Increased competition, diverse digital shopping experiences, and customer willingness to try new products during the holidays make customer acquisition essential for holiday success. Customer acquisition is the primary driver of new sales growth, with 49% of digital marketers saying customer acquisition is a primary objective of their 2020 marketing strategy. Additionally, shoppers are more willing to diversify their cart this time of year, with 64% of global shoppers saying they explored different products during the holiday season, more than any other time.
YoY online holiday shopping sales growth has risen. And with the global pandemic driving more brands online, the need to have a strong ecommerce strategy is clear. Ecommerce has become increasingly competitive as the pandemic has accelerated the shift from physical stores to online shopping by at least five years. To meet the demand, brands must understand that the social landscape has diversified with Facebook & Instagram Shops and TikTok commerce partnerships, just to name a few. These platforms are offering more ways to get products in front of potential buyers on social media. The demand and opportunities are there, but once you have your target consumer’s attention, how do you earn their dollar and stand apart from the crowd?
Apply psychology to social marketing - earn consumer trust and drive purchase decisions through social proof.
What Is Social Proof?
Social proof is looking for others to help validate and drive a decision.
How many times have you seen a sponsored post while scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed? When the product being advertised tempts you, what is the first thing you do? You either click through to check out the product landing page or expand the comments section to review user feedback. If you open the comments section, often you’re looking to see if someone has exposed the brand for being less-than advertised or if consumer comments substantiate the product’s advertising message. If the first thing you see after scanning the comments is line-after-line of positive customer reviews, you will likely click through on the post to further explore the brand’s site. This is an example of social proof in action. We can rely on user feedback because they have experienced the product or service.
Two-thirds of global consumers trust opinions posted online, with peer recommendations being the most trusted channel.
Price, trust, and brand reputation are the main three attributes that are top-of-mind for consumers buying from a new brand. With the uncertainty of coronavirus and its impact on traditional holiday shopping, it’s more important than ever for consumer confidence to be at the forefront of the shopping experience.
And, if we learned anything from the heated 2020 elections, we can not minimize the impact of peer-to-peer influence on social media.
Types of Social Proof
- Industry Experts
- Influencer Partnerships
- User-Generated Content (UGC)
- Brand Love Engagement
How Do You Successfully Leverage Social Proof?
Applying social proof to your social advertising strategy requires the right blend of earned and owned tactics - earned being what other people are saying and sharing about your brand, owned being the content you create. We’ve included some examples here.
Influencer Partnerships & Branded Content
Creator collaborations are becoming more accessible across social platforms. Facebook and Instagram have Brand Collabs Manager and Branded Content, which allow creators (influencers) and advertisers to create content via a “paid partnership.” Similarly, TikTok launched Creator Marketplace to facilitate the same influencer-made content partnerships and ads on the video-sharing app. This type of social proof lets brands introduce products to new customers and drive trust and consideration via the halo effect, leveraging the trust influencers have built with their followers.
Don’t believe the brand? What about the customer? Brands should leverage user-generated content in shoppable formats. Brands repurposing customer UGC for Facebook and Instagram ads can increase the likelihood of an in-app purchase by adding Shopping Tags to UGC posts and stories highlighting shoppable products.
Boost Customer Engagement
There is also the tried-and-true practice of promoting positive customer engagement for visibility in conversion ads on Facebook and Instagram. Advertisers and social brand teams can work in tandem to test content organically and promote posts with positive user engagement as ads. Promoting these posts allow advertisers to effectively employ positive user engagement towards upper-funnel prospecting efforts. Brands can take a similar approach with ads only by creating engagement campaigns with known customers and duplicating ads with positive user engagement for conversion campaigns. This strategy allows the advertiser to acquire customer feedback first and then promote positive feedback as ads are optimized to move an interested user down the funnel. Both tactics leverage customer advocacy to drive consideration and brand trust.
Looking for ways to implement social proof into your advertising strategy? Contact Adlucent today for a free consultation!