All smart marketers know that adding social proof can increase your conversion rate. That’s why big brands like Amazon, WordPress, MailChimp, and just about every other company, use social proof on their site.
What is social proof?
Definition of social proof: Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to others’ actions under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behaviour.
Marketers use social proof as a tactic for conversion rate optimization by easing the minds of worried customers.
There’s no denying the power of social proof. Studies show that nearly 70 percent of online consumers look at a product review prior to purchasing.
Even more, telling is the fact that product reviews are 12-times more trusted than product descriptions and sales copy from manufacturers.
In other words, consumers want proof from their peers and unbiased 3rd parties—not the brands selling the products. The best way to understand the social proof is by looking at some real-life social proof examples that you encounter on a daily basis…
Restaurants often have limited space in reception areas so that people waiting for a table will be forced to wait outside. This shows people passing by that the restaurant is in high demand.
As a result, a passerby is more likely to visit the restaurant in the future.
Stores will often post pictures of celebrities who have shopped on the premises in order to subconsciously tell customers that high authority figures approve of their products and services.
Country clubs often require people to join a waitlist in order to obtain memberships. While waitlists are sometimes needed to prevent too many members from joining, the reality is that they’re frequently implemented to make clubs seem more exclusive.
As you can see, social proof is all around you. And while you’re often subject to social proof as a customer, it’s imperative that you begin to leverage it on your own website. When used effectively, social proof can drastically and swiftly improve online conversions.
6 Types of Social Proof
Customers – Social proof from your existing customers or users (e.g., testimonials or case studies) in the form of UGC.
Experts – Social proof from credible and esteemed experts in your industry (e.g., experts who exhibit the same behaviours you want our visitors to).
Celebrities – Social proof from celebrities or other influencers (e.g., celebrities who have bought your product or visited your establishment).
Crowds – Large numbers of people who provide social proof (e.g., “300,000+ websites use the OptinMonster lead generation software to get more email subscribers”)
Friends – People who are friends of your users/website visitors (e.g., “50 of your friends like OptinMonster”).
Certifications – A credible, 3rd party entity that certifies that you are a knowledgeable, high- quality or trustworthy source (e.g., “USDA Certified Organic”).
Applying social proof to real estate
There are many opportunities to apply the philosophy of social proof to your real estate marketing.
On your website
Take a look at the copy on your website and identify opportunities where you could improve your leads with the help of social proof.
Boost the idea that yours is the agency to go with by using simple statements like “More than 20,000 happy property vendors can’t be wrong”, or “Contact us to find out why 3 out of 5 local sellers choose our agency”.
Testimonials are a tried and tested form of social proofing. Go a step beyond written recommendations and record videos of your clients explaining, in their own words and publish them on your channel. Now you can embed YouTube channel on your website, this will work as the best social proof for your business.
If video isn’t possible, try to accompany the testimonial with a photo, this proves the statement is from real clients. Keep your testimonials up to date – a recommendation from three years ago has far less impact than one from last week.
Being a source of industry information to news outlets and other media sends a powerful message to the market and validates you professionally.
It can take time to build your reputation as the go-to person, but the media is always on the lookout for a new angle.
If you are consistent and provide timely, helpful information (in the form of a press release or social media post, for example), you will eventually make your way onto local journalists’ contact lists.
When you are mentioned in the media, you have a brand new promo opportunity. Share it across your social media profiles, create a page on your website that hosts links to your interviews, and add quotes from articles to your market reports. You could also add “as seen in” icons to your website with the logos of the popular publications or TV channels such as fubo channel that have quoted you.
Your content (property or agent branding) being your virtual personal assistant shared or mentioned on social media is social proof gold. Shares represent authentic engagement and have the opportunity to be exposed to hundreds, even thousands of other people.
To encourage the ‘social proof’ impact that comes with successful social media management, build a wide and strong base of connections and followers. If you put a post up and somebody mentions that they enjoyed reading it, ask them to comment and share with their own network.
There is a “give, and you shall receive” element to social proofing. Give mentions and social validations to the businesses that you are aligned with, and they’ll start to do the same for you.
Case studies take testimonials to a new level – they tell the story of your success in detail.
Showcasing a beautiful home on auction day, the crowd of excited buyers, and a happy vendor post-sale, will inspire others to re-create the successful experience for themselves. You can have some fun creating case studies, like having a video team present at the auction. This not only offers a dynamic way to capture the case study, but it adds anticipation and energy to the day’s events.