Wikipedia defines social proof as a psychological phenomenon where the actions of others are indications of correct behavior around a particular situation.
In social media, social proof is reflected in the number of Twitter followers you have; the number of fans on your Facebook page; the number of RSS readers your blog has; the number of views for your YouTube videos, etc.
Why is this important? It’s a clear indication to your prospects that you have content worth reading – that your opinions will be important to them.
Think of it as a personal recommendation from people your prospects know and trust. When marketing to educators, this is particularly important because educators regard the opinions of other educators as the best kind of recommendation. It is a way to differentiate your company from your competitors.
Two of the primary examples of social proof for educational publishers have been case studies and customer testimonials. An educator, school or district is reassured by the case studies and testimonials of colleagues and is more likely to take the time to check out particular products or services.
In some ways it operates as a guarantee in that your product offering is pre-approved to be worthy of their attention.
It also gives another indicator that you’re committed to building your presence, and that as a customer, they’ll be able to get in touch with you if they have a question, concern or complaint. Creating a social media presence is another way of letting customers know you’ve left a light on for them.
What are your current strategies for creating social proof for your products or services?