The Power of Social Proof: Building Trust in the 21st Century

  Social Proof

The Power of Social Proof: Building Trust in the 21st Century

It may have been in the year 2007, outside a subway station in Washington D.C. that we first fully understood the power of social proof.

Ask one of the finest classical violinists of that time to dress casually, stand against the wall and perform some of the most challenging music. Then watch as just over 1000 people walk past.

They would notice, right?

Apparently not. The experiment happened, organised by Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post and Joshua Bell (the world famous violinist). Almost no-one stopped or paid much attention at all.

So what does this tell us? Had he dressed in a tuxedo, had passers-by known it cost from $100 per seat at his sold-out concert 3 days prior, how different would it have been?

It seems clear. Social proof would have led to many more taking the opportunity to stop and watch something they would otherwise have had to pay a lot for, or perhaps could not afford.

The experiment, although years before we understood the true power of social proof for websites and e-commerce, made the point well.



We can look beyond this and see the evidence for ourselves. Reports online suggest that 91% of people read online testimonials and reviews on a regular basis. I am one of those, are you? Significantly, 84% trust these in the same way they would a recommendation from friends or family.

Now those are powerful numbers.

A surprised cat

And what if I told you that decision making and taking action, the thing we want our clients and customers to do, happens quickly for 68% after reading between one and six testimonials or reviews.

We have evidence of the impact of social proof. We know it works, and we see how powerful it has become. So how is your business using this to maximise potential? 

To drill down into what is the potential, it will likely depend on your business type and industry. Though based what we know so far, people want to know what people thought about you.

Let me ask you this. On your website today, will visitors see glowing testimonials from your past and existing customers?

If not, then you have lost the chance of gaining immediate trust from 84% of those visitors, or of 68% making a decision there and them. Numbers aside, you want as every other business wants; that customers buy quickly and will want to return for more.

People queuing

The social landscape nowadays has reviews and testimonials all over the place, from Google to Facebook, from TripAdvisor to Trustpilot. Your visitors can potentially find all these for themselves, if they feel inclined, and build trust in who you are.

Alternatively, you can do that for them. Bring the best of all the reviews and testimonials to your website. Let your visitors be impressed straight away, without effort. If they wish, for confirmation they can always double-check the source. Does that sound like a lot of work for you? It's far less than you might think, but we will get to that in a minute.

For now, picture those visitors streaming into your website. Presented first with key business details, and then the very next thing, several 5 star reviews of your service and support.

Remember, we only need one to six testimonials to make a difference. Then trust is built. Confidence is gained. Decision making is now a much clearer process for that potential client or customer.

That is what we call a win.

People winning

Not every business will have enough testimonials to get the benefits. In that case, go to existing customers and ask for a testimonial. Would doing that bother you? From reports online, it seems for a number of business owners, it does.

Let me resolve that for you, here and now. Use a tool that automates the the testimonial request from the customer and displays it if it meets the right criteria.

Sounds simple? It is. Endorsal makes it simple — try it for yourself.

Make the difference between a good business website with good business info, to one where other people say how great you are.

Which one would you buy from?

Great testimonials show real people saying real things about your business.

That might just be the most powerful marketing tool we have at our disposal in 2020.

Collecting high-quality testimonials is important to every business.

But it's always been a long, painful game of back-and-forth.

Endorsal streamlines the whole process by fully automating it, saving your business time and money.

Increase conversions, build customer loyalty and strengthen your brand.

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