Four Ways To Build Social Proof | SMH Branding

Big and small beauty brands are utilizing social proof to sell more online. These brands know that displaying social proof on their website helps visitors overcome their hesitation to buy. 

Beauty shoppers are pretty critical of brands and sometimes won’t trust them at first glance.  Most shoppers are looking to see what other people have said about a product before they purchase. This practice of "social buying" naturally goes hand-in-hand with "social media selling," which is the practice of using social media and social networks to prospect and close sales. 

Social proof can take on many forms across multiple channels. A few key media are:

  • Word of mouth
  • Customer reviews
  • Content creation
  • Social shares
  • Endorsements

Social proof can be an effective marketing tactic for a number of reasons. The most basic motivating force behind social proof is the bandwagon effect, a social psychology concept which states that people are more likely to engage in an action if other people are doing it. For example, if over two million people have purchased your body lotion and enjoyed it, the wisdom of the crowd dictates that you are likely to enjoy the product too.

Testimonials

One of the best ways to build social proof is by gathering as many testimonials possible. 44.7% of beauty customers said that “reviews are their biggest influence in deciding to make a purchase from a specific brand”, which was just behind referrals from a friend. That means that most of your shoppers are looking for reviews to make their decisions. And, you guessed it, reviews are a form of social proof! 

Just saying that your product works isn’t enough to convince people to buy it. What does compel people to pull out their wallets however, is a testimonial from someone that has used your product and had a positive experience.

There are a couple of tried and true incentives that you can use to gather reviews and testimonials like offering a

  • Discount on their next purchase
  • Free gift 
  • Loyalty points

You don’t always have to incentivize reviews. You can simply ask your customers. Make it easy for them to leave a review in one of your transactional emails. 

Influencer Marketing

The best part about influencer marketing is that it’s not terribly difficult to do. Influencers could be someone with a very active social media following, a celebrity, an industry expert or anyone else that has influence over a group of people you’re trying to reach.

Working with one loyal influencer is okay to have, but why not maximize your marketing results by working with an army of lookalike influencers who could promote your brand? Micro-influencers support each other and they talk about your brand to other influencers. They leave comments on each other's pages and share each other's posts. Work with two or more influencers to help promote your products will help to build social proof and trust in your brand.

User Generated Content

Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t, or maybe you think you're a UGC expert. Wherever you fall on the spectrum - there’s one thing we know for sure. UGC is valuable. And it won’t hurt - in fact, it will be incredibly helpful - to spend some time improving your User-Generated Content strategy. 

Brands have immense scope for leveraging the power of user generated content on social media. Millions of photos are uploaded daily for thousands of beauty brands without them even asking for it. Beauty customers LOVE to show off their purchases.

Using UGC helps your brand tell a story and connect emotionally with your customers. It also helps you show what your products look like in real life which helps your shopper imagine themselves in that scenario. 

Your UGC strategy should look a little like this:

  • Come up with a creative (and unused) hashtag for your brand 
  • Tell customers what hashtag they should be using when they upload their photos 
    • Add it to your packaging 
    • Mention it in your Instagram bio
  • Gather your user-generated content with a social proof app
  • Curate and display your images and show them off on
    • Your website as a customer photo wall
    • Social media 
  • Rinse and repeat. 
    • Give your customers an incentive to post UGC (like loyalty points)
    • Offer to feature them on your social media
    • Create a fun contest or giveaway using your branded hashtag

FOMO

FOMO stands for the fear of missing out. It’s a psychological phenomenon in which a person feels left out because he missed out on something interesting.

A lot of data suggests that FOMO is most prevalent among millennials. Around 69% of millennials experience the phenomenon, and according to Strategy Online, 60% of millennials make reactive purchases because of FOMO. In other words, they’ll buy something just because they feel they might miss out.

FOMO is one of the most powerful tools that large brands and beauty marketplaces use to drive sales! Plenty of big brands create FOMO by creating these scenarios:

  • Cart Scarcity 
  • Temporary Promocode

Lots of brands will create FOMO by :

  • Coming out with limited editions of product
  • Displaying how many people are currently looking at a product 
  • Showing shoppers that there is low-stock of the product they are currently looking at
  • Create a private Facebook Group

The best beauty brands know that shoppers will be scared that they’ll miss out on an amazing product if they wait too long!

 In conclusion

Driving social proof with a loyalty program is the best way to create a viral loop that keeps customers coming back and helps you to acquire new customers through your existing ones. Demonstrating social proof on your website is an authentic way to market your beauty product and connect with your audience. 

If you want to learn more about curating a solid brand make sure you visit checkout our Masterclass: How to Build a Beauty Brand! 

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