How to Use Social Proof to Shape Customer Perception of Your Product

  • Written By:
    Ann Smarty
  • Published On:
    April 14th, 2022
  • Read Time:
    5 Mins
  • Category:
    Conversion

Social proof is something that has been used for years.

We want our customers to share positive feedback to drive more sales.

But is it possible to use social proof for product positioning?

It certainly is, and here’s how:

What is Social Proof?

Social proof refers to positive feedback your customers share with you and/or on their social media channels.

At the foundation of the social proof concept is the psychological phenomenon that the consumers tend to adapt their buying decisions based on what other people are doing.

In other words, our buying decisions are influenced by what others seem to like.

We are also less likely to admit that we don’t like a product if we were assured by other customers that it should be great. We want to like what we picked based on numerous positive reviews, and that is the power of social proof for product positioning.

Social proof includes testimonials you publish on your own websites, reviews they share on feedback curation platforms like Capterra and G2 Crowd, case studies, etc.

The Power of Social Proof

Social proof is one of the most effective marketing tactics that boost conversions and build trust. Here are just a few reports proving the effectiveness of social proof:

  • More than 85% of software buyers utilize peer review sites when making buying decisions (Source: G2)
  • Word of mouth impacts half of of all purchases, and more than 90% of B2B purchases (Source: TalkTriggers)

Curate Social Proof through Your Official Social Media Channels

Social media listening is a great way to promptly respond to unsatisfied customers and save a sale.

But, when done right, social media listening is also an effective method of finding positive reviews, and broadcasting them further.

When you listen to your happy customers and publicize their feedback through your brand-owned channels, you impact the sentiment around your brand and you influence the way your product is positioned.

Here are a few ideas of curating social media proof to position your product the way you want it to be positioned:

  • Select positive reviews that reflect your product positioning and share them on your social media profiles
  • Turn positive feedback in more formats, like video slideshows and images, and share them on your visual channels, like Instagram and Youtube
  • Invite your loyal customers to make a video walkthrough of how they are utilizing your product (in exchange for a perk) and curate best videos using a separate playlist on your Youtube channels
  • Encourage your customers to share their stats and turn these into case studies. Has your platform improved your customers’ team productivity? Reach out to that client and ask them to share their exact process of using your product.

Here’s @SparkToro sharing their positive review on their official Twitter profile:

Social proof reshared on Twitter

And here’s Hubspot publicizing a positive tweet through their official Instagram account, facilitating even more feedback:

Social proof reshared on Instagram

The beauty of curation is that you can choose to share what to reshare on your profiles, so you can actively promote social proof that reflects your product positioning in the best possible way.

Once you start actively curating and broadcasting those positive reviews, you’ll notice a snowball effect: More and more of your customers will start publicly sharing their compliments.

Positioning Your Brand as the Industry Authority

You don’t have to be a niche expert to position your company as the authority.

You need to find the right people to work with.

In any B2B niche there are known experts that have some engaged following and solid reputation. Reach out to them and:

  • Invite to beta test your product and share their feedback (In some cases, ask if that feedback may become public)
  • Invite those experts to host a webinar or a podcast. Choose the topic for that video that will match your product positioning. You don’t have to actively promote your product as a solution to that problem you will be discussing. Context is what matters. Context and your influencer’s expertise.

Semrush were doing a fabulous job hosting webinars with well-known influencers on a regular basis, and none of those events were product-driven:

Expert-driven webinars

Expert social proof creates an incredible level of trust, and those experts don’t even need to actively promote your brand. If they simply get associated with you while talking about a relevant problem, that is already a huge boost to your brand’s authority, right there.

Publish Case Studies That Reflect Your Product Positioning Strategy

Part of product positioning strategy is about defining the exact problems your product is solving.

To better illustrate that point, use customer-generated case studies that explain how exactly your product helped.

Visme does this well by publishing case studies focusing on their main product positioning elements:

  • Time saving
  • Easy to use (no training required)
  • Collaborative (anyone of your existing employees can figure it out and use it)
  • Hence, money saving (no need to hire designers or invest into expensive software):
Case studies which reflect your defined product positioning strategy

To generate more case studies:

  • Create a customer segment to identify your customers that use your product the most, and reach out to them to invite them to share their results. 
  • Talk to your customer service team and ask them to notify you of any positive feedback they receive (there’s always a case study opportunity there)
  • Set up an email newsletter to create a segment to reach out to your happy and repeat customers
  • Get involved in your social media listening processes and check if any of the positive social media updates may be turned into a case study
  • Create custom surveys to hear back from customers who asked for an upgrade or opted in for an upsell. If users are willing to spend more with you, they must be pretty happy with your product.

Not all of those efforts will result in case studies but you will be able to get to know your most active customers better, their favorite features of your platform and how they are utilizing them. It is always useful to collect this data.

Conclusion

Social proof is the most effective way to control the sentiment around your product and position your product the way you’d like it positioned. But there’s more: By listening to your customers and curating their feedback, you will also find more ways to position your product as well as where it is lacking.

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Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, as well as co-founder of Viral Content Bee. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for over a decade, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of a weekly Twitter chat #vcbuzz

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