How often do you look at online reviews when deciding on a purchase? Almost always, right? And if you’re like most people, you’re likely to buy the product with the most (positive) reviews – probably without a second thought.
This all has to do with our natural instinct to follow the crowd – a psychological phenomenon called social proof. The idea is that since so many people are doing something, it must be the correct thing to do.
Social proof impacts almost every decision we make. What’s more, it helps cultivate trust and credibility in your brand and helps validate and simplify your customers’ buying decisions.
There are many different ways to build your social proof on Instagram, but they all center around showing that other people like what you are offering, so they should too.
Let’s look at five easy ways to increase your social proof on Instagram.
1. Build and Grow an Instagram Audience
Let’s face it. People feel more comfortable joining the crowd.
That means if your page has a decent-enough following and a high level of engagement, your prospects will have a positive impression about your brand and will likely hop on board.
In addition, an Instagram audience shows your prospective customers that people think what you’re offering is valuable and that your brand is one that they can trust.
Now, growing an audience on Instagram can be tricky. You can try things like using hashtags, hosting contests and cross-promoting your posts. However, you’ll need something that will produce real results in the shortest possible time.
You can try tools like Social Shark, which makes it easy to grow an Instagram audience and boost user engagement on your page. It uses organic marketing tactics to get your posts in front of thousands of targeted users, thus providing more opportunities for growth.
Social Shark also has a powerful system that automatically likes posts from your target audience and follows or unfollows users based on your specific goals.
This way, you can reel in more followers and increase engagement on your page in a snap.
2. Share User-Generated Content
User-Generated Content (UGC) is always a crowd-pleaser. We’re not talking about sponsored content but authentic content created by genuine fans.
UGC can be a crucial part of your Instagram marketing strategy. For one, people trust what other people have to say about their experience using a product or service. And two, posts containing or featuring content created by other users has a 4.5% conversion rate than those without.
To begin, find UGC about your brand through relevant hashtags (or personalized hashtags if you have created any) and mentions. Afterward, ask the respective users for their permission to repost, then publish the content on your page once you’re given the go-ahead.
UGC is a great way to make your brand look more authentic, build brand trust, reach your potential audience and boost engagement.
3. Get Endorsed by Relevant Influencers
Influencers are great resources when it comes on to proving your value and establishing authority.
Besides, a successful influencer marketing campaign allows you to reach your potential customers in a more authentic, organic manner.
Finding the “right” influencer to represent your brand takes time – and a lot of research. Nevertheless, there are several factors to consider: Their style and content must be relevant to your brand or industry, they must have genuine fans and their engagement level must be at least two percent.
Ideally, you should look for an influencer that your target audience knows, respects, likes and, trusts, then decide on how you can work together.
Once you’ve found the right match, ask them to mention your brand in an Instagram post, review your product or service on their website or create an endorsement video that you can add to your page.
Depending on your brand, endorsements could be through paid content or even occur naturally. A natural endorsement is a situation where an individual publicly approves of your brand or product of their own will.
If it’s a paid partnership, make sure to be transparent. Instagram now has a tool that will allow creators and influencers to tag businesses that they have a commercial relationship with.
The post or story will appear with a “Paid Partnership With …” tag followed by your account name. This way, both parties will gain access to Insights for that post, making it easier to track engagement.
4. Showcase your Happy Supporters
Listen, people love to get featured.
Therefore, showcasing your happy customers is a great way to hike up your social proof on Instagram.
You can share photos or videos of different customer creations, styles or other inventions or actions made possible as a result of your product or service.
Let’s say you’re a fashion or makeup brand on Instagram. Why not ask your customers to upload photos or videos of themselves rocking your clothes or highlighters?
You can then repost them (with permission of course) to your page and create a large, beautiful photo gallery. You wouldn’t even need to hire professional models.
After all, if other people look this great wearing or using your product, then surely, they will look good on anyone.
That’s social proof in action!
5. Encourage Customer Testimonials
Have you have received a good testimonial from a customer? If yes, share it on your page. If not, encourage customers to share their experience using your product or service.
Remember, just saying your product or service works is not enough to encourage people to buy it.
What will simplify their purchasing decision is a testimonial from a customer who has had a positive experience using your product.
Testimonials may come in the form of a video or a written piece. Sharing a written testimonial with enough information about the user is always valuable, but can be further enhanced if you attach an image.
Nonetheless, video testimonials have been shown to be more powerful in inspiring trust and grabbing the attention of your prospects.
But regardless of the type of testimonial you receive, the positive ones will always prove that there is some value in your product or service.
Social proof can work wonders for growing your brand. Try out the different tactics above and see how much you can build social proof on Instagram.