Social Proof is a body of visual evidence that proves that your business is making waves within your industry. While trying to sale clients on why they should put their best foot forward online, many digital strategy companies still encounter businesses that skeptically say, “If you think my business needs to participate in social media to make my company thrive online, you need to prove it!” Social Proof is the visual element of proving the value of having an online presence. At one time, having a high score on a star-based scale
(4 or 5 stars for example) was the dominant Social Proof belief system while comments were assumed to be fixed or corrupted. The emerging popularity of social networking changed Social Proof. It became more interactive and flirty.
Many businesses still need convincing when it comes to why they should make room in their company budgets for social media. Social Proof, informational social influence, is a term that was originally known as a psychological phenomenon. Now, Social Proof is used in reference to demonstrating a following/support of an idea. Social media is the current and prominent Social Proof that many companies utilize to demonstrate their relevance in the market place. For example, the number of Facebook fans and/or Twitter followers you have, creates the assumption that your company has Social Proof or a tribe of supporters endorsing your product and services.
Furthermore, the more interactions you have with your fans or followers confirms that your current and/or potential customers enjoy engaging in any information available regarding your product. Dialogue amongst you, other industry experts and your customers is the strongest form of Social Proof. It indicates that your colleagues and customers believe that your company and product represent something worth conversing about. Social media analytics has continued the trend of Social Proof. This social networking report tool confirms a company’s relevance (or lack of) to those who need concrete evidence of who is interacting with a company online.
Social Proof is definitely relevant with companies experiencing cutbacks and those who closely watch their budgets. Clients want concrete proof on why they should invest in something that may not show a ROI immediately. Social Proof is often fueled by band-wagon trends, so if you can create a hunger for your product and service, have people comment on it and display its success in an analytic report form – your pudding will have a profitable result.