Get the Right Numbers for Strong Social Influence
Why do numbers matter when we are seeking confirmation from others?
Numbers are simple. They make an immediate impression on the fast-thinking, intuitive brain. Think about your own reactions. When shopping on Amazon, do you buy products with average review ratings of 2.5 out of 5? On YouTube, would you watch a video on a subject that has just 25 views or one with 25,000 views? Study after study has shown that we unconsciously choose options that display higher numbers for user acceptance.
Leverage Social Proof to Attract More Customers
Convincing people to become your customers is a complex job. Neuromarketing research has shown that people often follow the opinions of others. In making purchase decisions, positive social confirmation can lead to a quick decision to buy. The power of “word of mouth” advertising has long been known. However, we also know from neuroscience research that negative decisions are easier for people to make than positive ones. For example, online shopping websites have seen more than 70% of customers backing away just before completing transactions.
- How to Promote Confidence with Powerful Testimonials – Testimonial quotations and videos can be powerful triggers for positive decisions. They also work to build trust and confidence. To be effective, they must be relevant to the current interests of a visitor. Use general, confidence-building testimonials on overview pages on your website. On product or service description pages, choose recommendations that directly apply to the specific topic. Authenticity is crucial. Photos of real people and praise in their own words are most effective.Video testimonials, too, should feature actual customers speaking in their own words. Neuroscience researchers using fMRI scans observed negative responses to photos of actors or models, but positive reactions to more ordinary-looking people. That suggests that people are quick to detect what is real and what is fake.
- Why Use Product Reviews to Increase Confidence – When you shop on Amazon, you’ll find review information for virtually every product. That’s because five-star ratings displayed when a conversion is the immediate goal are so effective. They are most useful as social proof when ratings are high for a product. Most often, shoppers should see how many people have rated products at each rating level. Those numbers matter, since they also indicate a product’s popularity. Some shoppers will click to read a few actual customer reviews. Showing an outstanding individual review can be an effective final conversion trigger.
- Why Real Numbers Speak Volumes – Numbers speak loudly. For example, if you just say, “Our satisfied customers love this product,” the confirmation effect isn’t very strong. Saying that “500 delighted customers bought this product in March” is far more convincing. Most consumers want to follow the crowd. Amazon, eBay and Home Depot use this technique constantly. Numbers can also generate add-on sales. “60% of customers who bought this item also purchased this accessory” can trigger an impulse buy. Use numbers, too, to build confidence in service businesses. For example, to attract new listings, a real estate broker might say, “Over 100 homes listed with us sold in the past three months!” “Our clients realized over $6 million in gains so far this quarter” can build confidence for an investment firm. Consumer neuroscience research shows that numbers create a strong response that can motivate decision-making strongly.
- Why Social Proof Makes Choosing Products Easier – Consumers want to compare options before making buying decisions. You can guide their choices. For example, if you show three comparable products, pointing out that “75% of our customers chose Model A” will nudge new customers to do the same. “Our most popular purchase is Product XYZ” is a confirmation cue that serves the same purpose. Social proof gives undecided customers the subtle, yet effective nudge toward action.
- How Online Reviews Can Make or Break Your Bottom Line – Many websites allow customers to write reviews about businesses. Google, Facebook, Yelp, Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List are among the top choices. These reviews are read very frequently by your potential customers. If your company has an outstanding rating, feature that prominently as a social confirmation confidence builder.Good reviews can tip the scale and help close the deal.
- Why Monitor and Manage Your Customers’ Reviews – Social proof isn’t just about your own marketing activities. Reviews on Google, Angie’s List and Yelp are widely used by potential customers. Your reputation depends in part on what people can find by searching for your company. Be proactive in monitoring online reviews. If negative comments or reviews appear, respond to them. Show your good faith by trying to resolve issues. By staying on top of managing your company’s reputation, you can influence the social proof information that has a big impact on your business. Encourage satisfied customers to post 5-star reviews and comments.Every complimentary review pushes negative reviews down and out of the sight of casual viewers.
Let Satisfied Customers Be Your Sales Force
Consumer neuroscience research has demonstrated how powerful confirmation cues can be. In a 2007 study by DeVries and Pruyn, the presence of recommendations for a digital camera product on a website produced a 20% increase in sales for that product. Using social proof cues isn’t just a promising idea; it’s an essential marketing strategy for both product sales and lead generation. In addition, creating increased consumer confidence through confirmation helps boost your internet conversion rate. Experienced neuromarketers understand how to make this aspect of web design and content produce optimal results and boost revenues.