

(thegood.com)

Featured-In Brands

Like the previous example, highlighting the news outlets that have featured your business or content can be an effective means of social proof.

They are especially effective if the brands you feature are more meaningful to your target audience.

(https://shareaholic.com/)

Strong Statistics

Data is powerful and acts as concentrated social proof. Since it’s often taken from larger sample of people and focused around a particular question, it can be very effective when tied to a related call to action.

(http://neilpatel.com/)

User Generated Content

There are multiple types of user generated content. In some cases you can actually build a campaign around your users generating content. In others, you’re simple including content that your users have already created.

Warby Parker does a great job of this, suggesting that customers use the hashtag #WarbyHomeTryOn to get feedback from their followers on their frames. See below:

(http://gatheredheart.blogspot.com/2012/03/warby-parker-home-try-on.html)

Start Earning Trust

Trust is the key to better engagement online. And trust is a key ingredient in higher conversions. The more a consumer is convinced that you can deliver what you promise, the better chance they’ll take the next step and do business with you.

If your customers don’t trust you, you’re going to lose business. Use social proof as a way to begin building that trust.

You won’t regret it. Trust me.

About David Hoos

David Hoos is a Marketing Strategist at The Good, conversion rate experts who deliver more revenues, customers, and leads. David and the team at The Good have made a practice of advising brands on how to see online revenue double through their conversion rate optimization services.


Try Antenna: Mobile-first social proof.

For a mobile-first approach to Ecommerce Social Proof, check out Antenna.

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