Use community backing right for a successful marketing strategy.
Table of Contents
- Social Proof Isn’t Always Ideal For Engaged Users
- Social Proof Shines With New Users
- Social Proof Embraces Engaged Users Through Nostalgia
- Wrap-Up on Social Proof Clichés
Have you ever scrolled through product reviews before making a purchase? What about scanning through restaurant ratings before booking a table?
Most likely, your answer is a resounding “Yes!”
This common behavior? It’s our reliance on social proof, our way of deciding. Psychologist Robert Cialdini labeled it — social proof: watching others, lessening our doubts.
Seeking validation? It’s in our DNA. Survival instincts drive us to trust others’ choices. No wonder this idea rules marketing and content creation. Every company competes for attention, showcasing their product engagement figures.
Social proof, hailed as a potent marketing strategy like FOMO, hides a crucial puzzle piece: when’s its best play?
As a marketer and consumer psychologist, I’m all about challenging trends. So, I delved deep to uncover social proof’s real impact.
Initially, I thought it was a definite win in any scenario. But hold on, here’s what I uncovered…
Social Proof Isn’t Always Ideal For Engaged Users
Engaged users drive any business, serving as its lifeblood — active, frequent, and loyal. Their loyalty highlights the necessity of proving social proof’s worth. That’s why I made investigating their response to social proof my top priority.
I split these engaged users — those using the service weekly for a month — into three groups to test social proof’s impact:
- Subject Line #1 Group (receiving subject lines with social proof)
- Subject Line #2 Group (receiving subject lines without social proof)
- A control group (no communication sent, our baseline for comparison)
Across both October and July, to consider seasonal variations, I sent weekly emails with changes limited to the subject lines:
- Subject Line #1: “Thousands of people get from A to B on their terms. Reserve a ride now!”
- Subject Line #2: “Get from A to B on your terms. Reserve a ride now!”
- Content with social proof had just a 5% higher open rate than the control group.
- But hold on — content without social proof saw a whopping 30% increase in open rates.
That’s not all.
The content without social proof led to the highest conversion rate, resulting in more rides.
Even when we adjusted the email content — whether it included social proof or not — with the same subject line, the results stayed consistent.
Using social proof in emails doesn’t always ramp up engagement for active users. Surprisingly, the basic drive behind social proof doesn’t yield the same punch in this scenario.
Engaged users are already convinced of your brand value; they need no external nudges to act.
However, this doesn’t dismiss social proof entirely. It simply highlights the need for a more targeted approach tailored to different user segments.
Social Proof Shines With New Users
Beyond regular users, newcomers joining your service are curious but uncertain about its value and lack personal experience.
Leveraging social proof becomes crucial here. It assures new users of your brand value, especially when they haven’t experienced it yet.
To test this, I ran a two-month experiment targeting new users on a ride-sharing app. Those who recently joined and had few rides were involved for September and June to balance the seasonality effects.
The audience was split into three groups:
- Subject Line #1 Group: Received a subject line with social proof.
- Subject Line #2 Group: Received the same subject line without social proof.
- Control Group: Received no communication for comparison.
- Content with social proof had a 40% higher open rate and the highest conversion rate, emphasizing its impact on new users’ engagement.
- Content without social proof showed only a 5% higher open rate compared to the control group.
Unlocking trust in your brand or service relies on leveraging social proof for new users.
Tweaking email content — social proof or not — while maintaining the same subject line resulted in consistent outcomes. This vividly underlines social proof’s mighty impact on new users.
Social proof reassures new users about your brand, especially when they’re newcomers and haven’t experienced it firsthand.
That’s why companies heavily rely on social proof on their websites to entice newcomers.
Trying to win over new users?
Social proof is your secret weapon. They rely on these trusty references to feel confident about your brand or service.
Social Proof Embraces Engaged Users Through Nostalgia
Social proof is a marketing gem, but does it fully lose its sparkle when it comes to engaged users?
Let’s dive into the tale of how social proof thrives in the realm of nostalgia, enchanting even the most devoted users.
Remember Spotify’s year-end ‘Wrapped’ feature? That treasure trove of memories showcasing your musical journey over the year?
Source: Usman Adepoju’s Medium Article
It’s more than a marketing ploy — it taps into nostalgia, making you feel accomplished and eager to share your year with the world.
Does nostalgia’s known influence on consumer behavior play a role here in this social proof experiment?
I experimented with a ride-sharing app, sending tailored emails applauding users’ ride counts and comparing their monthly versus yearly milestones. A control group served as the benchmark.
The year-based content sparked a 50% surge in open rates and conversions among engaged users compared to a control group.
Month-based content did not bring anything on top. It seems the secret lies in stirring their nostalgic spirits.
Engaged users aren’t easily swayed but connect their experiences to nostalgia, and social proof becomes their trusted ally.
It’s a lesson in leveraging the past to influence the present.
Social proof is a chameleon, adapting to users’ needs — especially when cloaked in nostalgia. Remember, tailored social proof can be your ticket to engaging even the most steadfast users.
Wrap-Up on Social Proof Clichés
Reflecting on our exploration of social proof, let’s distill the key insights:
Social proof isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy. While it might not significantly sway engaged users already devoted to your brand, it’s a game-changer for newcomers.
Interestingly, when woven into nostalgic contexts, it holds potential for engaged users too.
The real knack?
Adapting social proof to resonate with your users’ unique needs.
To unlock more secrets at the intersection of psychology and marketing, let’s connect on LinkedIn.
For the original source, click here.