How do you boost your brand credibility on a fast-paced social media platform such as Instagram? It’s actually not that hard. In fact, it’s very similar to how you’d promote an ecommerce website. You just need social proof. That’s why, in this post, we’ll do a quick overview of what social proof is, why it’s important, and how you can integrate types of social proof into your Instagram account to boost follower count, engagement, and consumer trust.
What is social proof?
Social proof is also known as “informational social influence”. This is a term coined by psychology and marketing professor Robert Cialdini. It refers to the human behavior of following and looking to others in decision-making to see and model what is “correct behavior.”
Why is social proof important for Instagram?
The idea of social proof plays greatly into marketing. Especially on a very jam-packed platform such as Instagram. With more than 200 million business accounts reported in 2021 and a projected 71% of U.S. businesses using Instagram in 2020, it’s clear Instagram is the place to be for marketing and branding.
Like with online shopping, people look for similar signs of trust when browsing Instagram. Especially if it’s to discover new brands and products. What do other shoppers like? Are there suggestions, reviews, or testimonials? Does this brand have a following? Do other brands or notable publications recommend this company? Has the company won any awards? This is the reason why it’s crucial for a business to not just get your branding and product/service out there, but to also make page visitors obligated to buy from you.
Examples of social proof to add to your business Instagram account
There are many ways to show verification, popularity, and trust for your business. Here are some popular methods:
Wisdom of the Crowds
Majority rules, right? So wisdom of the Crowds is the principle of numbers. The more people that favor or like or recommend (or review) something, the more appealing it is.
Users & Customers
The the biggest influencers in consumerism? This is the word of an existing user or customer that is vital to encouraging a total stranger to pay your business a visit (and possibly make a purchase).
They’re often sought after for endorsements for a reason. The stamp of approval or recommendation of a product from a celebrity can greatly boost your brand visibility. The trick? Products or services endorsed by a celebrity tend to absorb that celebrity’s “wow” factor.
And of course, sometimes, you just gotta leave things to the experts. Selling a face serum? Get a dermatologist or esthetician to speak about your product. Pushing a tool kit for cars? Try getting a car mechanic to recommend your item. Figures of authority can hold power and emit a “wow” factor of their own if they recommend something.
People Similar to You
Like with Users & Customers, hearing a recommendation from people like you helps boost your likeliness of trying or buying something. Because the chances are, if someone with similar tastes and needs as you like something, you will too.
Circle of Friends
Trusting your friends is always a good thing. If you see one of them using some service or a recently purchased product, you’ll likely give it a try. The point is that the suggestion is coming from someone you trust and are close to. This aspect of social proof can also apply to your family.
How to integrate social proof onto Instagram
Let visitors know it’s the real you. Go into your Instagram profile settings to request a verification badge. By gaining that blue check next to your profile name, visitors will be assured they are visiting and interacting with the real profile of a brand (and not a knock-off).
Follow the Wisdom of the Crowds! Your follower count lets profile visitors know that hey, you’re actually quite popular and probably worth following. Consider these tips to learn how to attract today’s young Instagram audience.
When it’s time to up the ante, reaching out to influencers is a solid method for building social proof for Instagram. Whether industry experts or some real big-name celebrities, you can utilize the Expert and Celebrity methods of social proof to add credibility and endorsement to your page.
Whether through page takeovers or sponsored posts, featuring an authoritative figure or industry insider can boost views and engagement (and of course, brand trust) for you.
Repost Mentions & Give Instagram Shout-Outs
Has another brand mentioned you in a post? Has a customer posted about your product in an Instagram Story? Utilize this user-generated content by reposting to share their feedback. Hey, it’s free pre-made content! So learn how to repost with some easy (and free) apps. To give a shout-out, simply tag a person’s Instagram handle to give them a mention in your post.
Your Brand Instagram Bio
A place to tell visitors a bit about yourself, the brand bio of an Instagram profile is valuable real estate. Whether you have a brand slogan or short statement about your brand, this is the place to describe yourself. You also want to ensure that you put your website URL here for visitors to follow. Or, you can utilize a link service that will allow you to create multiple CTAs for all your posts. Some popular services include Linkin.bio, Shorby, and Linktree.
You’ve probably realized that you’ve already done a lot of these social proof tactics as you set up and opened your social media accounts. And that’s really good. It’s also likely that some of these suggestions are already part of your social media strategy. So it’s just about the continuous implementation of various tactics (ex. Brand mentions, awards, shout-outs, reposts) as part of your strategy. Once you have many of these in full gear, your Instagram account will be booming.
Actually, there are a lot more ways to integrate social proof onto your Instagram accounts. So if you want to make the most of it, try to do the following steps as well:
- Start a conversation with your customers
- Set up a custom referral program
- Organize a giveaway
- Create unique influencer campaigns
SUMMARY: Social proof is vital to digital success. It helps customers decide what to believe, follow, and eventually purchase. Thankfully, there are easy ways to add social proof to the Instagram account of your own business (and you’re probably doing a lot of this or working towards it already) to make Intenet users obligated to buy from you.
Read about social proof instagram.