Sell your program or ideas with social proof.
By Guest Blogger Bob Beaulaurier (http://www.research13.com/costestimatecontactus.html)
People often want proof their marketing works. There’s another kind of proof. Social proof. Market research can uncover how “social proof” may sell your products or programs.
Researchers have suggested social proof is one of the biggest factors to get people to recycle. The common example: when everyone on the street puts out their brightly colored recycle bin – even the laggards get with the recycling program. As my brother the professor teaches in his Social Work classes fear of alienation is one of the greatest motivators to behavior change. Another example: people don’t use toxic products for fear of alienation. There are people who would dump oil down the drain and into our rivers if they thought they could get away with it. Local consequences help to sell products, services and socially beneficial behavior via social proof.
In our study that we released to the public in early December, (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/12/prweb3066514.htm) we showed that social proof helped justify purchasing solar panels for residential roofs because of the great feeling customers expected when their neighbors saw how green they were. Similarly, people learn their friends go to local farmers markets and they become “part of the local market, too.” Local is fresh and a trend. Trends by definition are incipient social proof. It is never too late to reinforce the social proof for your product or service.
Many organizations would do well if they asked “why” their customers are buying. SEO would become more efficient because you wouldn’t be focusing on so many key words. Advertising would be more focused and compelling because messaging would explain “why” customers should buy with the most important reasons. These same reasons can be leveraged across an organization to customers-service people and ultimately to customers.
The best social proof is to explain how others, through testimonials and otherwise, are using your product. “Social proof” is the antidote to “feelings of alienation or not belonging.” Yet another reason it feels good to go to the Farmer’s Market or take your reusable shopping bag to the grocery store. Aspirational social proof is also celebrity advertising. T-Mobile can’t sell the iPhone yet, but they can sell Jesse James and Whoopi Goldberg and then say that the phone let’s you be you (the you that looks to others). T-Mobile ad is here: http://bit.ly/VHxYL.