One of the things you learn very quickly in the web design and Internet marketing industry is that tools and technologies change, but people don’t. While the ways we tell people about our products and solutions are constantly shifting, the reasons for choosing them are almost always the same. And one of those important reasons is what advertising experts and psychologists call “social proof.”
In a nutshell, the “social proof” concept basically boils down to the fact that we are a lot more likely to buy something that has been recommended by a friend than we are something that hasn’t. That’s why so many companies strive to achieve a healthy amount of “word-of-mouth” advertising – you just can’t beat it for bottom-line marketing.
That isn’t likely to change anytime soon, but the way word-of-mouth spreads already is. Not many of your buyers have the time to sit around a barbershop or cocktail party anymore. When they have a need, or are looking for advice, they aren’t likely to make a personal visit, or even pick up the phone. Instead, they’re going to tap into their entire network at once by using sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
As a marketer or business owner, it’s important that you understand what this means. Customers might be going to search engines to find vendors, but they are turning to their trusted friends and colleagues for recommendations. When they do, it’s important that they be able to find your business’s profile.
People will probably be buying for the same reasons they always have a thousand years from now. But by embracing social media, you can use technology to help them speed up the process.