Social Proof
What is Social Proof?
According to Wikipedia, Social proof is a type of conformity. When a person is in a situation where they are unsure of the correct way to behave, they will often look to others for cues concerning the correct behavior. When “we conform because we believe that other´s interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours and will help us choose an appropriate course of action,” it is informational social influence. This is contrasted with normative social influence wherein a person conforms to be liked or accepted by others.
How does Social Proof apply to my business?
We see examples of Social Proof being used in sales and marketing all the time. For example:

  • Testimonials – Testimonials are used on websites and marketing material to demonstrate how others have benefited from their experience dealing with your company and products.
  • Product Reviews – According to Google, 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase.
  • Referrals – everyone would agree that the best leads and sales come from referrals. Why? A referral is social proof for your new prospect that someone else has benefited from your company´s products and/or services.
  • Social Media – Three simple words subscribers, followers and fans.
  • Portfolios of previous work or projects – this may be a book in your reception waiting area, shown on your website in an image gallery or displayed graphically around your office.
  • Walls of Fame – Displaying and promoting your companies awards, community efforts or notes of thanks from your clients in your office or online.

Social Proofing Your Trade Show Display?
If social proof can assist you in influencing an individual´s purchasing decision isn´t it worth investigating how you can social proof your trade show display to amplify your sales and marketing results at the events you attend.
A Few Social Proof Ideas to get you started?

  • Display graphics that show people benefiting from using your company´s products and services.
  • Audio Visual Presentations that incorporate testimonials from your clients and/or demonstrating previous work or projects you have completed.
  • Special on booth event for your great clients and hot prospects. This enables you to thank your clients and allows them to mix with your hot prospects and provide social proof of your capabilities.
  • Incorporate social media into your pre–show, at–show and post–show promotions.
  • Innovative and attracting show promotions. Think what entertainment or offers you have on your stand to draw a crowd. If you have a crowd at your stand it is sure to entice other to see what they are missing out on!

When you next get together with your sales and marketing teams bring up the concept of Social Proof and see what other ideas you can generate to better use social proof to your advantage in all your sales and marketing activities!

Have you got more ideas on how to use social proof to your advantage on the trade show floor? Share your stories and comments below.

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