I recently came across a brand of health vitamins which promised to not only grow my hair, but additionally make my skin glow, reduce stress, improve my digestion and basically better my entire existence. My initial thought; "Bullshit." Time after time, I kept seeing the evidence of before and after pictures posted by influencers. My second thought; "They're probably getting paid $10,000 a post for this, I’m not falling for it". Finally, one by one, my friends starting purchasing them…Soon everyone around me was popping these magical vitamins and raving, assuring me they actually work. My final purchasing decision; "I want them all, and I want them now". Who's to know if this is just the result of the placebo effect and we're all absolute idiots, but it did make me think.
You see, when a friend, family or even the general public recommends a product, you're more likely to take their endorsement seriously. This comes down to a deeply rooted psychological bias of trusting in other people to know best - even complete strangers. It's herd mentality, the belief that the majority knows better so the best way to make a decision is to base it on another person’s decision. People also justify the decision they have made and encourage peers to join them in it.
Humans are an indecisive bunch, so if we see a line out the door of a restaurant that lends merit to our expectation of quality and service and we're more inclined to try it than the empty one down the block. We are now living in a generation where purchase behaviour is primarily influenced by others, suggesting an underlying belief that the word of others holds more truth than "us advertisers". Here are some noteworthy statistics from Podium about social proof and what works best:
Social proof simplifies decision making. Consumers used to rely on neighbours, friends and family when searching for a new product or service. With life in fast forward thanks to technology, the availability of rapid information is at your fingertips and what was once word of mouth has moved to online reviews and testimonials.
In fact, many of our clients like Australian Plants Online, Sunshine Coast Coffee Roastery, Ray White North Ryde and Queensland Business Sales are utilising a review strategy as part of their April Ford advertising campaigns. The result of using these recommendations include higher search results, constructive feedback and ultimately a closer relationship with customers.
By investing in your review strategy, you're investing in your customer community. Reviews build trust by validating why people should buy your product or service. Depending on your product or service, reviews and testimonials could be your business’ best marketing too. Your online reviews can be the thing to encourage the prospective customer to purchase. It can be tricky to implement a powerful word-of-mouth strategy without putting effort into growing social proof. Book a consultation with Brendan for a chat first, and we will make your product or service worth talking about.