The concept that people in certain situations copy the actions of others is important to harness the power of social proof in your marketing.
Read for 4 minutes
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Imagine you're in a small town on business and you're getting hungry. You notice that there are two restaurants in the market square: one has two cars in the parking lot – you suspect a waiter and the cook's car – and the other has 20. Which one are you driving with?
Your brain will most likely choose the safer option, and no matter what they're on sale tonight, you choose the one who has the cars in the parking lot.
Why are we doing this
The social behaviorist Robert Cialdini calls this human behavior "informational social influence". It is the concept that in certain situations people, out of a desire for security, copy the actions of others. That's why we buy something online that has more reviews than anything else. So we ask, “What are you wearing?” To our friends before they go to a new event. It is also why most wait for others to stand before standing in church to sing.
We protect ourselves by choosing something others have done before us, but it's more than an awakening why you are very good at cheering your team on. It's about how you can capitalize on the growth of your business using this phenomenon.
Similar: To attract wealthy customers on social media
Here are four ways to use informational social influence.
1. Tell stories about your customers in your marketing text
When showcasing what you are doing / selling / offering share stories from your own customers as examples of how what you are selling delivers what you promise. Make it as specific as you can because every time you add actual numbers and specific details, it provides social evidence.
2. Interview customers in your content
Show your past and current customers regularly in your content. We do an interview with one of our coaching clients every month to put them in the spotlight and showcase the kind of people who work with us. This creates interest in what we are doing and helps our prospects to work with us.
Present your best success stories and give your prospects something to shoot for and new customers a clear path to success. We have successfully used awards in our coaching program to award students when they reach five-digit sales and then again in the sixth and seventh areas, all from an online program they created with us. It's incredibly powerful in not only recognizing the program, but also inspiring students to take the next step themselves.
4. Expand your social fan base
When you visit someone's social media page and they only have 43 followers, there isn't much trust that they are the ultimate authority on what you hire them to do. The same goes for your company. People want to work with the "in-demand" choice for their niche. A large fan base and social proof increase the power of persuasion for a prospect to take the next step with you. More followers drive post engagement, which instantly instills trust for new people who see your post on your newsfeed. We have long been teaching how to get followers quickly and it is amazing how online success is changing rapidly with our students changing this.
Related: How to Make a Big Go-To-Market Out of Your Small List
Whether you use multiple social influence strategies or just start with one, it's incredibly important to highlight those who have chosen to do business with you before others do. Try social influence as the ultimate lever for more leads and sales.