Customers have long been influenced by their peers’ opinions.
That’s why 84 percent of consumers trust referrals from people they know, according to Nielson. The trustworthiness of personal recommendations over traditional advertising has influencer marketing rising in popularity. And, as marketing techniques evolve, a new buzzword surfaces: social proof.
What is social proof?
Social proof is the concept that other people’s (or society’s) actions and behaviors influence your customers’. The idea is that if someone else is doing or buying something, it must be the right or best thing to do or buy.
According to Hubspot, there are five main types of social proof:
EXPERT SOCIAL PROOF
An industry expert endorses or promotes a product or brand.
CELEBRITY SOCIAL PROOF
A celebrity endorses or promotes a product or brand.
USER SOCIAL PROOF
The brand’s own users provide positive feedback.
“WISDOM OF CROWDS” SOCIAL PROOF
Lots of people are buying or using a product or brand.
“WISDOM OF FRIENDS” SOCIAL PROOF
Your friends, family and colleagues are buying or using a product or brand.
While each type of social proof is unique, they have the same key message: a person or a group of people give their stamp of approval.
How does social proof influence customers?
Social proof influences your lingerie business’s customers because the customers trust the “proof.” For example, the product description of your lingerie business’s best-selling panty might say, “10,000 pairs sold.”
This is an example of “wisdom of the crowds” social proof. The high number of customers who have bought the panty is impressive. Sharing that number says crowds of people have bought this item from your lingerie store and loved it. That number provides social proof to other customers that the product must be good.
How can your lingerie store use social proof?
Lingerie store owners can provide social proof online and offline. Lingerie store owners must consider what types of social proof they have to work with, as well as which type would be most effective for specific uses.
Here are some examples of how lingerie store owners can use social proof:
Are your customers raving about your lingerie business and products? Display those glowing reviews!
SHOW CERTIFICATES OR AWARDS
Getting a certification or receiving an award that’s industry-related signifies authority. Make sure your audience knows when you receive an award or certification.
SHARE MEDIA MENTIONS
Being featured in the media also establishes your lingerie business as an authority in the industry. Don’t forget to share media mentions across your channels, even if it’s a simple Tweet from a prestigious account.
SHOW THE NUMBERS
Did you just reach 10,000 Instagram followers? Do you have a substantial number of email subscribers? Numbers are factual, and facts don’t lie. Show your audience impressive numbers when you can.
PARTNER WITH SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS
Social media influencers are valuable because they’ve built trust with their audiences. Partner with multiple micro-influencers, and you’ll have “wisdom of crowds” and user social proof.
RECRUIT BRAND AMBASSADORS
Recruiting brand ambassadors has similar effects as partnering with influencers. The difference is brand ambassadors work with your lingerie business long-term.
COLLABORATE WITH EXPERTS
Experts are held to high-regard in their fields. Collaborating with a relevant expert can establish authority for your lingerie store.
Social proof is important today because of how much customers rely on other customers’ feedback. Of course, not all social proof is positive. It’s possible that lingerie store owners may deal with negative social proof. (An example of this may be a poor review.) It’s important to remember that just as positive social proof can influence customers to buy from your lingerie store, negative social proof can have the opposite effect.